The Odyssey

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The Odyssey by Homer

I think this book cover is misleading. It’s definitely not the Odyssey of Homer — it’s the Odyssey of Odysseus. Homer’s a poet. Maybe that’s just me being picky though.

I. Summary

The Odyssey is the famous epic starring Odysseus, that Greek war hero of the Trojan War. Blown off course by Poseidon’s rage, Odysseus ends up under the care of Calypso, a divine daughter of Atlas who wants to marry him. But at last he escapes and begins the perilous journey home. Along the way, he tells his story to the men whom he charms, speaking of his encounters with the Cyclops and desire to avoid Scylla and Charybdis (really autocorrect? You can tolerate Charybdis but not Leszinske?). At last he returns home to his beloved Ithaca, and hatches a plot with the help of Athena to slay the suitors besieging his wife, Penelope. His son, Telemachus, and he at last provoke the suitors into combat and slay them all. In the final scene, Odysseus visits his dying father, Laertes, and comforts him, having returned home at last.

II. Quotations

I’m actually going to skip this section today because I refused to mark up my beautiful copy of the Odyssey and thus have no concrete quotations to record.

III. Impressions

The last time I tried to read The Odyssey was freshman year of high school (2009 if you’re keeping count), and let me tell you, I hated it. Required for my English 9 seminar, The Odyssey, written in verse and telling a story I already knew, was absolute torture. Maybe it was its prose composition, maybe I’m just now at an age where I can appreciate it, but let me tell you, I really enjoyed The Odyssey this time around. When I was assigned this for Cultural Foundations I, I groaned inwardly, but I am quite glad that I stuck it out. The beautiful copy I picked up at Abbey Books might’ve helped. Anyway, I quite liked reading the story of the brave Odysseus (although I don’t think he needed to murder all the suitors at the end) and even more so about the gods that intervened in his quest — Zeus, Poseidon, and especially Athena. It’s a timeless tale for a reason, and The Odyssey has reinforced my newfound love of Ancient Greek literature.

IV. Why I Read This Book

Required for class, naturally. But I’m glad I revisited it.

Can I go back to sleep now?

CEL

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