The Odyssey Study Guide

Homer’s Odyssey is an iconic piece of Ancient Greek literature. This wonderful poem remains famous for centuries. But what is The Odyssey about? The book tells a fascinating story about Gods and people, their relationships, and the power of persistence and true love.

In The Odyssey study guide, you’ll see it explored. Consider the book’s plot, characters, themes, symbols, genre, and author’s key idea!  

The Odyssey Key Facts 

Full Name The Odyssey  
Author Homer  
Genre An epic poem 
Date of Publishing  1488 (in English)  
Setting (Time) Bronze Age (around 12th century BC); 10 years after the end of the Trojan War. 
Setting (Place) Ancient Greece (Ithaca, Olympus, Mediterranean Sea, Aiaia, Aiolia, Elysion, Ismaros, Sparta, Lamos, Mount Parnassos, Ogygia, Pherai, Pylos, Scheria, Thrinakia, the Underworld).  

The Odyssey Articles

The Odyssey: Summary & Analysis

The Odyssey is the epic poem written by the Greek writer Homer. It tells the story of the courageous and witty warrior Odysseus. Being separated from his family because of the Trojan War, he desperately tries to get to Ithaca, his homeland. However, the task…

The Odyssey: Characters

To analyze the characters in The Odyssey, one has to understand their purpose. The majority of them are not fleshed out or multifaceted, except for Odysseus, his wife, and son. The rest of The Odyssey characters are either an obstacle or an assistant for the…

The Odyssey: Themes

Homer’s Oddysey is an iconic ancient Greek epic poem that remains popular even nowadays. The enormous success of this literature piece can be explained by the numerous issues raised in the poem. The themes of The Odyssey impress with their diversity and pertinence. Below, you…

The Odyssey: Symbols

Being an incredibly talented writer, Homer employed numerous symbols in The Odyssey. They are essential for the readers because they represent the hidden context of the poem. Below, you can find the epic’s significant symbols, their meaning, and their value.

The Odyssey: Essay Topics & Samples

Are you studying Homer’s Odyssey and need to write a paper on it? Are you lost in the vast diversity of themes the poem is covering? Or maybe you are searching for prompts or examples of Odyssey essays? Lucky you! We can help you with…

Historical Context of The Odyssey 

The Iliad and The Odyssey are two interlinked books since they focus on one historical event – the Trojan War. However, there are major differences between these epic poems. The Iliad covers only the war, while The Odyssey is the logical extension of the first book. It’s a description of the events after the fall of Troy.  

There are a lot of controversies around the Trojan War, described in Homeric poems. The people of Ancient Greece assumed that this event indeed happened sometime between the 12th and 11th centuries BC. The Middle Ages and the Renaissance period scholars claimed that the Trojan War is just a result of people’s fantasy. They believed that the noble warriors and events depicted in The Iliad and The Odyssey by Homer are fictitious.  

Nevertheless, in the previous century, geologists and archeologists with a focus on Greek mythology made some discoveries. They found places that directly correspond to those described in The Iliad and The Odyssey books. Therefore, we can assume that Homeric writings are a combination of real events and fictitious details. Modern scholars, for example, claim that Ancient Greeks indeed invaded a city called Troy. However, the events in the epic poems have nothing to do with reality.  

The Odyssey as an epic opens the door to the world of Ancient Greece, its culture, and customs. The readers get familiar with an image of a true hero – a noble and brave warrior whose responsibility is to defend the land. The invasion of Troy for Odysseus is a matter of honor. Thus, he bravely overcomes all the obstacles on his way and reaches his family as a caring father and husband.  

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