The Odyssey, Part I
Ninth Grade Lit Study Packet
• epic- a long narrative poem about the deeds of gods or heroes
• epic hero- a larger-than-life figure from history or legend
o the hero undertakes a dangerous voyage
o demonstrates traits that are valued by society
▪ ex: courage, loyalty, honor
• conflict- a struggle between opposing forces
o conflicts can occur:
▪ between a character and nature (man vs. nature)
▪ within a character’s mind (man vs. himself)
▪ between characters (man vs. man)
P.981 begins with Homer, who is credited with the first telling of The ...view middle of the document...
• This is an example of a SIMILE- a comparison that uses the words LIKE or AS
• Many of Odysseus’ men were killed on this island
Zeus sent a storm against Odysseus’ ships
The sails cracked so they found shelter on a nearby island
“a third Dawn came with ringlets shining” – This is an example of PERSONIFICATION
o personification- giving human qualities to inhuman objects
• Dawn (daybreak- beginning of morning) is described as a young girl
• This reference is repeated in the next section as well
After the calm, they put the masts back up and let the breeze take them away from this land
The current took the ships back out to sea
For 9 days the ships drifted on the sea in dangerous winds
On the 10th day they landed on the coastline of the Lotus-Eaters
Odysseus and his men needed fresh water
Odysseus sent three men to learn what “race of men that land sustained”
(he wanted to find out more about the men on this island)
The Lotus-Eaters did not want to harm the men; they gave the men Odysseus sent lotus-flowers to eat
o The lotus flowers were sweet and “honeyed”
After eating this plant, the men wanted to stay on this island forever and they forgot about their homeland
• Odysseus had to tie them up in the ship in order to get them to leave the island
o It was wise of Odysseus to only send three men to find out about the Lotus-Eaters
▪ IF all of his men had met with the Lotus-Eaters and eaten this plant, they would never have had a desire to return home to Ithaca and their families
Some experts have claimed that the tale of the Lotus-Eaters is actually an ancient warning against drug use.
Cyclopes- plural form of Cyclops- a race of giants with one eye in the middle of their forehead
• After making a meal of wild goats captured on an island offshore, they cross to the mainland. There they immediately come upon a cave full of sheep and crates of milk and cheese. The men tell Odysseus to grab some of the food and hurry off, but he decides to stay a little longer.
o Odysseus’ curiosity leads him to ignore the good advice from his men. He knows it would be wise to grab the food and leave, but he is too curious to see the “cave man”
• The cave’s inhabitant soon returns—it is the Cyclops Polyphemus, the son of Poseidon. Polyphemus is nice to the men at first, but he soon turns angry and evil. He eats two of Odysseus’ men and imprisons Odysseus and the rest in his cave for future meals.
• Odysseus wants to take his sword to Polyphemus right then, but he knows that only Polyphemus is strong enough to move the rock that he has placed across the door of his cave. Odysseus then creates a plan for escape.
• The next day, while Polyphemus is outside pasturing his sheep, Odysseus finds a wooden staff in the cave and hardens...