Teaching Unit

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Background Information, The man historians call Homer is actually quite an elusive and mysterious character Of. course no actual records of his life exist and what has been strung together about the life of. the poet throughout the years is all no more than speculation and hearsay What we do know. is that two major works the Iliad and the Odyssey were written down at some time around. the sixth century B C and survive from that period to the modern era in essentially the same. form Today both of these works serve as a fragment of living history that provide us insight. into that ancient world, The birth of Homer is estimated to be as early as 1200 B C However the styles of the Iliad. and the Odyssey correlate with a style that is thought to have existed much later which. has led some historians to doubt the validity of that early birth date To further complicate. matters it is likely that a group of Homer s students or followers were responsible for the. written versions of the poems since writing was not a part of the early oral tradition from. Homer s time In this scenario the written forms of the two poems are surely much different. than the original oral composition which would have undergone many changes over the. years as it was passed along in the oral tradition With only a speculative time frame to work. with the task of assessing how much could have changed in style tone and content from the. time until the time when they were nally written down much more dif cult. Records discovered by some modern scholars indicate that not even the ancient Greeks. knew the true origin of the poems In fact some ancient Greek scholars who investigated. Homer s life believed that the works attributed to him were actually written by a woman. Whatever is the true case and whomever is the mysterious author behind the epic poems that. remain we are left with are a pair of vivid humorous and often graphic tales of heroics in a. mythologically enchanted ancient Greek landscape It is reasonable to assume that some of. the stories within each epic are based on fact while others are pure ction but both give us. invaluable insights into the thinking values and cultural lives of the ancient Greeks. In addition to the changes the poems may have gone through as they were told and retold. before being written down the modern versions of these poems have also seen many. translations and adaptations The original poems were written in the Greek language and. featured a ourishing lyrical verse Many modern translations have changed the text into. a modern prose that is more readable and digestible This has made the literature more. accessible to the modern reader as part of an effort to keep the legacy of these great works. Objectives, By the end of this Unit the student will be able to. 1 show how the Odyssey ts the de ned characteristics of the epic poem and discuss how. elements of the Odyssey are remnants of its oral tradition such as. the use of epithets,recitation of lineage,the use of in medias res. 2 de ne and cite instances of the following literary terms. anthropomorphism,black humor,deus ex machina,digression.
epic simile,at or static character,foreshadowing,in medias res. round or dynamic character, 3 discuss the omniscient narrator and how it works in the Odyssey. 4 recognize and point out instances of dramatic irony in the Odyssey. 5 discuss the ancient Greek notions of fate and omens. 6 identify the following gods and discuss their roles in the Odyssey. 7 identify the major themes and motifs in the Odyssey and expound upon the ways in. which they are revealed in the text, the importance of humility and the dangers of hubris. the importance of knowing one s place in society,spiritual and emotional growth. vengeance and reciprocity,appearance versus reality.
the importance of perseverance,the importance of loyalty. the importance and obligation of hospitality, 8 identify and explain the major symbols in the Odyssey including. Laertes shroud,Odysseus bow,Penelope and Odysseus bed. home Ithaca, 9 look objectively at the differences in values between today s society and the society of. Homer s ancient Greece as they relate to,the qualities of a hero.
the roles and rights of women,class roles,religion prophets and omens. hospitality, 10 de ne and list the qualities of the epic hero and show how Odysseus ts this mold. Compare the epic hero to the modern hero by discussing values attributes and virtues. 11 compare the gods of ancient Greece which were polytheistic and anthropomorphized. to the modern monotheistic idea of a superhuman awless god. 12 identify the con icts that run throughout the Odyssey including man vs man man vs. nature man vs himself and man vs society, 13 explain the relationship between Helen and the Trojan War. Questions for Discussion and Essay, 1 Discuss the literary techniques of in medias res and digression as they apply to the. Odyssey Why are these methods of narration effective in the Odyssey What is added to. the story by the use of these techniques, 2 What characteristics de ne epic and modern heroes How are they different How does.
Odysseus display the characteristics of an epic hero. 3 There are repeated references to the fate of Agamemnon in the story What signi cance. does the prevalence of Agamemnon s tale have to the story of Odysseus. 4 Discuss the character of Penelope Is she always loyal to Odysseus What circumstances. of ancient Greek society make it dif cult for her to be completely loyal. 5 Discuss the ethics of the Odyssey and how they differ from ethics typically accepted. in modern society How are cunning and deception looked at in the Odyssey How are. stealing and using one s power to take advantage of others looked upon in the Odyssey. 6 Discuss both the positive and negative attributes of the Greek gods How does the. ancient Greek concept of godliness differ from the modern one What differences exist. between the powers of male and female gods, 7 Discuss Odysseus values How do they differ from modern values Is Odysseus a loyal. husband to Penelope Is Odysseus a faithful commander to his crew What choices does. Odysseus make that seem to inhibit or contradict his stated priority of making it home. 8 Characters are described as static at or dynamic round Identify the major. characters in the Odyssey according to these characterizations and justify your. distinctions, 9 Present a brief biography of Homer and discuss his treatment of minstrels in the. 10 Discuss the roles of women in ancient Greek society How are women portrayed in the. 11 Using the Phaeacians and the Cyclopes as examples discuss the ancient Greek notion. of hospitality Discuss some possible reasons for this elevated notion of hospitality as it. applied to ancient Greek society at large, 12 De ne oral tradition Why were stories repeated in ancient societies What are the. practical values of this tradition How do epithets recitation of lineage and repetition. become important within the oral tradition What is the importance of dramatic irony. 13 Discuss the role of religion in ancient Greek society What was the cultural importance. of prophets omens and sacri ces, 14 Although Athena has taken up Odysseus cause he must still endure many travails and. much suffering before he can ful ll his destiny Discuss this fact in the context of the. ancient Greek notion of deus ex machina fate and the roles of the gods. 15 Discuss the major symbols in the Odyssey including the sea Laertes shroud Odysseus. bow and the bed and home Ithaca, 16 Discuss the spiritual and emotional growth of Telemachus throughout the Odyssey.
What is signi ed by the fact that Telemachus almost strings the bow but is stopped by. his father before he does so, 17 As an epic hero Odysseus is a complex character with positive and negative traits. Discuss Odysseus traits and how they both assist and impede him in the story. 18 Does Odysseus complete his mission Why or why not How does the story end How. might you have changed the ending to make it more believable in a modern sense. 19 Show that Athena and the other gods in the Odyssey are static characters while. Odysseus and Telemachus are both dynamic, 1 After spending each day weaving Penelope unravels the shroud she is making each. night because,A she cannot get any more wool, B the gods have ordained that at the moment she nishes weaving the shroud Laertes. Odysseus father will die, C the gods have ordained that at the moment she nishes weaving the shroud her son. Telemachus will leave forever, D she has promised to remarry when the shroud is completed.
E she is under a spell, 2 The tale of the fate of Agamemnon who returned from the Trojan War only to. be murdered at the hands of a devious suitor and a treacherous wife is repeated. throughout the Odyssey because, A it is part of the oral tradition to repeat stories so the listener can be reminded of. the details, B it is part of the oral tradition to repeat stories so that the storyteller can give the. audience a break from taking in new material, C it illustrates a fate that is deplorable to the ancient Greeks who found honor in. dying in battle or of old age, D it foreshadows the one of the possible fates awaiting Odysseus on his return to Ithaca.
E all of the above, 3 What is the token of recognition Odysseus uses to prove his identity upon his return home. A a birthmark on his right temple,B a gold medallion given to him at birth. C a scar on his knee from a hunting trip as a youth. D the king s brand on his right thigh,E the talon of a bird he kept as a pet. 4 The story begins somewhere in the middle of the plot The literary term used to describe. this convention is,A deus ex machina,B cogito ergo sum. C caveat emptor,E in medias res,5 Calypso decides to let Odysseus go because.
A she realizes he is not in love with her, B she sees an omen of an eagle with a snake in its talons. C Hermes messenger of the gods tells her that Zeus has commanded it. D Hermes messenger of the gods tells her that Circe is in love with Odysseus. E she planned to keep him with her for exactly seven years and the time is up. 6 The Trojan War began when, A Menelaus wife Helen ran off with Paris a prince of Troy. B the Trojans refused the gift of a ne horse from the Greeks. C the Trojans kidnapped Helen and held her hostage. D Paris prince of Troy insulted Helen saying she was not the most beautiful woman. in the world,E Agamemnon quarreled with Odysseus, 7 On what was seemingly a simple voyage home after the Trojan War Odysseus troubles. began when he and his crew decided to, A test the theory that no ship could pass between Scylla and Charybdis. B raid and pillage the Cicons to collect treasure before returning home. C sail to Egypt to visit an ancient Pharaoh with potent life giving herbs. D shoot magic arrows into the clouds to provoke the west wind. E nd the eece of Jason, 8 The trait in Odysseus that Athena nds most alluring is his.
D chastity,E strength, 9 Odysseus travels to Hades to speak to the souls of the dead because. A he wants to know the fate of his mother,B Circe tells him to talk to Agamemnon. C Circe tells him to talk to the blind seer Teiresias. D Circe tells him he must take Elpenor there, E he wants to converse with the souls of the great dead. 10 Odysseus does not tell his men about the monster Scylla because. A he is afraid they will want to challenge her, B he is afraid they will try to steal her sacred goats. C he forgets to tell them because he is under Circe s spell. D he wants to see the monster for himself,E he is afraid his men will abandon their oars.
11 How long do Odysseus and his men stay at Circe s house. A ve hours,B one year,C one month,D ten years,E three days. 12 What is the name of the eternal resting place for souls favored by the gods. B Gymnasium,D Omphalos,E Limbolos,13 Poseidon wants to make Odysseus suffer because. A Ithaca does not have a temple dedicated to him, B Odysseus forgot to offer hecatombs to Poseidon before sailing. C Odysseus father shot an arrow through the sea god s ears. D Odysseus and his men ate all the sh in the Aegean Sea. E Odysseus blinded Poseidon s son, 14 Before Telemachus calls for an assembly in Ithaca how many other assemblies had been. called since his father Odysseus left for Troy,D nineteen.
15 What is the nickname for the seals that sleep in shoals around the god Proteus in the. A the barking dogs of Hecate,B Halosydne s chickens. C the knights of Sophocles,D the Argives,E Charybdis otters. 16 What animal is most often associated with omens in the Odyssey. E basilisk, 17 Which mythological creature below is not present in the Odyssey. B the sirens,D Charybdis,18 What does the name Odysseus mean. A king of men,B wandering soul,C loyal heart,D child of anger.
E child of the gods, 19 Who speaks the following line I will now see whether Apollo will vouchsafe it to me to. hit another mark which no man has yet hit Pg 223,A Antinous. B Eurymachus,C Telemachus,D Odysseus, 20 Athena intervenes to end the ghting between Odysseus and Telemachus and the. relatives of the slain suitors who have come seeking revenge however she does not stop. the ghting right away because, A she wants to wait until Odysseus and Telemachus are about to be slaughtered to. 1 show how the Odyssey ts the de ned characteristics of the epic poem and discuss how elements of the Odyssey are remnants of its oral tradition such as the use of epithets recitation of lineage the use of in medias res 2 de ne and cite instances of the following literary terms allusion anthropomorphism

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