Homer’s great epic describes the many adventures of Odysseus, the Greek warrior, as he strives over many years to return to his home island of Ithaca after the Trojan War. His colourful adventures, his endurance, his love for his wife and son have the same power to move and inspire readers today as they did in Archaic Greece, 2800 years ago.
Generally attributed to the ancient Greek poet Homer, The Odyssey is considered one of the most important works of classical antiquity, an epic poem about the events at the end of the Trojan War which is generally thought to have been written near the end of the 8th century BC.
This story centers on Odysseus and his ten year journey to reach his home in Ithaca. Because of his long absence, Odysseus is presumed dead, leaving his wife Penelope and son Telemachus to deal with a group of suitors, the Proci, who compete for Penelope’s hand in marriage. After seven years of captivity by the nymph Calypso, Odysseus undergoes an arduous journey home. Along the way he encounters, the witch-goddess Circe, the land of the Sirens, the six-headed monster Scylla, and the sea monster Charybdis.
The Odyssey is at once the story of an ordinary man’s struggle of will against forces beyond his control which keep him from being reunited with his family and a classically epic mythological tale.
I would honestly rather read The Iliad. The Odyssey is mind-numbing to me. In part because Odysseus is a sleazy guy and Penelope would be so much better without him. And in other part because I can’t be intrigued by the adventures of an awful character who, by some unexplainable means, has gained favor among the gods.
And if The Iliad was repetitive, The Odyssey is even worse. In fact, if you were to skip to the part where Odysseus meets the king and tells him his story, you could literally read a condensed version of the entire story thus far and save yourself a world of time.
I won’t drone on and on. It’s clear I’m not a fan of this one but, if for no other reason, I suppose I at least understand the Percy Jackson chronicle a little better.
Photo and synopsis from Amazon