Least Tern > English Classroom > Odyssey Guide

The Odyssey

Themes

Terms and Conventions
Poetics
Figurative Language
Structure
Who's who
Places
Themes
Overview
Greek warriors - pottery fragment

Image source: http://www.beloit.edu/~classics/main/courses/classics100/museum2/art_museum2.html


Note: This site is designed to be used with Robert Fagles' translation of the Odyssey, published by Penguin USA. It was prepared for a 9th grade English class.

Hospitality

Respect for the Gods

The Importance of Lineage

Loyalty

Pride and Honor

Resisting Temptation

Live Life to the Fullest

Self-discipline

The Importance of Leadership

This is a top down society. The leaders we meet (Odysseus, Nestor, Alcinous etc.) do not rule democratically. The rule by "divine right" and by force of character. Probably the most important quality of leadership is courage.

Justice

Revenge

Homer seems to think that revenge is well justified and people are entitled to it.

Reconciliation

At the end of the book Athena ensures that the people of Ithaca are reconciled with Odysseus. The test Odysseus and various members of his family undergo with each other suggest that their reunions also involve reconciliation.

Fate

top Odyssey Overview

Least Tern - John McIlvain - February 8, 2004