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Barron's Booknotes-The Odyssey by Homer

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1. Compare the Homeric epic hero with an example of today's antihero.

2. Discuss the role of humiliation in the making of a hero, with reference to The Odyssey.

3. Contrast a realistic, descriptive passage in The Odyssey with an idealized, descriptive passage as the basis for commenting on realistic versus idealistic writing.

4. Does Penelope unconsciously recognize Odysseus in Book 19?

5. Discuss the position of women in the Homeric world.

6. Examine the relationship between man and nature in The Odyssey.

7. Discuss ritual in The Odyssey as it applies to bathing, eating, and the sacrifice of animals.

8. Compare the themes of The Iliad and The Odyssey.

9. What aspects of political and social life in Homeric and pre-Homeric times are reflected in The Odyssey?

10. Compare the tests faced by Telemakhos with those faced by Odysseus.

11. Discuss the function of the Agamemnon story in The Odyssey.

12. Compare the heroes in The Iliad to Odysseus. How is Odysseus different from a traditional epic hero?

13. Discuss three events in The Odyssey that reveal three contradictory aspects of Odysseus' character.

14. Discuss the meaning of the Seirenes, Skylla and Kharybdis, and Aeolus.

15. Discuss the trial of the bow and axes as part of folkloric tradition.

16. Comment on Homer's style: his formal rhetoric, his use of sensory imagery, his occasional revelation of feeling.

17. Discuss Homer's use of irony in The Odyssey.

18. Where does the dramatic climax of The Odyssey come?

19. Comment on the role of Athena in The Odyssey. Defend the argument that she, not Penelope, is the leading female figure.

20. What is known about Homer's life and work? What is known about the oral tradition he is a part or. Why are his poems considered classics?

21. Discuss the relationship between Knossos, Troy, and Mycenae and The Odyssey.

Table of Contents

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Barron's Booknotes-The Odyssey by Homer

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