Table of Contents | Message Board | Printable Version | Barron's Booknotes
1. What is an epic? Analyze The Odyssey and explain how it is characteristically an ancient epic.
2. Analyze the role and nature of fate and gods in The Odyssey.
3. The growth and development of Odysseus' character is an important theme of the poem. Explain how Odysseus grows during the epic. Also explain why or why not you agree that his growth is a key theme.
4. Write a character analysis of Penelope.
5. Athena plays an important role in the poem. Analyze her role and relationship with Odysseus.
6. Analyze The Odyssey as a sequel to The Iliad.
7. Trace the adventures of Odysseus and his company in the first two years after the fall of Troy.
8. Examine the significance of Odysseus' descent into the underworld and the Hall of Hades and relate what happens there.
9. "The suitors are an embodiment of a heroic society in decay." Examine this statement and state whether you agree with it or not and why.
10. Examine the structure of The Odyssey and state its important features.
11. Relate the details of Odysseus' stay at Phaecia with King Alcinous.
12. Odysseus' encounter with Polyphemus is the cause of Poseidon's wrath. Explain Odysseus' unheroic and negative traits in this episode.
13. Explain how the long story of Odysseus' return is dealt with in the last four Books.
14. When does the epic reach its climax? Analyze the climactic scene.
15. The suitors' slaying is brutal. Do you think it is justified? Support your position with logical reasons.
16. Relate the details of Telemachus' visit to Pylos and Sparta. How do you think he benefits from this journey?
17. Athena aids Odysseus and Telemachus throughout. Do you think this diminishes or enhances their heroic stature? Support your position with logical reasons.
18. Relate how Odysseus manages to take vengeance on the suitors, who outnumber him and his party.
19. The Odyssey possesses a supernatural element. Examine it and explain its role and significance.
20. The Odyssey deals twice with the ancient theme of the witch who detains the hero on his return
21. by making him live with her. Contrast the characters and roles of Circe and Calypso.
22. Odysseus is often called "brave" and "enduring." Recount the places in the epic where he has exhibited these two qualities.
23. Examine the significance of the roles played by Eumaeus, Eurycleia, and Philoetius. 24. State and examine some of the important themes of this epic.