The Odyssey
Contributed by Joslyn Justiniano
Year Published
Epic Poetry
About the Title

If you have a taste for adventure and don’t mind reading for long periods of time, Homer’s poem, “The Odyssey,” covers and captivates many corners of the imagination, and has served as a thematic template for many derivative modern works. After losing his entire crew of men in a number of disasters and being shipwrecked for years, he begins his journey home (spoilers ahead). “The Odyssey” is famous for a number of its innovations, like when Odysseus stabs a cyclops in the eye and then fools it into thinking his name is “no one,” or when he has the brilliant idea of tying himself to the mast of his ship to hear the song of the Sirens for the sake of his curiosity while the rest of his crew took steps to block out sound. The epic also has a number of touching moments, such as when Odysseus returns in disguise to his homeland of Ithaca and only his loyal dog Argos recognizes him. Sadly, Odysseus must ignore Argos for fear of being discovered and killed as many were patiently seeking an opportunity to seize hold in the wake of his decade-long disappearance. Such moments only capture a fraction of the dangers, enemies, and allies that Odysseus encounters on his long journey back home.

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