The Odyssey

Love, Magic & Eye-Rolling

By Homer
Translated by Emily Wilson or Richard Lattimore
Ancient Greek, c. 800 BCE
Epic Poetry, Greek Mythology 

Main Attractions

Translated by Emily Wilson, By Homer
1. All about the journey, not the destination.
2. Various roles of a son & his parents.
3. Steeped in some historical truths.
4. Everything that can go wrong does.
5. A writer’s guide to creating conflict.
6. From Odyssey’s battle at war to within himself. 
7. Penelope’s battle to protect their home.
8. Telemachus’ coming of age story.
9. The gods settle for the backstage in this tale.
10. Excellent way to get started comparing translations.


By Homer, Translated by Emily Wilson, Quote

Cuisine & Delicacies
Ranked as: Lasagna or Hearty Casserole
There’s three things in this book to leave you filled with provoked thoughts; double standards, the audacity of how long it took Odysseus to get home & the plethora of options when choosing a translation.  For double standards, Penelope remains utterly faithful to her husband while he engages in sexual encounters while claiming mental faithfulness to his wife.  That mental faithfulness is even brought up for such an old text must have been groundbreaking for the time.  Also that Homer included the struggles Penelope went through to keep the home safe for when he returned home is incredible.  Since this book is such a cornerstone for Western culture, it’s been translated ever since it’s initial time being set into writing.  It’s fascinating to explore how the same passage was translated in so many different ways throughout modern history.  Of course how such a seemingly simple story can become so complicated and reveal so much about humanity is astounding as well.

Why Visit Here 

The Odyssey is a must read for fans of Ulysses.  It can be read before or after Ulysses, depending on the reading experience you are looking for.  It’s also the sequel to The Iliad & a precursor for The Aeneid, two other great ancient epics that are must reads for getting deeper into western literature.  As a stand alone, the Odyssey is a great story of a single man’s journey home to his family.  The excessive amount of trouble he has in this very simple quest begs for satire.

Destination Summary

The Trojan war is finished and Ulysses is on his way back home.  Unfortunately, he encounters a number of set backs everything from his men being turned into pigs to being hypnotized by a witch.  Needless to say, it takes him well over 20 years to return home, tired and worn out from fighting and his adventures

Off the Beaten Path

This video talks about one of the plants featured in The Odyssey named Molly.  Molly is the leading lady in Joyce’s Ulysses, a very unconventional adaptation of The Odyssey.

Packing List
✓ Map of Odysseus’ travels to see the plotted audacity.
✓ Strong sense of humour for keeping patience with Odysseus.
✓ Pencil for underlining all the great poetic phrases & wisdom.

Recommended Resources
Alternate Books
✓ The Iliad By Homer ( C. 800 BC) - The prequel & a natural reading companion for The Odyssey.  Together these two books represent a more complete commentary of what it means to be human.  The Iliad has a variety of social morals to teach for the public sphere and The Odyssey overs insights for the inner world of the three main characters.

✓ The Aeneid By Virgil (19 BC) - An epic poem about the founding of Rome, Virgil’s successful attempt to rival the Greeks in their craft of building a literary canon. 

✓ Ulysses By James Joyce (1922) - A very unorthodox adaptation that takes the comical side of Homer’s epic to the very next level.  As an adaptation, it turns Odysseus’ journey into a lifetime one journey for the reader because Joyce included so many literary styles & references.