Synopses & Reviews
This handy guide to The Odyssey introduces students to a text which has been fundamental to literature for nearly 3,000 years. Providing a summary of the poem and examining its structure, Jasper Griffin clearly outlines the unity, values and techniques of the poem, as well as the reasons for its longstanding appeal. Students will discover the essential themes of loyalty and betrayal, and will be guided through the narrative of Odysseus' adventures, in addition to a helpful guide to further reading. First Edition Hb (1987): 0-521-32804-7 First Edition Pb (1987): 0-521-31043-1
"Intelligent and readable, it offers a concise overview of the issues most frequently raised when students approach Homer for the first time." Classical World
This handy guide will introduce students to a text that has been fundamental to literature for nearly 3000 years.
Jasper Griffin discusses the background of the poem in oral poetry. He shows that the epic has a coherent structure built upon the interplay of themes such as travel, hospitality, loyalty, family affection, and a keen and discerning interest in women.
Table of Contents
Preface; Part I. The Making of the Odyssey: 1. The background of the Odyssey; 2. The date of the Odyssey; 3. Bards and oral poetry; 4. The language of the Odyssey and the 'formulaic system'; 5. Is the Odyssey an oral poem?; 6. Alternative Odysseys?; 7. How the poem comes down to us; Part II. The Poem: 8. Summary; 9. Translating Homer; 10. Shape and unity; 11. The epic style: grandeur and realism; 12. The epic: technique and variety; 13. The Odyssey and the Iliad; 14. Myth and folklore; 15. Some problems; 16. Men and gods; 17. Men and women; 18. Society and geography; 19. The values of the Odyssey; Part III. The Odyssey and After: 20. The after-life of the Odyssey; Guide to further reading.