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The Odyssey

Reading Assignment #1

(pgs. 722-730)


1.   1) Instead of beginning his epic with the adventures of Odysseus, Homer takes four books to describe the problems and travels of the hero’s son, Telemachus. Describe the specific problems that exist in Ithaca with Odysseus gone.


2.   2) We have heard several people talking about the absent hero, including himself in the invocation to the Muse. Describe what we know so far about Odysseus’ character. What are his main traits?


3.   3) What conflicts/complications have been presented so far?


Choose one of the following two questions to answer:


4.   4) What are the specific problems that confront Telemachus—or anyone else—who feels they must follow in someone else’s footsteps?


5.   5) What women have been presented so far in the epic? Based on what we’ve read so far, describe the roles women seem to take in Homeric society.

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