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The Odyssey Teaching Unit
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- Discuss the literary techniques of in medias res and digression as they apply to the Odyssey. Why are these methods of narration effective in the Odyssey? What is added to the story by the use of these techniques?
- What characteristics define epic and modern heroes? How are they different? How does Odysseus display the characteristics of an epic hero?
- There are repeated references to the fate of Agamemnon in the story. What significance does the prevalence of Agamemnon’s tale have to the story of Odysseus?
- Discuss the character of Penelope. Is she always loyal to Odysseus? What circumstances of ancient Greek society make it diffi cult for her to be completely loyal?
- Discuss the ethics of the Odyssey and how they differ from ethics typically accepted in modern society. How are cunning and deception looked at in the Odyssey? How are stealing and using one’s power to take advantage of others looked upon in the Odyssey?
- Discuss both the positive and negative attributes of the Greek gods. How does the ancient Greek concept of godliness differ from the modern one? What differences exist between the powers of male and female gods?
- Discuss Odysseus’ values. How do they differ from modern values? Is Odysseus a loyal husband to Penelope? Is Odysseus a faithful commander to his crew? What choices does Odysseus make that seem to inhibit or contradict his stated priority of making it home?
- Characters are described as static (flat) or dynamic (round). Identify the major characters in the Odyssey according to these characterizations and justify your distinctions.
About this Document
A teaching unit and individual learning packet from Prestwick House. Includes the following: comprehensive chapter-by-chapter study guides for students; questions suitable for essay topics or discussion; vocabulary lists; multiple-choice and essay test with answer key; introductory material from Prestwick House to familiarize both students and teachers with the work.