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What do you think of The Odyssey? Is it valuable enough for all high school students to...

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blackroses | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 23, 2009 at 12:23 PM via web

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What do you think of The Odyssey? Is it valuable enough for all high school students to read?

I am writing a critiacal essay on whether or not people should read the odessey and i have found some stuff but i need extra information just incase i run into the "oh no i dont have enough facts!" i mean if you can help me! PLEASE!!!!

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chikazu | Student , Undergraduate | Honors

Posted November 23, 2009 at 12:54 PM (Answer #2)

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Yes, The Odyssey is an epic that students should read if they want to understand anything at all about literature.

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akannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 23, 2009 at 3:16 PM (Answer #3)

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Certainly, the ideas in Homer's work can be appreciated by many a student.  The notion of the voyage, the hero, the idea of "grace under pressure," as well as the concept of the homecoming are two of many ideas that can be brought out in the work.  I think that students can not only appreciate these ideas, but find much in the way of modern application of such themes and ideas.  In this process, students are able to draw modern parallels with ideas from antiquity.

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readerofbooks | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 23, 2009 at 4:31 PM (Answer #4)

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This work is one of the essentials of Western literature. I would say that if a person has no idea of what this work is about, then that person will miss many themes in western literature. Also it is a great story. The idea of a voyage and homecoming are great - not to mention the beauty of the poetry.

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scarletpimpernel | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 23, 2009 at 5:36 PM (Answer #5)

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I agree with the previous posts.  Anyone who wants to be able to understand the many allusions to Greek mythology in western literature (especially Shakespeare) needs to read The Odyssey. Additionally, when I have taught The Odyssey my students have always enjoyed it, especially male readers.  Its themes are universal, and who can resist the interesting monsters?!

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 23, 2009 at 7:21 PM (Answer #6)

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    Homer's The Odyssey is absolutely one of the greatest works of world literature. It has a little of everything: heroic characters galore, warfare, mythological beings, monsters, revenge, trickery, love, seduction, terror, exploration. I have always found it one of the most fascinating stories ever. The language may be a bit to overcome, but few stories offer such a wide variety of characters and situations.

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ask996 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted November 24, 2009 at 10:11 AM (Answer #7)

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Is Homer's The Odyssey valuable enough for all high school students to read? Yes, but not simply because it is an amazing piece of literature that has withstood the test of time. It has withstood the test of time because it addresses themes that are still contemporary--life journeys, heroes, love, hate, revenge. What high school kid doesn't have to deal with some of that same stuff on a daily basis.

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charcunning | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

Posted March 27, 2010 at 8:35 PM (Answer #8)

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I think it was so much fun to teach! It offered the opportunity to teach all of the Greek mythology tied into it, and without a background in Greek myths, students will miss all of the allusions they encounter in later reading.

Leda and the Swan has no meaning at all if you don't know about Zeus and his philandering ways!

I taught this to 9th graders, so our textbook has an abridged version of the epic poem...thank goodness.

It offered just enough so that students were able to grasp the concept of the story and learn about the major events.

 

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