Explain the structure of the Odyssey, the voices we are hearing, and circumstances under which we are hearing the story.

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mattbuckley eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The structure of the Odyssey is that of an Epic poem. It is an incredibly long poem involving the work, deeds, actions, and tales of heroes and Gods. The story of Odysseus is told in what is known as frame narration. It begins with the poet asking Muse for inspiration, pleading "Sing in me, muse, and through me tell the story of that man skilled in all ways of contending". From this we have the poet narrator inspired by the Muse. In the story, the voice of Odysseus comes out as he tells his tale to Alcinoos. So then, the Epic continues in the form of frame narration until we are told all of the back story leading up to that moment in the hall of Alcinoos.