The Odyssey is not just a story. It's a story about telling stories. What does this comment about the Odyssey mean?In what sense is this comment true? Give a couple of examples to justify your...

The Odyssey is not just a story. It's a story about telling stories. What does this comment about the Odyssey mean?

In what sense is this comment true? Give a couple of examples to justify your answer.

Asked on by taco02

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lsumner's profile pic

lsumner | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted on

The Odyssey is not just a story. It is a story about several stories as told by Odysseus. Odysseus is sharing his adventures through a flashback. He begins his story in what is known as medias res which means in the middle of things.

To the King and Queen of Phaeacia, Odysseus begins telling of the Lotus Eaters and the Cyclops and Circe and Calypso. Each adventure told is a flashback on what has happened to Odysseus on his way home form the Trojan War. The Trojan War lasted ten years. Then it has taken another ten years for Odysseus to finally make it home.

He shares this story of traveling home with the the Phaeacians. They long to hear every detail of Odysseus' ten-year adventure.

Odysseus arrives at the palace and begs the assistance of King Alcinous and Queen Arete. He gives an edited version of his "adventures" to date...

After telling each individual story, the Phaeacians help Odysseus travel home. Although he reaches Ithaca, his story is far from over. Now, he must fight the suitors who are after Penelope's hand in marriage. Of course, Odysseus wins the battle and the story ends in a happily-ever-after fashion.

wattersr's profile pic

wattersr | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted on

The Phaecians are told this story straight from Odysseus' mouth.  These people were given the opportunity to carry on his story through word of mouth.  Who knows, it might have been someone just like them who was told the story as a child and then later recited it to Homer. 

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