The Odyssey by Homer

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Topics for Further Study

(Epics for Students)

  • In the "lying speech" to his wife in Book 19, Odysseus says to Penelope (speaking of himself in the third person):"Odysseus would have been home long ago, but he felt in his spirit that it would be better to go all about the world collecting possessions." Consider carefully Odysseus's character, as portrayed by Homer in the poem so far. Do you think he was motivated only by greed? Why or why not? The Greek word chremata, which can be translated as "possessions," can mean money or other valuables: but its literal meaning is "things that are useful or needful." What sorts of "useful" or "needful" things does Odysseus collect on his wanderings?
  • What are the values of a hero (for example, Achilles, Hector, or any of the other...

(The entire section is 258 words.)