the odyssey question, writing homework help

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PICK 8 (eight) OF THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS to ANSWER.

Add quote with page/text citations for 4 (four) of your answers (for practice for your essay):

1) Quote and text page citations: Add a quote from the textbook to back up your opinion for at least 4 of your 8 answers, proving your reading of the text. (You’ll be citing the textbook page numbers to prove that.)  Your quotes should be LESS than 3 lines long, and can even be as short as a phrase if you write them correctly (see Works Cited Quick Guide “Signal Phrases.) 

2) “Works Cited Page” full textbook citation.  ADD one at the end of your QAs for those page citations to refer to. It validates your quotes and text page numbers. (And it’s good practice for your Midterm Essay where leaving it off could fail you.) 

Again, ADD ONLY ONE full citation for entire QA at bottom.

3) Find the full Works Cited Page textbook citation waiting for you! 
Where?  Under “Works Cited Page” in  Works Cited Quick Guide in CONTENT.

textbook  :  The norton anthlogy of world literature shorter third edition


1. “The Odyssey is not just a story. It’s a story about telling stories.” What does this comment about The Odyssey mean? (See introduction explanation about the traveling poets who told Odysseus stories, and how Homer pulled them together for written format.) After reading your required episodes/books, and the study guide link’s summary for the entire work, in what sense is this comment true?

2. (Book V) When we first see Odysseus, he is crying. What is he crying about? What do we learn from this first view of him and from the dialogue with Kalypso (Calypso) that follows?

3. (Book V) Before Odysseus makes it to the land of the Phaiakians, he nearly drowns; yet he resists a goddess’s offer to help. Why does he hesitate to accept help? What does this incident tell us about Odysseus?

4. (Book IX) As he puts out to sea after blinding Polyphemos, Odysseus shouts out his real name to the blinded giant. What does this say about Odysseus’s character and how it that important to the overall story? 

5. (Book XI) Odysseus visits the underworld. Note especially what Achilles says about being alive versus being dead. Discuss this famous statement. What do you think he’s telling Odysseus?

6. (Book XIII) We learn some important things along with both Odysseus and Athena during the interview in which she is disguised as a shepherd.  What are they?  

7. Odysseus uses a false name several times. Why would he hesitate to reveal who he is at various points in the story?

8.( Book XVII) Everyone and everything in a story is there for the purpose of furthering the tale somehow, either plot or characterization, revealing something the reader should know about a character or the plot. What is the narrative function of the dog Argos?

9. The Odyssey contains a number of older men. Who are they? Why are there so many? What are their narrative function for Odysseus’ learning experience on his way home?  (Hint: Keep in mind that this story is in one sense an “initiation story.” If you aren’t sure what an “initiation story” is, be sure to look it up. Just type it into Google.)

10.  People in the days of this tale seem to take strangers in to their homes and lives without question.  Discuss the theme of hospitality throughout The Odyssey and its importance in the Homeric world.

11. What do you think of the ending? Was it satisfying? Effective? Were there elements about it that showed it to be very much made for the traveling poets who loved to keep the audience on the edge of their seats–and in their seats for as long as possible? Discuss it in context of the overall adventure.

12. The women in The Odyssey are clever and capable. However, they fall into two categories: the femme fatale and the noble woman (and notice one of them is a goddess). What does this contrast add to the story and what might it say about Homer’s (and his readers/listeners’) view of women? Plus, who’s your favorite and why? 

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