Trying to study The Odyssey? Know that The Odyssey is a great work of ancient literature, although it’s not always open to easy interpretation. This web-page will be able to provide you with online resources that will assist you on your way to understanding the underlying concepts of The Odyssey. Use this page as a resource to guide yourself through the many small stories that are found in The Odyssey.

What is The Odyssey?

Written sometime between 800 and 600 BCE, the Odyssey is one of the best known works of ancient literature. Its author is known to be Homer; and in a way, the Odyssey is a sequel to Homer’s Iliad, which is an epic poem about the Trojan War.

In totality, The Odyssey is an epic poem illustrating Odysseus’ ten-year struggle to return home after the Trojan War. During his journey, he battles monstrous mystical creatures, and faces the wrath of the gods. While he is trying to return home, his wife, Penelope, and son, Telemachus, try to fend off suitors who are vying for Penelope’s hand in marriage, which would lead to control of the Ithacan throne.

Websites

You came here for resources, right? Here are a couple super helpful websites that would make your research a whole lot easier.

schmoop – schmoop offers a different variety of resources that would help you on your way to understanding The Odyssey. These resources may range from videos, to flashcards or quizzes. If, you wish to utilize those resources. If not, there are plenty of written summaries on each book of the poem. However, if you don’t have time to sit and read through all the summaries of each book, then there’s an overall summary on all of the events. It’s guaranteed that you will not be bored reading through the great mass of information. The sarcasm and witty humor of the writers will most definitely draw your attention toward the computer screen. Don’t believe me? Click on the link and read the first paragraph.

CliffsNotes – Like schmoop, CliffsNotes offers a summary through all of the books existing in the epic poem. Although, CliffsNotes has its information more condensed and is a much shorter read. However, there’s no sign of sarcasm or “fun-reading” in this resource; it gets to the point. Great if you want your information fast, and no extra reading in-between.

mythweb – This site provides plenty of information from the Odyssey – in story format. There’s a “short-version” of the story on this website, as well as the detailed version. Also, a document including The Odyssey in story-format is available for printing. As an extra, the site includes an Index, which lists all the people, places, and important objects in the story. One click on a link will take you straight to the section of the story that includes whatever it is that you’re looking for. This site supplies a myriad of information in an entertaining and appealing way.

sparknotes – The layout and organization of this site is very similar to that of schmoop and CliffsNotes. However, this site has its information organized in a much more condensed manner, even more than that of of CliffsNotes. It includes a summary and analysis of each book included in the epic poem. Unfortunately, it’s extremely easy to become distracted if you are trying to study The Odyssey. There’s a side-section called “Take a Study Break” and one look at one of the topics offered will reel you in. Make sure that while you are taking advantage of sparknotes, try not to be distracted. Then again, it’s nice to have a break once in awhile.

THE ULTIMATE RESOURCE

The Odyssey – Book – As helpful these online resources are, the actual book will provide you with the best results. It’s recommended that you read the book first, then possibly use these resources to assist you in interpreting the story. This link will take you to an online version of the full book, which was translated by Samuel Butler.

Finale

For whatever assignment you are assigned, whether it be a book report, or a 12-page research paper, it’s always best to read the actual book. The original, or translated, version of the book should always be your first resource, because it’s the main source of information!

This page should provide you with a starting point for your assignment. Whatever you’re to do, these resources should assist you on your way to gain a high score. Then again, you must correctly utilize these resources to gain the most out of it.

It’s ultimately up to you! The resources have been provided, now you must correctly utilize them.

Go research!

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