1 x 2-hour seminar weekly
Topic description

This topic examines Homer's epic poem The Odyssey. Through a variety of written and audio visual resources the epic genre will be examined, as well as the life and works of Homer. A number of themes will be explored, including some of the main characters (mortal and divine) in the work, notions of journey home, and the religious, social and political life of the Ancient Greek World. Elements of the Odyssey will be traced from ancient to contemporary contexts, through different literary texts and the visual arts.

Educational aims

This topic aims to:

  • Provide students with an introduction to the elements and forms of Ancient Greek epic poems
  • Examine the notion of real and figurative journey and it's place in epic poetry
  • Introduce characters of the Odyssey and examine their role as representational figures
  • Explore a range of themes represent in the Odyssey, such as the guest-host relationship, family relationships, mortal-god interactions
Expected learning outcomes
On completion of this topic you will be expected to be able to:

  1. Identify and analyse the role of epic poetry in Ancient Greek in social and political life
  2. Analyse themes of the works of Homer, such as journeyman, the guest-host relationships, the trickster, and draw comparisons with contemporary society and arts
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of the mortal and divine characters in Odyssey, and their symbolic use

Key dates and timetable

(1), (2)

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