Interpretive Questions from "The Odyssey"

Essay by LL94588University, Bachelor'sA+, February 2006

download word file, 7 pages 1.0

Downloaded 33 times

Homer, "The Odyssey", Book 1

Question One:

Who is the narrator in this story?


1. "Sing to me of the man, Muse, the man of twists and turns driven time and again off course, once he had plundered the hallowed heights of Troy" (Page 77, Lines 1 - 3).

2. "By now, all the survivors, all who avoided the headlong death were safe at home, escaped the wars and waves" (Page 77, Lines 13 - 15).


Is the narrator a god - some wise, all-knowing power or entity that watches over all men? Though, I wouldn't think that this would be the case, because on page 78, lines 21 - 24, the narrator speaks about gods and how every god took pity except Poseidon. The narrator comes across (to me) as if he is not one of the gods, but an onlooker of some sort - perhaps a historian?

Question Two:

Who is the narrator speaking to or about?


1. "But one man alone... his heart set on his wife and his return - Calypso. The bewitching nymph, the lustrous goddess, held him back" (Page 78, Line 16 - 20).

2. "But then, when the wheeling seasons brought the year around, that year spun out by the gods when he should reach his home, Ithaca - though not even there would he be free of trials..."(Page 77, Lines 19 -21).


Who is being held back by Calypso? Is this a tale about one man alone as it says, or is this something more evasive - more generic, such as man in general or society - married men held back by lust towards another woman? Man, wanting something that is inaccessible rather than focusing on what is at present? If I had to answer my own question...