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GREEK

MYTOLOGY

TROJAN WAR

HOMER

Homer(AncientGreek: [hm ro], Hmros)isbest


knownastheauthoroftheIliadandtheOdyssey.Hewas
believedbytheancientGreekstohavebeenthefirstand
greatestoftheepicpoets.Authorofthefirst
knownliteratureofEurope,heiscentraltotheWestern
canon.
Whenhelived,aswellaswhetherhelivedatall,is
unknown.HerodotusestimatesthatHomerlivednomore
than400yearsbeforehisowntime,whichwouldplacehimat
around850BCEorlater. ]Pseudo-Herodotusestimatesthat
hewasborn622yearsbeforeXerxesIplacedapontoon
bridgeovertheHellespontin480BCE,whichwouldplace
himat1102BCE,168yearsafterthefallofTroyin1270BCE.
Thesetwoendpointsare252yearsapart,representativeof
thedifferencesindatesgivenbytheothersources.

TheimportanceofHomertotheancientGreeksis
describedinPlato'sRepublic,portrayshimastheprotos
didaskalos,"firstteacher",ofthetragedians,the
hegemonpaideias,"leaderofGreekculture",andtheten
Helladapepaideukon,"teacherof[all]Greece".Homer's
works,whichareaboutfiftypercentspeeches,provided
modelsinpersuasivespeakingandwritingthatwere
emulatedthroughouttheancientandmedievalGreek
worlds.FragmentsofHomeraccountfornearlyhalfofall
identifiableGreekliterarypapyrusfindsinEgypt.

TROJAN WAR

CHARACTER

Characters

Athena. The Goddess of Wisdom, Heroic Endevour, Justice


and Strategically guided Warfare. ...

Odysseus. Odysseus leads his army in the trojan war. ...

Achilles. Achilles was the central character and greatest


warrior in Homer's classic tale The Iliad.

Menelaus.

Agamemnon.

Zeus.

Thetis.

Helen of Troy.

Settings
TroyHisarlik
Turkey

PLOT

Exposition
The exposition (or introduction) of Homer's The
Odyssey introduces the character of Odysseus being discussed
by Athena and Zeus, her father. She wants to know why
Odysseus has not been able to return home, even though the
Trojan War has been over for ten years.Then Athena said,
Father, son of Cronus, King of kings...it is for Odysseus that my
heart bleeds, when I think of his sufferings in that lonely sea-girt
island, far away, poor man, from all his friends.

Later the reader learns the details of Odysseus' trials to return


home as he tells of his adventures and trials (through Book 12). In
this introductory part of the story, Zeus alludes to the longer story
of the Cyclopes, Polyphemusthe son of Poseidon. Because
Odysseus had behaved dishonorably toward Polyphemus (even
though the giant ate some of Odysseus' men), Poseidon has
punished Odysseus by keeping him away from home. At that
moment, though, because Poseidon is not present, Zeus releases
Odysseus so he may return to his wife and son. It is also in this
section (Book 1) that Athena instructs Telemachus (Odysseus' son)
to seek out what information he may be able to find about his
father.In general the reader learns that Odysseus was at war; that
the Greek gods are involved in the story; that our hero angered
one god who kept him another ten years from his home; and, that
his son has not given up hope of his return.

RISING ACTION
The rising action starts with Book Two and continues
throughout the following books as we learn of Odysseus'
adventures, his travels towards Ithaca, the suitors who have
overrun his home, the attempt on his son's life, and
Odysseus' arrival in Ithaca. We see him reunited with two of
his servants and his son, and learn of the suitors' treatment
of the disguised Odysseus. Odysseus has plans to punish
the suitors, and Penelope has placed a test of strength
before them to see who (so shesays) she will marrybased
on who can complete the test. (No one but Odysseus can
do so.)

CLIMAX
The climax of the story takes place when Odysseus,
Telemachus and two servants attack and kill all the suitors.
At one point Odysseus calls on Athena, wondering how he
will be able to bring the suitors to their just punishment.
Athena chides andencourages him, saying:Am I not a
goddess, and have I not protected you throughout in all your
troubles? I tell you plainly that even though there were fifty
bands of men surrounding us and eager to kill us, you should
take all their sheep and cattle, and drive them away with
you.

FALLING ACTION
The falling action includes Odysseus' reunion with Penelope: how
she cannot believe it is him and how she tests him to make sure he
is who he says he isShe tells her servant to move Odysseus' bed
back into his room; only Odysseus would know this to be
impossible as he built the bed from a tree, and constructed the
room around the bed! She says:Euryclea, take his bed outside the
bed chamber that he himself built. Bring the bed outside this room,
and put bedding upon it with fleeces, good coverlets, and
blankets.When Odysseus grows angry, wondering who could have
moved the bed, Penelope is convinced this is her husband, and
she finally welcomes him home.

RESOLUTION
The resolution (conclusion) describes how the suitors
arrive in Hades; how Odysseus goes to see his elderly
father, Laertes; and, how the relatives of the suitors come
to take revenge on Odysseus. We learn of the ensuing
fight and Athena's ability to bring about peace between
them all.

THEME
The main theme of theIliad is stated in the first line, as Homer asks
the Muse to sing of the "wrath of Achilles." This wrath, all its permutations,
transformations, influences, and consequences, makes up the themes of the Iliad.In
essence, the wrath of Achilles allows Homer to present and develop, within the cultural
framework of heroic honor (see Critical Essay 1), the ideas of strife, alienation, and
reconciliation. The wrath of Achilles is provoked by Achilles' sense of honor as a result
of eris or discord, which leads to the warrior's alienation from the Greeks and eventually
from human society. Second, the wrath of Achilles sets him up in clear contrast to his
great Trojan counterpart in the story Hektor. Finally, the assuaging of Achilles' wrath
leads to the reconciliation and reintegration of the warrior, first into his own community
and second into the larger community of all humanity. When considering these three
basic ideas that result from the wrath of Achilles, readers can see a grand design in the
work that centers not so much on war as on the growth and development of an
individual character.

PROJECT IN ENGLISH
PREPARED BY: FRANCE ARRIAN NICDAO
10-ST. ILDEFONSUS