Understanding the Odyssey: A Student Casebook to Issues, Sources, and Historic Documents

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 2003 - 224 էջ

For thousands of years, The Odyssey has resonated throughout the Western world. Homer has been an original source of inspiration to writers, painters, sculptors, and filmmakers, as well as a vital source of information about the mythology, history, and culture of ancient Greece. This casebook uniquely blends commentary and primary documents, situating the epic within historical contexts that are important for students to understand.

The literary analysis chapter is ideal for readers coming to The Odyssey for the first time, introducing the work with a chronology of events and identification of major characters and themes. Topical chapters carefully consider matters of mythology, geography, archeology, and class issues pertinent to The Odyssey. Excerpts from classical and scholarly sources, including Herodotus, Plato, Thucydides, and Bulfinch, help students understand the historical framework, and materials from government documents and newspaper accounts help students make connections betweenThe Odyssey's thematic ideas and current events, such as the September 11th attacks and the ongoing conflict in Ireland.


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2 Greek Mythology and Homer
3 The Geography of The Odyssey
4 Archaeological Excavations Pertinent to Homers Epics
5 The Historical Context of The Odyssey
6 The Trojan War of Myth and Legend
The Underclasses
The Problem of Revenge
The Athlete and Athletics
The Evolution of the Heroic Ideal
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CLAUDIA DURST JOHNSON, former chairperson of English at the University of Alabama, is currently a freelance scholar and writer in Berkeley, California. She is the author of books on American history and literature, as well as theater history. She is also series editor for Greenwood Press's Exploring Social Issues through Literature Series and the Literature in Context Series, for which she has authored several volumes including Understanding To Kill a Mockingbird and Understanding The Grapes of Wrath.

VERNON JOHNSON has wide experience as an author, theater director, and professor of world literature. He is co-author of Understanding The Crucible. He now resides in Berkeley, California, where he continues to write and teach.

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