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STUDYWORLD STUDYNOTES:

CLASSIC LITERATURE ANALYSIS

STUDYWORLD REPORTS & ESSAYS

RESEARCH AND IDEA DATABASE




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"AND""OR"

Odysseus: A Greek Epic Hero
Odysseus was a king of Ithaca who fought in the Trojan War and wandered for ten years afterward. He was the son of Laertes and Anticlia. He married Penelope, daughter of Icarus. Their son Telemachus was born just before the Trojan War began. Odysseus was a strong and valiant warrior. He was the cleverest and craftiest man in the Greek army. Late in the war, he captured a Trojan seer, who told the Greeks what they had to do to win . Odysseus made sure that these things were done. He and Diomedes entered Troy in disguise, and carried off the Palladium, an image of Pallas Athena. As long as the Trojans had it, the city could not be taken. He brought Achilles' son, Pyrrhus, to Troy to take his father's place. He brought Philoctetes with the bow of Hercules, to Troy. Without that bow, the Greeks could not take Troy. Odysseus invented the wooden horse, which Epeus built, and he was one of the men inside the gorse on the night of Troy's fall. When Odysseus and his Ithacan company started home in their ships, a storm blew them off their course. Odysseus did not get home for ten years, and lost all his men in the meantime. Homer's Odyssey tells the story of his adventures: how he escaped death from the Cyclops, the giant Lastrygonians, Scylla, and the Sirens; how he outwitted Circe; and how he traveled even to the land of the dead beyond the Ocean Stream. When Odysseus finally came home to Ithaca, he had to disguise himself as a beggar, because his house was filled with violent and dangerous men who wanted to marry his wife, Penelope. He revealed his identity only to Telemachus and to his faithful swineherd, Eumaeus. Penelope had held off her suitors as long as she could, hoping always that Ulysses would come back. At last she was forced to set a contest among them. The man who could string Odysseus' bow and shoot an arrow through twelve rings would marry her. All failed, and then the disguised Odysseus took the bow, strung it, and shot an arrow through every ring. Then he suddenly turned the bow against the suitors, and killed every one of them.. He was able to recover his wife and his kingdom and lived to be an old man.

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