Myths, Heroes, and Journeys



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The Odyssey

By Homer


http://www.liquiddragon.com/images/odyssey/odyssey_game_shot_3.jpg

Name: Period:

Mrs. Small/ Honors & College Prep



Myths, Heroes, and Journeys

What is a myth?

How are myths first passed from generation to generation?

What American myths are you familiar with? Do you have any family myths?

What Greek myths are you familiar with?

What characteristics do you believe a person should possess to be considered a hero?

What is a journey? What is the purpose of a journey? Are there characteristics that all journeys follow?

While reading the article, please use your ten post-its to jot down interesting or important facts about The Odyssey, Homer, and the time period in which he lived.
An Introduction to The Odyssey | David Adams Leeming, author
Almost three thousand years ago, people who lived in the starkly beautiful parts of the world we now call Greece were telling stories about a great war. The person credited with later gathering all these stories together and telling them as one unified epic is a man named Homer. Homer’s great war stories are called, in English, The Iliad and The Odyssey.

Homer’s stories probably can be traced to historical struggles for control of the waterway leading from the Aegean Sea to the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea. These real battles would have taken place as early as 1200 B.C.—a time that was at least as long ago for Homer’s audience as the Pilgrims’ landing at Plymouth Rock is for us.

Homer’s first epic was The Iliad, which tells of a ten-year war fought on the plains outside the walls of a great city called Troy (also known as Ilion). The ruins of Troy can still be seen in western Turkey. In Homer’s story the Trojan War was fought between the people of Troy and an alliance of Greek kings (at that time each island and area of the Greek mainland had its own king). The Iliad tells us that the cause of the war was sexual jealousy: The world’s most beautiful woman, Helen, abandoned her husband, Menelaus, a Greek king, and ran off with Paris, a prince of Troy.

The Odyssey, Homer’s second epic, is the story of one Greek soldier, Odysseus, to get home after the Trojan War.

All epics in the Western world owe something to the basic patterns established by these two stories.


EPICS AND VALUES

Epics are long narrative poems that tell of the adventure of heroes who in some way embody the values of their civilizations. The Greeks for centuries used The Iliad and The Odyssey in schools to teach Greek virtues. So it is not surprising that later cultures that admired the Homeric epics created their own epics, imitating Homer’s style but conveying their own value systems.

Still, for all the epics written since Homer’s time and for all the ones composed before it, when we think of the word epic, we think primarily of The Iliad and The Odyssey. Rome’s Aeneid, France’s Song of Roland, Italy’s Divine Comedy, the ancient Sumerian tale of Gilgamesh, India’s Mahabharata and Ramayana, Mali’s Sundiata—all are great stories in epic tradition. But to discover the heart of that tradition, we need to examine Homer’s epics.

The Iliad is the primary model for the epic of war. The Odyssey is the model for the epic of the long journey. The theme of the journey has been basic in Western literature—it is found in fairy tales, in novels such as The Incredible Journey, Moby Dick, and The Hobbit, and in such movies as The Wizard of Oz, Star Wars, The Lion King, and Forrest Gump. Thus, The Odyssey has been more widely read of Homer’s two great stories.


THE WAR-STORY BACKGROUND: VIOLENCE AND BRUTALITY

The background for Odysseus’ story is found in The Iliad, which is set in the tenth and final year of the Trojan War.

According to The Iliad, the Greeks attacked Troy to avenge the insult suffered by Menelaus, king of Sparta, when his wife, Helen, ran off with Paris, a young prince of Troy. The Greek kings banded together under the leadership of Agamemnon, the brother of Menelaus. In a thousand ships, the sailed across the Aegean Sea and encircle the walled city of Troy.

The audience of The Odyssey would have known this war story. Listeners would have known that the Greeks were eventually victorious, that they gained entrance to Troy, reduced the city to smoldering ruins, and butchered all the inhabitants, except for those they took as slaves back to Greece. They would have known all about the greatest of the Greek warriors, Achilles, who was to die young in the final year of the war. The audience would probably have heard other epic poems (now lost) that told of the homecomings of the various Greek heroes who survived the war. They would especially have known about the homecoming of Agamemnon, the leader of the Greek forces, who was murdered by his unfaithful wife when he returned from Troy.

Finally, Homer’s listeners might well have been particularly fascinated by another homecoming story—this one about a somewhat unusual hero, known as much for his brain as for his brawn. In fact, many legends had already grown up around this hero, whose name was Odysseus. He was the subject of Homer’s new epic, The Odyssey.
ODYSSEUS: A HERO IN TROUBLE

In Homer’s day heroes were thought of as a special class of aristocrats. They were placed somewhere between the gods and ordinary human beings. Heroes experienced pain and death, but they were always sure of themselves, always “on top of the world.”

Odysseus is different. He is a hero in trouble. We can relate to Odysseus because we share with him a sense of being somehow lost in a world with difficult choices. Like Odysseus, we have to cope with unfair authority figures. Like him, we have to work very hard to get what we want.

The Odyssey is a story marked by melancholy and a feeling of postwar disillusionment. Odysseus was a great soldier in the war, but his war record is not of interest to the monsters that populate his world of wanderings. Even the people of his home island, Ithaca, seem to lack respect for him. It is as if society was saying to the returning hero, “You were a great soldier once—or so they say—but times have changed. This is a difficult world, and we have more important things to think about than your record.”

In the years before the great war, Odysseus had married the beautiful and ever-faithful Penelope, one of several very strong women in the man’s world of the Greek epic. (One critic, Robert Graves, was so impressed by the unusual importance of women and home and hearth in The Odyssey that he believed Homer to be a woman.)

Penelope and Odysseus had one son, Telemachus. He was still a toddler when Odysseus was called by Agamemnon and Menelaus to join them in the war against Troy. But Odysseus was a homebody. He preferred not to go to war, especially a war fought for an unfaithful woman. Even though he was obligated under a treaty to go, Odysseus tried draft-dodging. It is said that when Agamemnon and Menelaus came to fetch him, he pretended to be insane and acted as if he did not recognize his visitors. Instead of entertaining them, he dressed as a peasant and began plowing the field and sowing it with salt. But the “draft board” was smarter than Odysseus. They threw his baby, Telemachus, in front of his oncoming plow.

Odysseus revealed his sanity by quickly turning the plow aside to avoid running over his son.


THE WOODEN-HORSE TRICK

Once in Troy, Odysseus performed extremely well as a soldier and commander. It was he, for example, who thought of the famous wooden-horse trick that would lead to the downfall of Troy. For ten years the Greeks had been fighting the Trojans, but they were fighting outside Troy’s massive walls. They had been unable to break through the walls and enter the city. Odysseus’ plan was to build an enormous wooden horse and hide a few Greek soldiers inside its hollow belly. After the horse was built, the Greeks pushed it up to the gates of Troy and withdrew their armies, so that their camp appeared to be abandoned. Thinking that the Greeks had given up the fight and that the horse was a peace offering, the

Trojans brought the horse into their city. That night, the Greeks hidden inside the wooden body came out, opened the gates of Troy to the whole Greek army, and began the battle that was to win the war.
THE ANCIENT WORLD AND OURS

The world of Odysseus was harsh, a world familiar with violence. In a certain sense Odysseus and his men act like pirates on their journey home. They think nothing of entering a town and carrying off all its worldly goods. The “worldly goods” in an ancient city might only have pots and pans and cattle and sheep. The “palaces” the Greeks raided might have been little more than elaborate mud and stone farmhouses. Yet, in the struggles of Odysseus, Penelope, and Telemachus in the their “primitive” society that had little in common with the high Athenian culture that would develop several centuries later, there is something that has a great deal to do with us.


A SEARCH FOR THEIR PLACES IN LIFE

Odysseus and his family are people searching for the right relationships with one another and with the people around them. They want to find their proper places in life. It is this theme that sets the tone for The Odyssey and determines the unusual way in which the poem is structured.

Instead of beginning at the beginning with Odysseus’ departure from Troy, the story begins with his son, Telemachus. Telemachus is now twenty years old. He is threatened by rude, powerful men swarming his own home, pressuring his mother to marry one of them. These men are bent on robbing Telemachus of his inheritance. Telemachus is a young man who needs his father, the one person who can put things right at home.

Meanwhile, we hear that his father is stranded on an island, longing to find a way to get back to his wife, child, and home. It is ten years since Odysseus sailed from Troy, twenty years since he left Ithaca to fight in Troy. While Telemachus is in search of his father, Odysseus is in search of a way out of what we might today call his midlife crisis. He is searching for inner peace, for a way to reestablish a natural balance in his life. The quests of father and son provide a framework for the poem and bring us into it as well—because we all are in search of our real identities, our true selves.


RELATIONSHIPS WITH THE GODS

This brings us to mythic and religious questions in The Odyssey. Myths are stories that use fantasy to express ideas about life that cannot be expressed easily in realistic terms. Myths are essentially religious because they are concerned with the relationship between human beings and the unknown or spiritual realm.

As you will see, Homer is always concerned with the relationship between humans and gods. Homer is religious: For him, the gods control all things. Athena, the goddess of wisdom, is always at the side of Odysseus. This is appropriate because Odysseus is known for his mental abilities. Thus, in Homer’s stories a god can be an alter ego, a reflection of a hero’s best or worst qualities. The god who works against Odysseus is Poseidon, the god of the sea, who is known for arrogance and a certain brutishness. Odysseus himself can be violent and cruel, just as Poseidon is.
WHO WAS HOMER?

No one knows for sure who Homer was. The later Greeks believed he was a blind minstrel who came from the island of Chios. Some scholars feel there must have been two Homers; some think he was just a legend. But scholars have also argued about whether a man called Shakespeare ever existed. It is almost as if they were saying that Homer and

Shakespeare are too good to be true. On the whole, it seems sensible to take the word of the Greeks themselves. We cannot least accept the existence of Homer as a model for a class of wandering bards or minstrels later called rhapsodes.

These rhapsodes, or “singers of tales,” were the historians and entertainers as well as the myth-makers of their time. There was probably no written history in Homer’s day. There were certainly no movies and no television, and the Greeks had nothing like a Bible or a book of religious stories. So it was that the minstrels traveled about from community to community singing of recent events or of the doings of heroes, gods, and goddesses. It is as if the author of the Book of Kings in the Bible, the writer of a history of World War II, and a famous pop singer were combined in one person. Homer’s people saw no conflict among religion, history, and good fun.


HOW WERE EPICS TOLD?

Scholars have found that oral epic poets are still composing today in Eastern Europe and other parts of the world. These scholars suggest that stories like The Iliad and The Odyssey were originally told aloud by people who could not read and write. The stories were composed orally according to a basic story line. But most of the actual words were improvised— made up on the spot—in a way that fit a particular rhythm or meter. The singers of these stories had to be very talented, and they had to work very hard. They also needed an audience that could listen closely.

We can see from this why there is so much repetition in the Homeric epics. The oral storyteller, in fact, had a store of formulas for describing the arrival and greeting of guests, the eating of meals, and the taking of baths. He knew formulas for describing the sea (it is always “wine-dark”) and for describing Athena (she is always “grey-eyed Athena”). Formulas such as these had another advantage: They gave the singer and his audience some breathing time. The audience could relax for a moment and enjoy a familiar and memorable passage, while the singer could think ahead to the next part of his story.

When we think about the audience that listened to these stories, we can also understand the value of the extended comparisons that we call Homeric or heroic similes today. These similes compare heroic or epic events to simple and easily understandable everyday events—events the audience would recognize instantly. For example, at one point in The Iliad, Athena prevents an arrow from striking Menelaus. The singer compares the goddess’s actions to an action that every listener would have been familiar with:

She brushed it away from his skin as lightly as when a mother

Brushes a fly away from her child who is lying in sweet sleep.

Epic poets such as Homer would come to a city and would go through a part of their repertory while there. A story as long as The Odyssey (11,300 lines) could not be told at one sitting such as Homer would come to a city and would go through a part of their repertory while there. We have to assume that if the singer had only a few days in the town, he would summarize some of his story told to us, but that his time is limited. We’ll also assume that the audience, before retiring at the end of each performance, wants to talk about the stories they’ve just heard. You are now part of that audience.
A LIVE PERFORMANCE

What was it like to hear a live performance of The Odyssey? We can guess what it was like because there are many instances in the epic itself in which traveling singers appear and sing their tales. In the court of the Phaeacian king, Alcinous, in Book 8, for instance, there is a particularly wonderful singer who must make us wonder if the blind Homer is talking about himself. Let’s picture the setting of a performance before we start the story.

Imagine a large hall full of people who are freshly bathed, rubbed with fine oils, and draped in clean tunics. Imagine the smell of meat being cooked over charcoal, the sound of voices. Imagine the wine being freely poured, the flickering reflections of the great cooking fires, and the torches that light the room. A certain anticipation hangs in the air. It is said that the blind minstrel Homer is in the city and that he has new stories about that long war in Troy. Will he appear and entertain tonight?

(Text excerpted from Elements of Literature: Course 3)



PLEASE PUT YOUR POST-ITS BELOW

The Back Story: The Trojan War & The Iliad

The Iliad is Homer’s first Epic Poem, containing 15,000 lines of verse. Despite its incredible length, The Iliad is really just about two things. First, the Greek concept of Xenia, or hospitality to strangers. And second, the Wrath of Achilles. The Trojan War is simply the setting for these concepts to play themselves out.



Xenia

The concept of Xenia is an unfamiliar one to modern audiences. It is essentially a divine law, governed by Zeus himself, that says you must offer hospitality to traveling strangers. This seems strange and dangerous to us. Yet in the ancient world, especially the Bronze Age world, and especially in the rugged mountains of Greece, it was not lone strangers who were dangerous, but the whole world. This was a time and place where laws extended no further than the sight of a city. Wild animals and bandits roamed the wilderness. And travelers had no guarantee of a bed to sleep in or a hot meal. There was no Motel 6 to 'leave the light on for them.' Shelter had to be found when and where it was available.

Hence the incredible importance of Xenia in this age. Without the guarantee of hospitality along the way, no one would travel at all. The benefits of Xenia are not limited to the guest; the host gains as much as the guest from a visit: news of the outside world, a break in the monotony of daily life, and a friend abroad.

Xenia is an important concept to remember because it is part of what caused The Trojan War.



The Trojan War

Paris, a prince of Troy, had claimed guest right, through Xenia, at the house of Menelaus, brother to Agamemnon, the King of Mycenae. Little did Menelaus know that his guest was planning to rob him, not of jewels or treasure, but of his wife. Menelaus' wife was none other than Helen, the most beautiful woman in the world.

Paris had been promised Helen by the goddess Aphrodite, to sway his vote in a divine beauty pageant. (Don't believe me? Look up the myth of the golden apple.) Paris had come to the house of Menelaus to claim his prize. By running away with Helen, Paris had done more than violate the sanctity of Menelaus' marriage, he had abused the sacred bond between host and guest. Had Paris simply kidnapped Helen while she was out for a stroll, there likely would never have been a Trojan War. It was the fact that he committed this offence while a guest in Menelaus' house that demanded retribution. The Greeks want to take over Troy anyway, so ALL of the Greeks agree to help him, but Troy is protected by an amazing wall around the city that no army has ever been able to penetrate. The battle for Troy/Helen lasts for 10 years! Thousands die on each side. There are two main soldiers. Achilles is the best Greek soldier and Hector is the best Trojan soldier. Ultimately, Achilles is killed. This is where Odysseus steps in.

Odysseus is known for his cunning, clever ideas. He comes up with idea of The Trojan Horse.



Odysseus and the Trojan Horse

Directions: Watch the short video clip from the movie Odysseus, and answer the following questions

  1. How does Zeus help Odysseus on the beach?



  1. What is Odysseus plan to get inside the walls of Sparta? Is he successful? (explain what happens once inside the city)



  1. Why does Zeus curse Odysseus?



  1. What is the curse Zeus places on Odysseus?












Characteristics of an Epic & its Hero

Characteristics of an Epic

The Odyssey

The hero is important and glorified.

Odysseus is a king and a respected chieftain.

On a quest or long and dangerous journey: During this time the hero shows his strength and cunning.

The Odyssey describes Odysseus’ ten-year journey.

The setting of an epic is large in scale.

Odysseus wanders the entire Mediterranean area and even visits the underworld.

Supernatural beings and events play a role in epic affairs.

The gods and goddesses of Greek mythology are key characters in The Odyssey.

The style of an epic is formal and grand. This style fits the importance of its subject.

Some of the translation that we will read preserves the poetic structure of the ancient Greek.

The action of an epic starts in medias res, “in the middle of things,” rather than at the true beginning of the story.

The Odyssey begins when Odysseus is nearly home.


Traits of an Epic Hero


  1. There is something EXTRAORDINARY about the hero’s BIRTH and/or CHILDHOOD.




  1. The hero faces OPPOSITION or CHALLENGES of some sort where he must prove himself in some way.




  1. The hero has an ENEMY or ENEMIES. These may have a variety of forms, human or divine, natural or supernatural. At least one of his enemies is often a MONSTER so some sort. Also, a JEALOUS WOMAN is often involved.




  1. A HELPER or HELPERS of some kind usually aid the hero. These may be human or divine, natural or supernatural, animal or monster.




  1. The hero must overcome an OBSTACLE or OBSTACLES that may include completing seemingly impossible tasks or labors, or undertaking a QUEST.




  1. Sometimes, although not always, there is a TABOO to be avoided, such as “Don’t look back,” “Don’t ask questions,” or “Don’t eat anything while you are there.”




  1. Sometimes there is special KNOWLEDGE that must be acquired.




  1. The hero succeeds, and at the end there is a special REWARD that he receives. This reward may be the hand of a fair maiden or princess, a kingdom for him to rule, great wealth or all of the above. Rewards sometimes include spiritual enlightenment, purification, or even immortality.




How does Odysseus fit the epic hero profile?

Epic Hero Cycle | Odysseus’s journey

In an epic, the journey typically follows the same cycle. Please track Odysseus’s epic journey as we read excerpts from the epic poem.

Element

Example from The Odyssey

1. The main character is a hero, who is often possessed (or appears to be possessed) with supernatural abilities or qualities.




2. The hero is charged with a quest.




3. The hero is tested, often to prove the worthiness of himself and his quest.




4. The presence of numerous mythical beings, magical and helpful animals, and human helpers and companions.




5. The hero’s travels take him to a supernatural world, often one that normal human beings are barred from entering.




6. The cycle must reach a low point where the hero nearly gives up his quest or appears defeated.




7. A resurrection.




8. Restitution: Often this takes the form of the hero regaining his rightful place on the throne





I did all of that?!
http://www.supercoloring.com/wp-content/main/2009_11/odysseus-coloring-page.jpg http://amyisaman.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/398px-heroesjourney_svg.png

THE MODERN-DAY EPIC HERO CYCLE

The Epic Hero Cycle, while an ancient concept, continues in literature, both written and visual, today.
The following is a list of epic hero films that follow the epic hero cycle. This is by no means an all encompassing list, so if you come up with another film title that you want to use, please see me.


  • Aliens Series*

  • Avatar

  • Brave

  • Braveheart*

  • The Dark Knight Trilogy

  • Finding Nemo

  • Forrest Gump

  • Gladiator*

  • Harry Potter Series

  • The Hunger Games

  • Indiana Jones Series

  • Ironman Trilogy

  • The Lion King

  • Lord of the Rings Trilogy

  • The Matrix Trilogy*

  • Mission Impossible Series

  • The Patriot*

  • Percy Jackson Series

  • Pirates of the Caribbean

  • Star Wars Trilogy

  • Saving Private Ryan*

  • Shrek Series

  • Spiderman Series

  • Titanic

  • Toy Story Trilogy

  • Wall-E

  • The Wizard of Oz

*Rated R – Parental permission is required to view these films.

NAME: PERIOD:

Element

Example from ______________________

1. The main character is a hero, who is often possessed (or appears to be possessed) with supernatural abilities or qualities.




2. The hero is charged with a quest.




3. The hero is tested, often to prove the worthiness of himself and his quest.




4. The presence of numerous mythical beings, magical and helpful animals, and human helpers and companions.




5. The hero’s travels take him to a supernatural world, often one that normal human beings are barred from entering.




6. The cycle must reach a low point where the hero nearly gives up his quest or appears defeated.




7. A resurrection.




8. Restitution: Often this takes the form of the hero regaining his rightful place on the throne




Name__________________________________ Date______________________ Pd______

THE MODERN-DAY EPIC HERO CYCLE SPEECH

CONTENT KNOWLEDGE




Distinguished (5)

Proficient (3)

Basic (1)

Below Basic (0)

Focus/Content


  • Demonstrates comprehensive knowledge of topic.

  • Sophisticated analysis; develops ideas with supporting details that are specific.

  • Makes no omissions or errors.

  • Demonstrates proficient knowledge of topic.

  • Shows adequate understanding of the topic and explains with detail.

  • Makes few errors or omissions.

  • Demonstrated basic knowledge of topic.

  • Show minimal understanding of the details of the topic.

  • Many errors and/or omissions.




  • Does not demonstrate knowledge of topic.







Distinguished (2)

Proficient (1)

Basic (.5)

Below Basic (0)

Organization


  • Well organized and thoroughly supports focus. .

  • Organized and moderately supports focus.

  • Organization is limited and/or lacks clarity.




  • Presentation lacks organization.




PRESENTATION SKILLS




Distinguished(2)

Proficient (1)

Basic (.5)

Below Basic (0)

Presenter Engagement with the Audience

  • Use of direct eye contact for entire presentation.

  • Consistently engages the audience through appropriate levels of emotion throughout.

  • Does not need to rely on notes for prompting

  • Use of direct eye contact most of the time.

  • Engages the audience through appropriate levels of emotion most of the time.

  • Relies on notes for prompting only.

  • Minimal eye contact with audience.

  • Inconsistently engages the audience through appropriate levels of emotion.

  • Often reads from notes.




  • No eye contact.

  • Does not engage the audience through appropriate levels of emotion throughout.

  • Entirely read from notes




Language/Clarity

  • Advanced use of grammar and vocabulary.

  • All words are pronounced correctly.

  • No use of filler words (like, you know, etc.).

  • Proficient use of grammar and vocabulary.

  • Most words are pronounced correctly.

  • Minimal use of filler words (like, you know, etc.).

  • Basic use of grammar and vocabulary.

  • Seldom are words pronounced correctly.

  • Significant use of filler words (like, you know, etc.).

  • Below basic use of grammar and vocabulary.

  • Distracting use of filler words (like, you know, etc.)

Voice/Volume/Rate

  • Always speaks with clarity

  • Volume is at a level where audience can easily hear throughout.

  • Pace is appropriate.

  • Speaks with clarity most of the time.

  • Volume is at a level where audience can hear most of the time.

  • Sometimes speaks with clarity.

  • Volume is inconsistent; audience struggles to hear.

  • Pace is inconsistent.

  • Does not speak clearly or is not easily heard.

  • Speaker is inaudible.




Completed Notes




Distinguished

(2)

Proficient

(1)

Basic

Below Basic

(0)

Completed Notes

  • Notes are complete, accurate and detailed

  • Notes are complete, but not detailed or has inaccuracies







  • Missing or incomplete notes

Total_______/15

The Odyssey Vocabulary-30 points

Please master the following list of vocabulary on Vocabulary.com. You will get credit for your completion of the list in the form of a quiz grade.

Due Date:______________________________________________________________________


Intro / New Coasts / Lotus Eaters

  • epic

  • excerpts

  • hubris

  • formidable

  • guile / cunning

  • gale

  • wail

Cyclopes

  • foe

  • prodigious

  • rogue

  • appalled

  • ponderous

  • profusion

  • sage

  • breach

  • adversary

Circe

  • fawn

  • glade

  • stealth

  • snare

  • vile

  • foreboding

  • succumb

  • doting

  • disconsolate

  • parched

  • pang

Sea Perils and Defeat

  • abominably

  • contender

  • chaos

  • avail

  • scourge

The Return of Odysseus

  • abyss

  • dissemble

  • glowering

  • haughty

  • incredulity

  • revelry

  • ruses



“I am Odysseus”

Odysseus reveals himself to the Phaeacians in the following excerpt:

“How shall I start and end my tale? First let me give you my name, so you all know, and if I escape from pitiless fate later, I will play host to you, though I live far off. I am Odysseus, Laertes’ son, known to all for my stratagems, and my fame has reached the heavens. My home is under Ithaca’s clear skies: our Mount Neriton, clothed with whispering forest is visible from afar: and clustered round it are many isles, Dulichium and Same and wooded Zacynthus. Ithaca itself lies low in the sea, furthest towards the west, while the others are separate, towards the dawn and the rising sun. It’s a rugged land, but nurtures fine young men: and speaking for myself I know nothing sweeter than one’s own country. Calypso, the lovely goddess, kept me there in her echoing caves, because she wished me for her husband, and in the same way Circe, the Aeaean witch, detained me in her palace, longing to make me hers: but they failed to move my heart. Surely nothing is sweeter than a man’s own parents and country, even though he lives in a wealthy house, in a foreign land far from those parents.”

From this speech, how would you describe Odysseus’ personality/mannerisms?

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Let’s Boast – “I am Odysseus”

Objective: To identify and employ elevated language as a quality of an epic / Build tone and delivery skills of an informal speech

Background: After dining with the Phaeacian’s, Odysseus is moved to tears when the blind poet sings of the Trojan War. King Alcinous asks Odysseus what troubles him and he reveals who he is and describes his travels during “The Odyssey” (156-157).

Greeks spoke in elevated language making their life story “larger than life.”



Give it a whirl: We want you to have the opportunity to demonstrate your greatness and boast about your life story, chores, etc.

Here is a student example of elevated/boasting language

I, Ann Marie, Daughter of Michael the Great and Sheila the Perfectionist,

Hail from the land of Ambler Woods

Where I must endure to annoyingness of Jonathan,

The young god of trouble and pestering.

I escape his festering, gnat-like ways in the kitchen

A culinary enchantress, I am known for

Tantalizing stomachs around the globe.

Chores – Taking out the trash

I am the taker of refuse from the castle to the curb

Where the monstrous beast carries it off to distant lands

Walking the dog

I am the walker of the furry beast who barks at shadows

As he spritzes the earth with adoration

Playing basketball

The bleachers holler my name as I pound the floorboards

I am the goddess of the court, sinking orange balls of fire

Here is Mrs. Small’s example of elevated/boasting language:

Mrs. Small => Let’s Boast!
I, Mrs. Small, daughter of Sandra the Strong and Paul the Musician,

Hail from the farmland of Upper Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

I am wife of funny-man Jordan the computer nerd,

Mother of Kaitlyn the kind and creative,

and Liam the hilarious and messy.

Master dog-walker, toy picker-upper, and healthy meal maker,

I hold my family together with my mad multi-tasking skills.

Reader of literature and listener of podcasts, I am the champion of pop-culture events.

I am the singer of songs, expert-nail artist, and party-planning champion.

Designer of lessons, super-fast grader, and whole puncher extraordinaire,

I create a calm and open atmosphere in the classroom of which I am Queen.

I am Mrs. Small, Daughter, Wife, Mother, Teacher, Friend,

Goddess of my work and home realms!

________________________________________________________________



Your Try:

Use the space below to brainstorm for your boasting speech.



Name:__________________________________ Date:_________ Pd:_____
Success Criteria/Rubric for “Lets Boast” Speech

Content

2 points

Speaking Skills

2 points

Bragging




Present with a strong voice




Uses Vivid Details




Emphasize Words




Complex Vocabulary is used




Poise: Natural movement or stand straight and tall




There is information about the speaker that lets the audience know them better




Make eye contact




_______÷2 = Total= _________/8

My Personal Odyssey

This is an activity to accompany our study of Homer's epic poem, The Odyssey. Please follow the directions below to present your personal odyssey.



DIRECTIONS

  1. List at least three personal goals. These may be short-term or long-term. They may pertain to travel, material possessions, occupations, or other accomplishments.



  1. Draw an island. This will be your metaphorical Ithaca.



  1. As Odysseus was striving to reach his homeland, you are striving to reach some goal, as well. Name the island (select one goal).



  1. Draw a thick vertical line on the left side of your island. This line represents the barriers that may prevent you from reaching your island (goal).



  1. To the left of the barrier list all the people and forces that may impede your progress.



  1. Above the island, list all the people and forces that may help you overcome these obstacles and enable you to reach your goal.

Use the outline produced from steps 1-6 to compose the following:

  1. Create a title for your overall piece. In one paragraph, summarize your journey. Recount your narrative as if it has already taken place (past tense).

  2. In three to four paragraphs, describe, in vivid detail, one episode of your journey. Create a title for this episode. These paragraphs should also be in past tense.

Final narrative must be typed.

BE PREPARED TO EXPLAIN (NOT READ) YOUR NARRATIVE TO THE CLASS. Your map should be ready to project in front of the class.

Name:_____________________________________ Date:______________ Pd:_______

KEYSTONE EXPOSITORY SCORING GUIDELINES – PERSONAL ODYSSEY

Scoring Doman

Distinguished (2)

Proficient (1.5)

Apprentice (1)

Novice (.5)

Incomplete (0)

Thesis/Focus

  • Establishes and sustains a precise idea/thesis

  • Displays a clear understanding of task, purpose, and audience

  • Establishes a controlling idea/thesis

  • Displays an understanding of task, purpose, and audience

  • Provides an inconsistent idea/thesis

  • Displays a limited understanding of task, purpose, and audience

  • Provides vague or indistinct idea/thesis Displays a minimal understanding of task, purpose, and audience

  • Provides no evidence of a controlling idea/thesis

  • Displays no understanding of task, purpose, and audience

OR

  • Does not respond to the prompt




Distinguished (6)

Proficient (4.5)

Apprentice (3)

Novice (1.5)

Incomplete (0)

Content

  • Provides relevant content and specific and effective supporting details that demonstrate a clear understanding of purpose

  • Provides relevant content and effective supporting details

  • Provides insufficient content and ineffective supporting details

  • Provides minimal content

  • Provides little to no content

OR

  • Does not respond to the prompt

Organization

  • Chooses sophisticated organizational strategies appropriate for task, purpose, and audience

  • Uses sophisticated transitional words, phrases, and clauses to link ideas and create cohesion

  • Includes a clear and well-defined introduction, body, and conclusion that support or reinforce the argument

  • Chooses appropriate organizational strategies for task, purpose, and audience

  • Uses transitional words, phrases, and clauses to link ideas

  • Includes a clear introduction, body, and conclusion that support the argument

  • Displays some evidence of organizational strategies

  • May use simplistic and/or illogical transitional expressions

  • May not include an introduction, body, and/or conclusion

  • Displays little evidence of organizational strategies

  • Uses few or no transitional expressions to link ideas

  • May not include an identifiable introduction, body, and/or conclusion

  • Displays no evidence of organizational strategies

  • Does not use transitions to link ideas

  • Does not include an identifiable introduction, body, and/or conclusion

OR




Distinguished (2)

Proficient (1.5)

Apprentice (1)

Novice (.5)

Incomplete (0)

Style

  • Uses consistently precise language and a wide variety of sentence structures

  • Chooses an effective style and tone, and maintains a consistent point of view

  • Uses precise language and a variety of sentence structures

  • Chooses an appropriate style and tone, and a point of view

  • Uses imprecise language and a limited variety of sentence structures

  • May choose an inappropriate style or tone, and may shift point of view

  • Uses simplistic or repetitious language and sentence structures

  • Demonstrates little or no understating of tone or point of view

OR

  • Does not respond to prompt

Conventions

  • Writer makes few errors and errors do not interfere with reader understanding

  • Writer makes few errors and errors seldom interfere with reader understanding

  • Writer makes errors and errors may interfere with reader understanding

  • Writer makes errors and errors often interfere with reader understanding

  • Writer makes errors and errors consistently interfere with reading understanding

  • Demonstrates command of standard English grammar and usage

  • Demonstrates command of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling

  • Demonstrates command of sentence formation

  • Demonstrates control of standard English grammar and usage

  • Demonstrates control of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling

  • Demonstrates control of sentence formation

  • Demonstrates limited or inconsistent of standard English grammar and usage

  • Demonstrates limited or inconsistent of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling

  • Demonstrates limited or inconsistent of sentence formation

  • Demonstrates minimal control of standard English grammar and usage

  • Demonstrates minimal control of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling

  • Demonstrates minimal control of sentence formation

  • Demonstrates little or no control of standard English grammar and usage

  • Demonstrates little or no control of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling

  • Demonstrates little or no control of sentence formation

TOTAL: __________/18

Name:______________________________________ Period:__________hh-pic.gif

Hatboro-Horsham Oral Presentation Rubric – Personal Odyssey

CONTENT KNOWLEDGE




Distinguished (1)

Proficient (.75)

Basic (.5)

Below Basic (0)

Focus


  • Demonstrates clear purpose and the ability to stay on topic.

  • Demonstrates a purpose but unable to stay on topic.

  • Purpose is inconsistent throughout/difficult to follow.

  • No clear purpose.




Distinguished (3)

Proficient (2.25)

Basic (1.5)

Below Basic (0)

Content


  • Demonstrates comprehensive knowledge of topic.

  • Sophisticated analysis; develops ideas with supporting details that are specific.

  • Makes no omissions or errors.

  • Demonstrates proficient knowledge of topic.

  • Shows adequate understanding of the topic and explains with detail.

  • Makes few errors or omissions.

  • Demonstrated basic knowledge of topic.

  • Show minimal understanding of the details of the topic.

  • Many errors and/or omissions.




  • Does not demonstrate knowledge of topic.




Organization


  • Well organized and thoroughly supports focus. .

  • Organized and moderately supports focus.

  • Organization is limited and/or lacks clarity.




  • Presentation lacks organization.




PRESENTATION SKILLS




Distinguished (2)

Proficient (1.5)

Basic (1)

Below Basic (0)

Presenter Engagement with the Audience

  • Use of direct eye contact for entire presentation.

  • Consistently engages the audience through appropriate levels of emotion throughout.

  • Does not need to rely on notes for prompting

  • Use of direct eye contact most of the time.

  • Engages the audience through appropriate levels of emotion most of the time.

  • Relies on notes for prompting only.

  • Minimal eye contact with audience.

  • Inconsistently engages the audience through appropriate levels of emotion.

  • Often reads from notes.




  • No eye contact.

  • Does not engage the audience through appropriate levels of emotion throughout.

  • Entirely read from notes




Language/Clarity

  • Advanced use of grammar and vocabulary.

  • All words are pronounced correctly.

  • No use of filler words (like, you know, etc.).

  • Proficient use of grammar and vocabulary.

  • Most words are pronounced correctly.

  • Minimal use of filler words (like, you know, etc.).

  • Basic use of grammar and vocabulary.

  • Seldom are words pronounced correctly.

  • Significant use of filler words (like, you know, etc.).

  • Below basic use of grammar and vocabulary.

  • Distracting use of filler words (like, you know, etc.)

Voice/Volume/Rate

  • Always speaks with clarity

  • Volume is at a level where audience can easily hear throughout.

  • Pace is appropriate.

  • Speaks with clarity most of the time.

  • Volume is at a level where audience can hear most of the time.

  • Sometimes speaks with clarity.

  • Volume is inconsistent; audience struggles to hear.

  • Pace is inconsistent.

  • Does not speak clearly or is not easily heard.

  • Speaker is inaudible.




VISUAL ENHANCEMENT




Distinguished (1)

Proficient (.75)

Basic (.5)

Below Basic (0)

Visual

Enhancement

  • Creatively uses high quality visuals/ media/ technology that clearly supports and enhances the presentation.

  • Uses Visuals/media/ technology that support the presentation.




  • Uses visuals/media/ technology that provides limited support of the presentation.

  • No use of visuals/media/technology to support the presentation.

TOTAL: ____/14

The Odyssey – The “EPIC” Writing Assessment

2-3 pages, double spaced, typed pages

12 pt Times New Roman Font or Calibri
Theme Connections and Life Lessons

The Odyssey by Homer is more than 3,000 years old, yet you may now see how the story has lasted so long. To be sure you understand how it has come this far, you are to write a reflective paper based on all of the items below.


Introduction:

In your introduction, use some of the most striking parts from the documentary shown in class and how it relates to the story and real life. Include a thesis that explains why the Odyssey is still relevant today.


Body Paragraph #1 & #2:

Select a part of the story that helps you compare and contrast themes of the poem & modern life lessons Write paragraphs that include an example of TWO of the following themes of the poem and connect it to ‘life lessons’ created in class.





Identity

Pride


Leadership

Fate/Destiny

Revenge

Choices


Courage

Temptation





Body Paragraph #3:

Explain how the story of the Odyssey and its lessons can endure more than 3,000 years after

it was created. You need to go beyond the Odyssey itself and apply Homer’s intent behind

the story. You may want to use lyrics from modern songs or plots from modern TV shows

and movies in your explanation. Consider: Why do you think modern artists chose to use the

same themes?


Conclusion Paragraph:

In the Conclusion, use your best points and explain to me why this 3,000 year old work is



still so relevant and worth being told again to future generations after you!
**Note: Because this is a personal reflection essay, you may use personal pronouns, but please maintain a formal writing style. Avoid slang vocabulary and contractions.

Name:________________________________________ Date:_______________ Pd:_________

KEYSTONE EXPOSITORY SCORING GUIDELINES – The “Epic” Writing Assignment

Scoring Doman

Distinguished (4)

Proficient (3)

Apprentice (2)

Novice (1)

Incomplete (0)

Thesis/Focus

  • Establishes and sustains a precise idea/thesis

  • Displays a clear understanding of task, purpose, and audience

  • Establishes a controlling idea/thesis

  • Displays an understanding of task, purpose, and audience

  • Provides an inconsistent idea/thesis

  • Displays a limited understanding of task, purpose, and audience

  • Provides vague or indistinct idea/thesis Displays a minimal understanding of task, purpose, and audience

  • Provides no evidence of a controlling idea/thesis

  • Displays no understanding of task, purpose, and audience

OR

  • Does not respond to the prompt

Content

  • Provides relevant content and specific and effective supporting details that demonstrate a clear understanding of purpose

  • Provides relevant content and effective supporting details

  • Provides insufficient content and ineffective supporting details

  • Provides minimal content

  • Provides little to no content

OR

  • Does not respond to the prompt

Organization

  • Chooses sophisticated organizational strategies appropriate for task, purpose, and audience

  • Uses sophisticated transitional words, phrases, and clauses to link ideas and create cohesion

  • Includes a clear and well-defined introduction, body, and conclusion that support or reinforce the argument

  • Chooses appropriate organizational strategies for task, purpose, and audience

  • Uses transitional words, phrases, and clauses to link ideas

  • Includes a clear introduction, body, and conclusion that support the argument

  • Displays some evidence of organizational strategies

  • May use simplistic and/or illogical transitional expressions

  • May not include an introduction, body, and/or conclusion

  • Displays little evidence of organizational strategies

  • Uses few or no transitional expressions to link ideas

  • May not include an identifiable introduction, body, and/or conclusion

  • Displays no evidence of organizational strategies

  • Does not use transitions to link ideas

  • Does not include an identifiable introduction, body, and/or conclusion

OR

  • Does not respond to prompt

Style

  • Uses consistently precise language and a wide variety of sentence structures

  • Chooses an effective style and tone, and maintains a consistent point of view

  • Uses precise language and a variety of sentence structures

  • Chooses an appropriate style and tone, and a point of view

  • Uses imprecise language and a limited variety of sentence structures

  • May choose an inappropriate style or tone, and may shift point of view

  • Uses simplistic or repetitious language and sentence structures

  • Demonstrates little or no understating of tone or point of view

  • Uses repetitious language and sentence structures

  • Demonstrates no understating of style, tone or point of view

OR

  • Does not respond to prompt

Conventions

  • Writer makes few errors and errors do not interfere with reader understanding

  • Writer makes few errors and errors seldom interfere with reader understanding

  • Writer makes errors and errors may interfere with reader understanding

  • Writer makes errors and errors often interfere with reader understanding

  • Writer makes errors and errors consistently interfere with reading understanding

  • Demonstrates command of standard English grammar and usage

  • Demonstrates command of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling

  • Demonstrates command of sentence formation

  • Demonstrates control of standard English grammar and usage

  • Demonstrates control of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling

  • Demonstrates control of sentence formation

  • Demonstrates limited or inconsistent of standard English grammar and usage

  • Demonstrates limited or inconsistent of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling

  • Demonstrates limited or inconsistent of sentence formation

  • Demonstrates minimal control of standard English grammar and usage

  • Demonstrates minimal control of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling

  • Demonstrates minimal control of sentence formation

  • Demonstrates little or no control of standard English grammar and usage

  • Demonstrates little or no control of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling

  • Demonstrates little or no control of sentence formation

_______________x 2 = Total ______________/40

MUSIC CONNECTION | Mumford & Sons

Read the following lyrics and highlight any connections that you make to the story of The Odyssey:



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