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LBC - The Odyssey by Homer

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Odyssey LOST Book Club - LBC

SPOILER NOTICE - YOU MAY WANT TO AVOID THIS BLOG UNTIL YOU HAVE FINISHED READING THIS BOOK

The Odyssey is one of two major ancient Greek epic poems attributed to Homer. It is, in part, a sequel to the Iliad, the other work traditionally ascribed to Homer. The poem is fundamental to the modern Western canon. Indeed it is the second—the Iliad being the first—extant work of Western literature. It was probably composed near the end of the eighth century BC, somewhere in Ionia, the Greek-speaking coastal region of what is now Turkey.

The poem mainly centers on the Greek hero Odysseus (or Ulysses, as he was known in Roman myths) and his long journey home following the fall of Troy. It takes Odysseus ten years to reach Ithaca after the ten-year Trojan War. In his absence, it is assumed he has died, and his wife Penelope and son Telemachus must deal with a group of unruly suitors, the Mnesteres or Proci, competing for Penelope's hand in marriage.

LOST References

  • In the Odyssey, Odysseus faces two sea monsters on the Strait of Messina called Scylla and Charybdis. Scylla is a six headed serpent and Charybdis is a whirlpool. The Hydra station's symbol looks like it may be a reference to Scylla and The Tempest station's wave could possibly be a reference to Charybdis.

The Author

Homer is a legendary ancient Greek epic poet, traditionally said to be the author of the epic poems the Iliad and the Odyssey. The ancient Greeks generally believed that Homer was an historical individual, but most scholars are skeptical: no reliable biographical information has been handed down from classical antiquity, and the poems themselves seem to represent the culmination of many centuries of oral story-telling and a well-developed formulaic system of poetic composition. According to Martin West, "Homer" is "not the name of a historical poet, but a fictitious or constructed name.

See Also - LBC - LOST Book Club Authors

Quote

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,

Many cities of men he saw and learned their minds

many pains he suffered, hearsick on the open sea,

fighting to save his life and bring his commrades home.

But he could not save them from disaster, hard as he strove--

the recklessness of their own ways destroyed them all,

the blind fools, they devoured the cattle of the Sun

and the Sungod wiped from sight the day of their return.

Launch out on his story, Muse, daughter of Zeus,

start from where you will--sing for our time too.

--Opening paragraph of The Odyssey

The Characters

Aeolus

Athena

Calypso

Charybdis

Circe

Cyclops Polyphemus

Eidothea

Eurycleia

Helen

Hermes

Laertes

Menelaus

Nausicaa

Odysseus

Penelope

Poseidon

Scylla

Telemachus

Tiresia

Zeus


Discussion Points

  • What is unique about the setting of the story?
Does this setting enhance or take away from the story?
  • What specific themes are discovered throughout the story?
Do you see any themes also relating to the story of LOST?
What is the message conveyed by the story themes?
  • Do the characters seem real and believable?
Which characters remind you of similar characters in LOST?
Are their predicaments similar to any in LOST?
  • How do characters change or evolve in the story?
What triggers those changes?
What are the similarities and differences with LOST characters?
How are they the same/different from LOST's philosophical views?
  • Do you see any metaphors or symbolism in the characters, themes, philosophy, or setting of this book?
How are they similar or different to metaphors/symbolism in LOST?
  • Why were the creators and writers of LOST inspired by this book?


Discussion Guidelines

  • Keep the discussion related to the specific book and related LOST content.
  • Be specific and provide examples to back up your point of view.
  • To make the discussion more interesting, feel free to ask your own questions.
  • Please be considerate of all points of view.
  • Encourage participation.


Happy Reading and Thanks!

--Just Sayin' JSTalk LBC LBCTalk eMail 04:25, August 30, 2010 (UTC)

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