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The Odyssey (Signet Classics) Mass Market Paperback – October 2, 2007
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“[Fitzgerald’s Odyssey and Iliad] open up once more the unique greatness of Homer’s art at the level above the formula; yet at the same time they do not neglect the brilliant texture of Homeric verse at the level of the line and the phrase.” –The Yale Review
“[In] Robert Fitzgerald’s translation . . . there is no anxious straining after mighty effects, but rather a constant readiness for what the occasion demands, a kind of Odyssean adequacy to the task in hand, and this line-by-line vigilance builds up into a completely credible imagined world.”
–from the Introduction by Seamus Heaney
About the Author
He was one of a long line of bards, or poets, who worked in the oral tradition. Homer and other bards of the time could recite, or chant, long epic poems. Both works attributed to Homer – the Iliad and the Odyssey – are over ten thousand lines long in the original. Homer must have had an amazing memory but was helped by the formulaic poetry style of the time.
In the Iliad Homer sang of death and glory, of a few days in the struggle between the Greeks and the Trojans. Mortal men played out their fate under the gaze of the gods. The Odyssey is the original collection of tall traveller’s tales. Odysseus, on his way home from the Trojan War, encounters all kinds of marvels from one-eyed giants to witches and beautiful temptresses. His adventures are many and memorable before he gets back to Ithaca and his faithful wife Penelope.
We can never be certain that both these stories belonged to Homer. In fact ‘Homer’ may not be a real name but a kind of nickname meaning perhaps ‘the hostage’ or ‘the blind one’. Whatever the truth of their origin, the two stories, developed around three thousand years ago, may well still be read in three thousand years’ time.
W.H.D. Rouse was one of the great 20th century experts on Ancient Greece, and headmaster of the Perse School, Cambridge, England, for 26 years. Under his leadership the school became widely known for the successful teaching of Greek and Latin as spoken languages. He derived his knowledge of the Greeks not only from his wide studies of classical literature, but also by travelling extensively in Greece. He died in 1950.
Top Customer Reviews
The epic adventure tale which is now nearly three thousand years old...probably had to read it in high school or whatnot, is still a unique page turning suspense drama.
Under the guidance of Athena, daughter of Zeus, Odysseus battles many trials and evils to finally complete his voyage home to his ardent wife Penelopeia, son Telemachos and father...then wipe out the riff-raff that had been going on at his house during his absence.
Literary scholars have probed, critiqued and analyzed The Odyssey time and again, but if read simply as a fantasy or adventure saga, it is a classic thriller to please all.
The Odyssey was a fantastic classical work and one of the greatest pieces of Homeric literature still around today. This epic follows Greek hero and ruler of Ithaca, Odysseus. Odysseus is a very renowned, powerful man, who seems to represent the ideal Greek warrior king. However, while Odysseus is a paragon and may have it easy with his wealth and family after the Trojan War, he still has to suffer twenty years of hardship before arriving at that point. The Odyssey is the story of Odysseus’s extremely laborious journey back to Ithaca, where his property has been violated by fellow countrymen. While reading The Odyssey, one can easily compare it to The Count of Monte Cristo, in the sense that both stories involve a man who suffers over a decade of hardship and ends up seeking vengeance after overcoming it. The story itself is a mass-compilation of Greek folklore, so it may not always adhere to logic, and in some cases it may be a bit self-contradictory as many takes on the same story were blended together in the Odyssey’s creation. Because he is an epic hero, not really a tragic one like The Iliad’s Hector, Odysseus may seem to have super abilities at times. This is made up for by Homer’s master storytelling, which is interestingly told a lot by his characters themselves. The Odyssey is full of scenes that will make you grimace, appeal to your sympathy, and even some that will make your mouth water as you read them. I highly recommend getting a copy of this book if you want to follow the travels of one of the greatest heroes in fictional literature or simply want to learn more about the ancient Greek civilization.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The Christian god and the devil were mentioned in the book. The translator rewrote the story for his own evangelical writing and not sticking to the original texts. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Jarrett Winstead
This movie is horrible!!!! Biggest waste of money. I would like my money back.Published 16 months ago by Joey
This translator on the first page translates "Zeus" to "God" on the first page. Are you kidding? Read morePublished 17 months ago by GW