“…empty words are evil.”
The Odyssey is a book that most of us have read or at least heard reference to. Until this month, I hadn’t read it and constantly confused Odysseus with Oedipus (huge mistake) and never fully understood what people were talking about.
I will admit that I was also a bit afraid to read this book because it is written in a lyrical form, true to it’s EPIC roots. I thought it would be more like my experiences with Shakespeare, where I read and reread before I can get into a groove of understanding.
If you haven’t read or heard of The Odyssey, let me give you a brief synopsis: Odysseus, King of Ithaca, left his home twenty years ago to fight in the Trojan War. He is a valiant warrior and favored by many of the Greek Gods. But his return home is plagued with trouble at every step. He encounters sea monsters, sirens, cyclops, and the wrath of the gods. He finds himself marooned on an island with a goddess, devoid of ship and crew to sail home with.
His son Telemachus has been without his father this whole time and has found his great hall filled with suitors, vying for the chance to marry the Queen. Neither has fully given up on the return of the King and Warrior, but they are steadily losing hope.
With the help of the gods, and especially Athena, plans are set in motion to reunite Father and Son, Husband and Wife, and King and country.
My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this epic poem. The crafting of the story, and Fitzgerald’s translating, helped bring to life the wonderful story. From the get go I was immersed in what was happening and felt myself rooting for Odysseus to return.
I loved Telemachus and Penelope. Throughout their long trials without Odysseus around, they never lost hope. They stayed faithful and determined to figure out the true fate of the great King warrior. So faithful in fact that they questioned him upon his return and called for proof that he was who he claimed to be.
I enjoyed reading about the Greek gods and goddesses, the elements of history surrounding the Trojan war, and the quest to make it home.
If you haven’t read this classic and you think you might want to, I would definitely recommend it. I found Fitzgerald’s translation smooth and easy to read. I’ll include a link for it below! Although it is technically backwards, I think I will have to read The Iliad now, too!
Let me know what you thought of The Odyssey!
Buy it on Amazon!
Want to read the Iliad too? Buy it here!