The Odyssey - Themes

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The Odyssey - Themes
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Odyssey Lesson Plans

The Odyssey by Homer

Lesson Plans by Rebecca Ray

The Odyssey by Homer is the story of Odysseus, the crafty king of Ithaca, whose Trojan Horse idea helped win the war with Troy. Following his victory in Troy, he encounters many trials that delay him from reaching his home, Ithaca, and his queen, Penelope. Odysseus' Hero's Journey is a long and arduous adventure filled with peril, temptation, and wits.

Odyssey, The

Storyboard Description

Have students identify and illustrate different themes in The Odyssey using examples to support their choices.

Storyboard Text

  • Nobody has stabbed my eye out!
  • It's so beautiful, let me go!
  • I will marry one of you once my shroud is finished!
  • A prime example of Odysseus's use of cunning is when he devises a plan to escape the cyclops in which he tells him that his name is "Nohbdy".
  • Odysseus, please take my best ship and these gifts home to your kingdom of Ithaca!
  • The second example of Odysseus' wit is when he uses beeswax to block his crew's ears so they could pass the Sirens.
  • You are not welcome here! Now I will eat you and your men for trespassing.
  • An example of Penelope's use of brains is when she secretly unravels her shroud every night so she never finishes it!
  • You can stay with one of us... forever! Xoxo
  • Alcinous, king of the Phaeacians, assures Odysseus that he will be returned safely to his home. Consistent with their custom, the Phaeacians provide him with hospitality and safe passage home.
  • Odysseus enters the Cyclops' cave, bringing gifts of food and wine in exchange for the hospitality he believes he will receive. However, Polyphemus​ states he is not bound by the law of the gods and eats Odysseus' men instead.
  • Both Goddesses Calypso and Circe fall in love with Odysseus. They treat him well, and offer him immortality if he will stay with them forever.
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