Odyssey: The Story of Odysseus

Odyssey: The Story of Odysseus

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Written By: Homer       
Narrated By: Anthony Heald
Date: 30 September 2008
Duration: 11:30:00

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Literature Classics

| Summary

One of the great masterpieces of Western literature, Odyssey chronicles the many trials and adventures Odysseus must pass through on his long journey home from the Trojan wars. Though the stormy, vengeful god of the ocean is determined to keep him off course, Odysseus is clever and has the brilliant goddess Athena on his side. With wit, integrity, and bravery, Odysseus must escape the grip of the fearsome Cyclops, resist the deadly seductions of sirens and witches, and traverse the land of the dead to commune with his fallen comrades before returning to his beloved wife, who has waited for him for twenty years. A storehouse of Greek folklore and myth, Homer's epic tale remains as captivating today as it was 2,700 years ago.

Translated by W. H. D. Rouse

The classic epic tale of Odysseus and his twenty-year effort to return home to Ithaca after the fall of Troy, as he faces one obstacle after another, is told in prose form (as opposed to verse) in this 1937 translation by W. H. D. Rouse. Award winning stage, film, and television actor Anthony Heald does a wonderful job of voicing the many, many characters, making the Rouse version even more accessible. Heald's reading of the descriptions of the feasts, the settings, and even the clothing are incredibly lush and create the backdrop for the story, enabling listeners to picture every detail. He successfully captures the complexity of Odysseus's character - brave, smart, and wily but also a bit full of himself and a masterful teller of tall tales. Heald's reading of this masterpiece will enable listeners from older teens through adults to enjoy this very much. A classic for all ages.-SoundCommentary.com

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Homer (Ancient Greek: Ὅμηρος [hómɛːros], Hómēros) is the name ascribed by the ancient Greeks to the legendary author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, two epic poems which are the central works of ancient Greek literature. The Iliad is set during the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of the city of Troy by a coalition of Greek states. It focuses on a quarrel between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles lasting a few weeks during the last year of the war. The Odyssey focuses on the journey home of Odysseus, king of Ithaca, after the fall of Troy.

Many accounts of Homer's life circulated in classical antiquity, the most widespread being that he was a blind bard from Ionia, a region of central coastal Anatolia in present-day Turkey. Modern scholars consider them legends.

The Homeric Question—concerning by whom, when, where and under what circumstances the Iliad and Odyssey were composed—continues to be debated. Broadly speaking, modern scholarly opinion falls into two groups. One holds that most of the Iliad and (according to some) the Odyssey are the works of a single poet of genius. The other considers the Homeric poems to be the result of a process of working and re-working by many contributors, and that "Homer" is best seen as a label for an entire tradition.

It is generally accepted that the poems were composed at some point around the late 8th or early 7th century BC. The poems are in Homeric Greek, also known as Epic Greek, a literary language which shows a mixture of features of the Ionic and Aeolic dialects from different centuries; the predominant influence is Eastern Ionic. Most researchers believe that the poems were originally transmitted orally.

From antiquity until the present day, the influence of the Homeric epics on Western civilization has been great, inspiring many of its most famous works of literature, music, art and film. The Homeric epics were the greatest influence on ancient Greek culture and education; to Plato, Homer was simply the one who "has taught Greece" – ten Hellada pepaideuken.

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