The Odyssey

Reading Year: 2023
Book # 41
Great Books
Pages: 525
Translation by Emily Wilson
Version: Norton
Year: 700 BC
Date Started: November 1, 2023
Date Finished: November 15, 2023
15h 13m 57s

My Thoughts

Incredible. The thing that got me the most is how many contrasts and counterparts there are in this book. Odysseus vs Agamemnon. Penelope vs Helen. Telemachus vs. Orestes. Odysseus as beggar vs the suitors. The loyal vs disloyal slave. These contrasts provide such rich comparisons and a deeper understanding about human nature and the choices set before us.

The Odyssey definitely had more of a mythological flavor compared to The Iliad, especially in the first half of the story. The Iliad felt more real to me. But perhaps there were greater lessons in The Odyssey as the fantasy and mythological aspects provided different avenues for storytelling.

The other thing that really stuck out is meeting Achilles in Hades and hearing him talk about his regrets. It ties directly to a central theme in The Iliad. I won’t spoil it, but it sheds a whole new light on Achilles in The Iliad.

Now I just need to spend the rest of my life thinking about The Iliad and The Odyssey.

Ancillary Books & Further Reading

Odyssey Companion
A Companion to Homer’s Odyssey
Additional Reading
The Odyssey Fitzgerald
The Odyssey

Additional Resources

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The War That Killed Achilles
The Homeric Hymns