The Odyssey


     The Odyssey is an epic that depicts the misfortunes and other encounters that Odysseus has on his trek back from Troy to his homeland of Ithaca. The full epic is two tales, the Iliad and the Odyssey, the Iliad being Odysseus' trip to Troy and his defeat of Troy, and the Odyssey being all about his travels back to Ithaca.
     In the beginning of the Odyssey, the Greeks are celebrating their victory over Troy. They forget totally that it was not their hands that made the city fall, but it was the will of the gods. In their delight over the win, they neglect to thank the gods and give praise where it was due. The gods were very angry about this, especially Athena and Poseidon. They pleaded to Zeus and asked that the Greeks be punished, and Zeus concurred. Poseidon used the ocean to swamp many of the Greek's boats and drive them off course, but this story follows Odysseus' particular journey. Odysseus "pits his wisdom and his courage against not only the supernatural dangers that are set in his path, but against the very natural enemies that all humans face, such as fear, ignorance, and the evil hearts of some fellow humans." (Russell 196)  
        You can read about the elements of each story here: /mapstory-summaries.html