Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Homer - The Odyssey

This year, I am reading The Odyssey by Homer with two of my tutoring students (9th graders).  Lucky me, they are reading two different editions!  At first, I was a bit irritated, but now that I've been going through the two texts, it has been incredibly interesting to see the differences in translation and interpretation.

With one student, I am reading the Penguin Classics translation by E. V. Rieu (ISBN: 978-0-14-044911-2).  This edition reads very much like a novel, in regular paragraph form.  As a result, it is quite a bit easier than some other editions.  

The other student is reading the Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition translated by Robert Fagles (ISBN:  978-0-14-026886-7).  This edition resembles the more poem-like format of the epic.  If you choose this edition, be sure to read this great interview with Robert Fagles which was featured on PBS's "News Hour" back on March 3, 1997.

Whichever edition you choose, the two above both have excellent introductory sections with background information and insight into the story.  If you prefer to get the text for FREE, try an edition from Project Gutenburg, which is a resource for free texts of all manner, from around the world.  See the available editions of The Odyssey HERE.

Here is a fantastic resource from the Annenberg Foundation.  Click HERE for a video about the story, and links to explore. 

Although meant for the Fagles translation, Temple University has an extensive study guide which would be a good compliment to any translation.  When I say extensive, I really do mean it!  Click HERE.  Please note, the on-line text with hyperlinks mentioned in the introduction to the study guide does NOT take you to the actual text of The Odyssey. 

If you want to give your student study questions as part of their schoolwork, click HERE for a fairly good list put together by a teacher using  Also from MythWeb, this page has links to editions of the text, as well as links for more information on all of the characters, and locations in the book.  

For some historical context, check out this History Channel documentary from their series, "Clash of the Gods":

And, this additional video from the same series, "Clash of the Gods - Odysseus, Warrior's Revenge":

If you are reading The Odyssey as part of a study on Ancient Greece, check out my other posts on the subject of Ancient Greece HERE and HERE.

1 comment:

We adore comments! Please leave some! Just note, Anonymous comments go to my spam folder, and I rarely publish them.