Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Homer's The Odyssey. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
The Odyssey: Introduction
The Odyssey: Plot Summary
The Odyssey: Detailed Summary & Analysis
The Odyssey: Themes
The Odyssey: Quotes
The Odyssey: Characters
The Odyssey: Symbols
The Odyssey: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of Homer
Historical Context of The Odyssey
Other Books Related to The Odyssey
- Full Title: The Odyssey
- When Written: 8th or 7th century BC.
- Where Written: Ancient Greece
- When Published: The poem was passed down orally for many generations, but the Athenian tyrant Peisistratos established a committee to compile and revise Homer's manuscripts in the 6th century BC. The oldest complete manuscript of the poem dates back to the 10th or 11th century AD. Dozens of English translations have been published since the 17th century.
- Literary Period: Ancient Greece (pre-Classical)
- Genre: Epic Poem
- Setting: The Pelopponese and the Ionian islands in Mycenaean Greece, in the 10 years after the fall of Troy, circa 12th century BC.
- Climax: The slaughter of the suitors
- Antagonist: The suitors, Poseidon
- Point of View: Third person omniscient
Extra Credit for The Odyssey
The Limits of Papyrus. The Odyssey was initially recorded on fragile papyrus scrolls; some people believe that the length of each of the twenty-four books was determined by the length of a single scroll, which would break if it exceeded a certain size.
Son of Telemachus. The Oracle at Delphi claimed that Homer was Telemachus's son.