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The Odyssey

The Odyssey

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Tutorial

Odysseus, the Hero of Ithaca

 

This translation to English by Samuel Butler (1835-1902) was first published in 1900.

 

"Rendered into English prose for the use of those who cannot read the original"

Essential questions

Essential Questions For The Odyssey Unit:

  1. What Makes a Hero?
  2. What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Immortality?
  3. How Has the Concept of a Hero Changed Over Decades? Over Centuries?
  4. How Does an Epic Differ from Other Works of Literature?

Creating a Setting Map

Grade Level: 9-10

Difficulty Level: 1 (Introducing / Reinforcing)

Type of Assignment: Individual or Partner

Type of Activity: Setting Map

Common Core Standards:
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/5] Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure a text, order events within it (e.g., parallel plots), and manipulate time (e.g., pacing, flashbacks) create such effects as mystery, tension, or surprise
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/7] Analyze the representation of a subject or a key scene in two different artistic mediums, including what is emphasized or absent in each treatment (e.g., Auden’s “Musée des Beaux Arts” and Breughel’s Landscape with the Fall of Icarus)
  • [ELA-Literacy/W/9-10/6] Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology’s capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically

Unlike many traditional stories the Odyssey can be something of a challenge for students because the setting and characters are constantly changing. It is also difficult because it begins in medias res, or the middle of things. This means that the story is not linear in the sense that it begins and chronologically moves through events. Rather, Odysseus beings half way through his journey home and only starts to tell of the last 20 years of his life. Eventually, the read catches up with his ‘present day’.

To help students grasp the sequence of events, it is helpful for them to create a setting map which will allow them to document Odysseus’s journey. In the example that follows, the story begins with Odysseus telling Alcinous, the Phaeacian King, of his travels. The Following is a list of his pit stops on his way home to Ithaca:

  • Troy

    His story begins with the battle of Troy, where he fought for ten years.

  • Cicones

    Then, he landed on the island of the Cicones where his men looted the town. Instead of quickly fleeing they stayed and were slaughtered by the Cicones horsemen seeking revenge.

  • Island of the Lotus Eaters

    Driven off course by storms he then lands on the island of the Lotus Eaters where his men ate Lotus’ that made them crazy.

  • Island of Cyclops

    After gathering his men, they landed on an island of Cyclops and were captured by Polyphemus, the son Poseidon. To escape Odysseus and his men blinded him. This creates a major conflict; Polyphemus asks his father to curse Odysseus so he may never return home.

  • Island of Aeolus

    Next, he landed on the island of Aeolus, who gave Odysseus and his men a bag of wind to help them return home. As they reached Ithaca, the greedy sailors opened the bag thinking it was gold and blew them back to Aeolus. At this point, Aeolus believed Odysseus was cursed and refused to help him further.

  • Laestrygonians

    Sailing away from their previous island, the fleet of ships came near the island of the Laestrygonians; a race of cannibals who hurled rocks at the ships sinking all but one.

  • Circe

    Narrowly escaping the Laestrygonians, Odysseus continued and landed on the island of Circe. Here, Odysseus's men were turned into swine, and he was made Circe's lover.

  • Land of the Dead

    After being with her a year, Odysseus was told that if he ever wanted to return home he had to travel to the Land of the Dead in search of the prophet Tiresias.

  • Six headed Monster and Whirlpool

    After getting news from the underworld the men sailed on again passed the island of the Sirens and then right into a Scylla and Charybdis. This is where nearly all of his men perished.

  • Island of Thrinacia

    They then land on the island of Thrinacia, home to the Cattle of the Sun God, Helios. Despite a warning not to eat the cows, some of Odysseus's men disobey him and again they pay for it with their lives.

  • Calypso's Island

    Moving on, they ended up on Calypso’s island. She offered Odysseus immortality and captivated him as her lover for nearly seven years. Eventually, Zeus intervened and forced her to let him go.

  • Island of Scheria

    Here the story catches up, and the reader and Odysseus are in the same setting, the land of the Phaeacians on the island of Scheria. It is the King and Queen of this island that finally get Odysseus home to Ithaca, where more obstacles await him.

  • Ithaca

    Odysseus is finally given passage home. However, when he gets there he finds his home overrun with suitors.

 

Key Symbols, Themes, & Motifs in The Odyssey

Grade Level: 9-10

Difficulty Level: 3 (Developing to Mastery)

Type of Assignment: Individual or Partner

Type of Activity: Key Themes, Motifs, and Symbols

Common Core Standards:
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/2] Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/5] Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure a text, order events within it (e.g., parallel plots), and manipulate time (e.g., pacing, flashbacks) create such effects as mystery, tension, or surprise
  • [ELA-Literacy/SL/9-10/5] Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest

Valuable aspects of a novel are the concepts of theme(s), symbols, and motif(s). Part of the common core ELA strands is to introduce and explain these complex concepts. However, abstract ideas are often difficult to get students to anatomize without much assistance. Howbeit, using a storyboard students can visually demonstrate their understanding of these concepts and master their ability to analyze broad literary elements. For best practices see our article with specific lesson plan steps on setting up your classroom and activities for theme(s), symbols, and motif(s).

An example of this in the classroom could be to track the rich motifs that Homers uses throughout The Odyssey

Additional Ideas and Themes to Discuss:

  • Greek Hospitality:

    Throughout the sojourn of Odysseus, he and his men are continually tossed into different settings. On each island, they believe that they are entitled to the custom of Greek hospitality. This custom is that men are judged by how well they play host or guest and are expected to provide food, shelter, and protection to any traveler. However, in "The Odyssey" breaking these rules causes angst among the gods and bad luck to those who disobey.

  • Temptation:

    Another important theme is that of temptation. During the epic journey not only is Odysseus tempted, but his men are as well. Each time they approach a new land the temptations become stronger, thwarting the men and threatening, never to allow them to return home. Some examples of Temptations include seduction, immorality, greed, and food.

  • Brains over Bronze:

    One universal theme seen throughout all ancient stories is the use of wit over the need for brute strength. In Odysseus’ case, although he possesses the strength to win battles and is described as demigod like it is his ability to outsmart his enemy that is his most valuable asset. The greatest example of this is when he escapes Polyphemus’ cave.

Motifs and Imagery to Look For:

  • Loyalty:

    Specifically, the loyalty of Odysseus’ men as he continually struggles with them disobeying him. Juxtaposed to the loyalty they show to Odysseus when he asks them to tie him to the mast as they pass the sirens.

  • Seduction:

    Over and over again, the men and Odysseus are tempted by many temptresses. Examples include Circe, Calypso, the Sirens, and the Lotus-eaters. All these seductions try to inhibit the men from continuing their way home through the means of temptation.

  • Disguises:

    Disguises play a significant role in concealing the identity of characters. Readers will notice that in this epic, the particular act of disguising comes primarily in the form of magical help from the gods or from the enchantment of a spell.

  • Tests/Trickery:

    A universal motif in epics is also the use of trickery or a test for the hero and his men. This shows the mental strength of the hero and allows them to earn rewards to reach their goal.

 
 
 

Activities for The Odyssey

Heroic Journey Using Joseph Campbell's Monomyth

Grade Level: 9-10

Difficulty Level: 3 (Developing to Mastery)

Type of Assignment: Individual or Partner

Type of Activity: Heroic Journey

Common Core Standards:
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/3] Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/5] Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure a text, order events within it (e.g., parallel plots), and manipulate time (e.g., pacing, flashbacks) create such effects as mystery, tension, or surprise
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/6] Analyze a particular point of view or cultural experience reflected in a work of literature from outside the United States, drawing on a wide reading of world literature

Similar to a plot diagram or the types or literary conflict; the hero’s journey is a pattern of structure and stages that a hero completes. Joseph Campbell, an American mythologist, writer, and lecturer, created this cycle after researching and reviewing numerous myths and stories from different times and regions of the world. What he found was that they all share the same fundamental principles. This spawned "The hero’s journey" also known as the Monomyth. The most fundamental version has 12 steps while more detailed versions can have up to 17.

Example following the Mono-myth Structure

Stage Summary
Ordinary world King Odysseus’ home is with his wife Penelope and newborn son Telemachus in Ithaca.
Call to Adventure Odysseus is setting out for a battle at Troy
Refusal He does not want to leave his family and sail to Troy; he knows it will be a long trip, and he’s fatherly instincts do not wish to leave his son.
Mentor/Helper Athena: The Goddess of wisdom, crafts, and war. She is Odysseus guide and wants to help Odysseus although she has been instructed not to; she takes pity on him while other gods forsake him. She constantly saves Odysseus from death and gives him guidance in the form of information.
Cross the Threshold After the war the gods became angry with the Greeks for their prideful ways; a great storm emerges and throws them off course.
Test/Allies/Enemies Odysseus is thwarted with many tests as he travels back to Ithaca because the epic begins in media res he tells the King of Phaeacia what has happened thus far:
  • Polyphemus
  • Circones
  • Lotus eaters
  • Lastrygonians
  • Sirens
  • Scylla & Charybdis
  • Cattle of the Sun God
Approach Odysseus makes it home, however, his crew opens the bag given to him as a gift. When the bag is opened, it releases a wind that blows them far away from Ithaca.
Ordeal Odysseus is sent to the underworld seeking information to guide him home. This journey to the underworld brings him on the verge of death.
Reward The King of Phaeacia gives Odysseus passage home.
Road back Unlike other Heroic Journey’s our hero was not in search of treasure. Instead, he was desperately trying to reach his home. Once he returns, he finds out that his house has been overrun with suitors trying to steal his wife and palace.
Atonement Instead of rushing in and killing the suitors, Odysseus is patient and wishes to learn if his wife has been faithful. Therefore, with the help of his son and a loyal swineherder he devises a plan. Athena disguises him as an old beggar so that he may enter his house undetected. Telemachus steals all the suitors’ weapons, and a final test is given. Penelope will Marry the man who strings Odysseus bow and with it shoot through a series of small circles; a task that seems impossible.
Return Odysseus, dressed as a beggar, completes the task and is then restored to his original state. He and his son then expel the suitors from their home by force. Penelope, seeing how Odysseus has changed tests him to make sure it is actually him. She tells him she has moved their bed, to which he replies that it would have been impossible, a correct answer, and all is returned to normal.
 
 
 
 

Creating a Setting Map

Grade Level: 9-10

Difficulty Level: 1 (Introducing / Reinforcing)

Type of Assignment: Individual or Partner

Type of Activity: Setting Map

Common Core Standards:
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/5] Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure a text, order events within it (e.g., parallel plots), and manipulate time (e.g., pacing, flashbacks) create such effects as mystery, tension, or surprise
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/7] Analyze the representation of a subject or a key scene in two different artistic mediums, including what is emphasized or absent in each treatment (e.g., Auden’s “Musée des Beaux Arts” and Breughel’s Landscape with the Fall of Icarus)
  • [ELA-Literacy/W/9-10/6] Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology’s capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically

Unlike many traditional stories the Odyssey can be something of a challenge for students because the setting and characters are constantly changing. It is also difficult because it begins in medias res, or the middle of things. This means that the story is not linear in the sense that it begins and chronologically moves through events. Rather, Odysseus beings half way through his journey home and only starts to tell of the last 20 years of his life. Eventually, the read catches up with his ‘present day’.

To help students grasp the sequence of events, it is helpful for them to create a setting map which will allow them to document Odysseus’s journey. In the example that follows, the story begins with Odysseus telling Alcinous, the Phaeacian King, of his travels. The Following is a list of his pit stops on his way home to Ithaca:

  • Troy

    His story begins with the battle of Troy, where he fought for ten years.

  • Cicones

    Then, he landed on the island of the Cicones where his men looted the town. Instead of quickly fleeing they stayed and were slaughtered by the Cicones horsemen seeking revenge.

  • Island of the Lotus Eaters

    Driven off course by storms he then lands on the island of the Lotus Eaters where his men ate Lotus’ that made them crazy.

  • Island of Cyclops

    After gathering his men, they landed on an island of Cyclops and were captured by Polyphemus, the son Poseidon. To escape Odysseus and his men blinded him. This creates a major conflict; Polyphemus asks his father to curse Odysseus so he may never return home.

  • Island of Aeolus

    Next, he landed on the island of Aeolus, who gave Odysseus and his men a bag of wind to help them return home. As they reached Ithaca, the greedy sailors opened the bag thinking it was gold and blew them back to Aeolus. At this point, Aeolus believed Odysseus was cursed and refused to help him further.

  • Laestrygonians

    Sailing away from their previous island, the fleet of ships came near the island of the Laestrygonians; a race of cannibals who hurled rocks at the ships sinking all but one.

  • Circe

    Narrowly escaping the Laestrygonians, Odysseus continued and landed on the island of Circe. Here, Odysseus's men were turned into swine, and he was made Circe's lover.

  • Land of the Dead

    After being with her a year, Odysseus was told that if he ever wanted to return home he had to travel to the Land of the Dead in search of the prophet Tiresias.

  • Six headed Monster and Whirlpool

    After getting news from the underworld the men sailed on again passed the island of the Sirens and then right into a Scylla and Charybdis. This is where nearly all of his men perished.

  • Island of Thrinacia

    They then land on the island of Thrinacia, home to the Cattle of the Sun God, Helios. Despite a warning not to eat the cows, some of Odysseus's men disobey him and again they pay for it with their lives.

  • Calypso's Island

    Moving on, they ended up on Calypso’s island. She offered Odysseus immortality and captivated him as her lover for nearly seven years. Eventually, Zeus intervened and forced her to let him go.

  • Island of Scheria

    Here the story catches up, and the reader and Odysseus are in the same setting, the land of the Phaeacians on the island of Scheria. It is the King and Queen of this island that finally get Odysseus home to Ithaca, where more obstacles await him.

  • Ithaca

    Odysseus is finally given passage home. However, when he gets there he finds his home overrun with suitors.

 
 
 

Key Symbols, Themes, & Motifs in The Odyssey

Grade Level: 9-10

Difficulty Level: 3 (Developing to Mastery)

Type of Assignment: Individual or Partner

Type of Activity: Key Themes, Motifs, and Symbols

Common Core Standards:
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/2] Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/5] Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure a text, order events within it (e.g., parallel plots), and manipulate time (e.g., pacing, flashbacks) create such effects as mystery, tension, or surprise
  • [ELA-Literacy/SL/9-10/5] Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest

Valuable aspects of a novel are the concepts of theme(s), symbols, and motif(s). Part of the common core ELA strands is to introduce and explain these complex concepts. However, abstract ideas are often difficult to get students to anatomize without much assistance. Howbeit, using a storyboard students can visually demonstrate their understanding of these concepts and master their ability to analyze broad literary elements. For best practices see our article with specific lesson plan steps on setting up your classroom and activities for theme(s), symbols, and motif(s).

An example of this in the classroom could be to track the rich motifs that Homers uses throughout The Odyssey

Additional Ideas and Themes to Discuss:

  • Greek Hospitality:

    Throughout the sojourn of Odysseus, he and his men are continually tossed into different settings. On each island, they believe that they are entitled to the custom of Greek hospitality. This custom is that men are judged by how well they play host or guest and are expected to provide food, shelter, and protection to any traveler. However, in "The Odyssey" breaking these rules causes angst among the gods and bad luck to those who disobey.

  • Temptation:

    Another important theme is that of temptation. During the epic journey not only is Odysseus tempted, but his men are as well. Each time they approach a new land the temptations become stronger, thwarting the men and threatening, never to allow them to return home. Some examples of Temptations include seduction, immorality, greed, and food.

  • Brains over Bronze:

    One universal theme seen throughout all ancient stories is the use of wit over the need for brute strength. In Odysseus’ case, although he possesses the strength to win battles and is described as demigod like it is his ability to outsmart his enemy that is his most valuable asset. The greatest example of this is when he escapes Polyphemus’ cave.

Motifs and Imagery to Look For:

  • Loyalty:

    Specifically, the loyalty of Odysseus’ men as he continually struggles with them disobeying him. Juxtaposed to the loyalty they show to Odysseus when he asks them to tie him to the mast as they pass the sirens.

  • Seduction:

    Over and over again, the men and Odysseus are tempted by many temptresses. Examples include Circe, Calypso, the Sirens, and the Lotus-eaters. All these seductions try to inhibit the men from continuing their way home through the means of temptation.

  • Disguises:

    Disguises play a significant role in concealing the identity of characters. Readers will notice that in this epic, the particular act of disguising comes primarily in the form of magical help from the gods or from the enchantment of a spell.

  • Tests/Trickery:

    A universal motif in epics is also the use of trickery or a test for the hero and his men. This shows the mental strength of the hero and allows them to earn rewards to reach their goal.

 
 
 

Epic Origins

Grade Level: 9-10

Difficulty Level: 1 (Introducing / Reinforcing)

Type of Assignment: Individual or Partner

Type of Activity: Elements of an Epic

Common Core Standards:
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/5] Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure a text, order events within it (e.g., parallel plots), and manipulate time (e.g., pacing, flashbacks) create such effects as mystery, tension, or surprise
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/10] By the end of grade 9, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, in the grades 9-10 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.

    By the end of grade 10, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, at the high end of the grades 9-10 text complexity band independently and proficiently
  • [ELA-Literacy/SL/9-10/2] Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source

Generally, epics are mythological histories. Meaning, they are a melting pot of famous figures from history and historical events. In the case of "The Odyssey" the battle of Troy is the beginning of the epic with the famous Odysseus, warrior of Ithaca, as its hero.

Epics, typically begin as oral traditions being passed down from generations before being written down. For this reason, epics have a sequential order and repetition of the events that made them easier to remember. Due to their length and magnitude, these works often took days to tell!

Six Elements Of The Epic:

  1. The Hero is typically of legendary proportions:

    The epic hero is typically world renowned and well known in his time often reaching superstar status. In ancient legends, the hero often is either partially divine or at least protected by the gods.

    "You may have heard of me, Odysseus...inventor of the Trojan Horse." In cell one this quote is used to show how notorious Odysseus was. He came up with the idea of using the Trojan Horse to infiltrate Troy and win the battle. For this reason, and many others like it, he was celebrated as a great leader and warrior.

  2. The Hero's adventures are of superhuman strength and valor:

    Accomplishing feats no real human could and also having the brains to go with the brawn's.

    Odysseus shows his strength many times. However, it is in the end when he defeats all the suitors that he proves to be superhuman! After 20 years at sea, he returns home to find his estate overrun with men squandering his storerooms and trying to take his wife! In true Odysseus fashion, outnumbered 10 to 1, he kills them all and restores his place.

  3. Multiple Settings:

    The actions of the hero span the continent, other realms, or even worlds.

    In the Odyssey, much of the action takes place in the Mediterranean sea on various islands. However, the hero does travel to the underworld in search of the prophet Tiresias making this epic span the cosmos!

  4. Involvement of supernatural:

    In epics its not uncome to find gods, demons, angels, time/space travel, cheating death, immortality and anything else that is truly of epic proportions.

    The gods play a significant role in this epic. Athena is Odysseus' aid, Poseidon is his villain, and Zeus... well he doesn't want to get involved.

  5. The style of writing is Epic!

    Think of the modern use of the word epic and apply it to this overwritten, overly formal, highly stylized writing and in one word you get: exaggerated!

    Some use of exaggerated style includes: Epic Similes and metaphors: Ex. Her mind in torment, wheeling like some lion at bay, dreading the gangs of hunters closing their cunning ring around him for the finish. Epithets: Ex. That man skilled in all ways of contending.

  6. The author, poet, or narrator is omniscient:

    The narrator sees and knows all.

    Throughout the epic the narrator uses 3rd person omniscient. Writing like he is god-like, all knowing, witnessing all and experiencing all!

 
 
 

Character Mapping with The Odyssey

Grade Level: 9-10

Difficulty Level: 2 (Reinforcing / Developing)

Type of Assignment: Individual

Type of Activity: Character Map

Common Core Standards:
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/3] Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme
  • [ELA-Literacy/W/9-10/8] Gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital sources, using advanced searches effectively; assess the usefulness of each source in answering the research question; integrate information into the text selectively to maintain the flow of ideas, avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation
  • [ELA-Literacy/W/9-10/9] Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research

Before or during reading, it is helpful to students to grasp the knowledge of important Greek gods and goddesses. Try using a character map like the one below to conduct internet research. This may be helpful to establish domains and attributes of specific gods that play a major role in the epic.

Important Greek Gods, Demigods, Goddesses, and Other Mythological Creatures from "The Odyssey".

  • Aeolus - God of Wind
  • Athena - Odysseus guide, Goddess of War and Wisdom
  • Calypso - Nymph
  • Charybdis - whirlpool
  • Circe - Witch
  • Helios - Sun God
  • Hermes - Messenger
  • Polyphemus - Cyclops
  • Poseidon - Ruler of the Seas
  • Sirens - Femme Fatale Creatures Whose Song Lures Men to Their Deaths
  • Scylla -Six Headed Beast
  • Zeus - Ruler of All Gods
 
 
 

Constant Conflict!

Grade Level: 9-10

Difficulty Level: 2 (Reinforcing / Developing)

Type of Assignment: Individual or Partner

Type of Activity: Literary Conflict

Common Core Standards:
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/1] Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/3] Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/5] Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure a text, order events within it (e.g., parallel plots), and manipulate time (e.g., pacing, flashbacks) create such effects as mystery, tension, or surprise

Literary conflicts are a major element often taught during ELA units. Have students choose one example of each literary conflict and depict this using the storyboard creator! This will build upon prior knowledge to achieve mastery.

 

In The Odyssey conflict is ever present. Much of the conflict that arises arises from the obstacles that Odysseus must face in order to return home. The wayward traveler and his crew member battle against a setting that changes as well as the challenges and temptations. Using Joseph Campbell's Monomyth readers can see that conflicts are the primary action divers in epics. For most of, if not all of the story, the Hero is at constant battle with the supernatural world in order to return to his home.

Having students create storyboards that show the cause and effect of different conflicts will reinforce their ability to analyze literature.

Examples From The Odyssey

  • Man Vs. Self

    Odysseus struggles with himself. He convinces his men to tie him to the mast of the ship in order to hear the Siren's song.

  • Man Vs. Nature

    Odysseus struggles with nature. The whirlpool (Charybdis) swallows his boat, kills his men and leaves him adrift in the sea.

  • Man Vs. Society

    Odysseus struggles with society. After he returns home, he finds his house over-run with suitors.

 
 
 

Other Lesson Plan Ideas

  1. Tell the story from Telemachus or Penelope's point of view.
  2. Create an alternate ending to the epic by creating a storyboard that shows and tells the story from a different perspective.
  3. Show steps or mistakes that lead to Odysseus being further deserted.
  4. Visually depict what happened on one of Odysseus's island stops.
  5. Make a storyboard that depicts some of the crazy and epic epithets!
  6. Add a presentation to any storyboard project.

From Our Artists

From Sarah (Head of Character Development)

Where would heroic tales be if it weren't for the Greeks' creation of the Epic( from the Greek word, 'Epikos') Poem? Homer, the author of the Odyssey, pioneered the field of story writing with his many poems. The Odyssey, a story of love, adventure, war, and gods is a classic that paved the way for all adventure writing to come.

  • Personal Favorite- I enjoyed all of the different lands that Odysseus traveled to, as well as all the strange and alluring creatures he encountered.
  • Pro-Tip- Charybdis can be placed in any water, but goes wonderfully in our ocean scenes with a fun whirlpool effect that will look as though it is pulling in your characters' unsuspecting ships!
  • Many of the scenes and characters were created with Greek tales in mind. Be sure to visit our "Historical" and "Outdoor" tabs for scenes and the "Classical" and "Monsters & Myth" categories for characters. Now get out there and put poor Odysseus through some trials!

Make sure to search for images with The Odyssey

Types of Conflict in Literature Project

Types of Conflict Found In Literature

By Katherine Docimo (En Español | En Français | Auf Deutsch)

Identifying major themes of literature and analyzing their development throughout a piece of text is part of ELA common core standards for grades 9-12 (Literacy.RL.9-10.2, Literacy.RL11-12.2). A common approach for this standard is to teach about the “Big Four” types of literary conflict: Man vs. Man, Man vs. Nature, Man vs. Society, and Man vs. Self.

Storyboard That is the perfect way to both engage high-school students in ELA class and teach them to identify the types of literary conflict. Visual cues in storyboards bring heady concepts such as Man vs. Society and Man vs. Self down to earth through “comic-strip” style illustrations and captions.

 

The "Big Four"

 

 





Teachers can create fun and easy-to-assess classwork that tasks high-school students with creating storyboards focusing on literary conflict. The linear nature of a storyboard mirrors the progression of conflict and reinforces learning.

Students create storyboards using details and characters pulled from text allowing teachers to determine almost immediately whether students comprehend the scope of the objectives.

Example Exercises:
  • Students identify the major conflict(s) of the class book via a storyboard.
  • Students create storyboards that show and explain, in their own words, the four different types of conflict.
  • Students create storyboards that show the major type of conflict in their own creative writing or lives.
  • Using empty storyboard templates on a test, have students fill in text boxes with dialogue that gives a clear example of each type of conflict and label them.


Teachers can customize the level of detail and number of cells required for projects based on available class time and resources.

Examples From Famous Books

By the end of this lesson your students will create amazing storyboards like the ones below!

 

 

 

 

 

Assessment

Another advantage to storyboarding is the ease with which storyboard assignments can be graded and assessed via a rubric.

 

 

Example Rubric

    Incomplete (1) Developing (2) Accomplished (3) Exemplary (4) Score
Text Comprehension Correctly identifies major conflict of text. Student does not attempt to identify major conflict or identifies incorrect major conflict with no explanation. Student identifies incorrect major conflict, and uses some details from the text to support their choice. Student identifies correct major conflict and uses few or unclear details to support their choice. Student identifies correct major conflict and uses strong, clear textual evidence to support choice.  
Includes examples of textual events that are a result of the conflict. Student does not include any examples of plot points that are a direct cause of conflict. Student includes only vague or poorly explained examples of plot points that are a direct cause of conflict. Student includes at one clear example of plot points that are a direct cause of the major conflict category. Student includes at least two clear examples of plot points that are a direct cause of the major conflict category.  
Shows example of the outcome of the conference on the protagonist. Student does not clearly show the outcome of the conflict or use textual evidence. Student shows the outcome of the conflict, but does not examine its effect on the protagonist and uses some vague textual evidence. Student shows the outcome of the conflict and its effect on the protagonist, but some evidence is unclear. Student clearly shows the outcome of the conflict and its effects on the protagonist with evidence from the text.  
Includes relevant quotes from the text. Student does not include a quote. Student includes quote, but it contains errors or is not at all related to events presented in the storyboard. Student includes at least one quote, but it is not directly relevant to the events presented in the storyboard or has an error in punctuation, page #. Student includes at least one quote, with proper punctuation and page #, from the text that deals directly with the events presented in the storyboard.  
Character Student names the protagonist and includes all major characters required by the text and instructor. Storyboard does not include the names of required characters. Storyboard includes protagonist and antagonist but leaves out other required characters. Storyboard includes all required characters, clearly named. Storyboard includes all required characters and clearly names them. Goes above and beyond by adding details or names of additional characters.  
Storyboard Student uses Storyboard That tools to clearly and creatively convey the setting of the text. Student makes little or no attempt to convey the setting or scene. The setting and scene are not clearly conveyed. Storyboard attempts to convey setting and scene of the book, but lacks some clarity. Storyboard clearly shows effort to convey the setting the scene of the book  
Spelling and Grammar Student uses correct spelling and grammar throughout entire storyboard. Student makes many errors in spelling and grammar, little attempt at spellchecking. Student may make several minor errors in spelling and grammar. Student may make a minor error in spelling and grammar. Student uses exemplary spelling and grammar. There are no errors.