The Odyssey Test: Study Guide
November 25, 2008
The format of this test will be slightly different from our previous tests. I want you to
have a better opportunity to show me what you know rather than what you don’t.
PART I. Multiple Choice (25 Questions) worth 50 points.
You will need to be able to identify the following people, terms, and topics.
Homer Cicones Argos
Iliad Circe Homeric Simile
Trojan Horse Cyclops Homeric Epithet
Odysseus Eurylochus Personification
Penelope Lotus Eaters Characteristics
Telemachus Laestrygonians of an Epic
Antinous Aeolus Characteristics
Athena Helios of an Epic Hero
Zeus Scylla Role of Greek
Helen Charybdis gods and
Menelaus Princess Nausicaa goddesses (alter
Nestor King Alcinous egos)
Poseidon Mt. Olympus
PART II. Essay (1 question) worth 50 points.
In order to do write a successful essay, you must include the following:
o An introduction paragraph where the thesis statement comes as the last sentence,
o Approximately 3 body-paragraphs where you support your thesis statement through reasons and
examples from the text (see back of this sheet),
o A conclusion paragraph that restates your argument and leaves the reader satisfied.
o DON’T USE “I” IN YOUR ESSAY—it’s analytical, not personal.
1. What is the role of women in The Odyssey? Consider how female characters are portrayed and why.
Are all women characterized the same, or are they contrasted? Which women are the readers supposed
to like and why? Be sure to support your claim with ample textual evidence.
2. Odysseus is heralded by generations to be the ultimate hero, but as we’ve talked about in class, he is a
complicated character with many weaknesses as well as strengths. Consider some of the conflicting
views of Odysseus and determine whether or not he finally deserves to be considered a hero. (Note:
you will need to define hero in your essay.)
3. Epics are intended to teach the virtues of a civilization. What can readers infer about Greek culture
from The Odyssey? Give three examples of cultural understanding from The Odyssey; consider
discussing topics such as gender roles, justice, religion, marriage, guest/host relationships, and
SAMPLE OUTLINE OF AN ESSAY
Do this for each topic, and you should have no problem writing a stellar essay!
Opening sentence: Something Catchy!
Plot summary and mention of author/title of novel: Properly spelled and punctuated!
Background discussion of topic of paper:
Body Paragraphs (Have 3)
Opening sentence (try to give us an idea of where the paragraph will go overall):
Concrete example from text:
o At least 1 sentence analyzing (not summarizing) example/quote:
Concrete example/quote from text:
o At least 1 sentence analyzing example/quote:
Explanation of how these examples support your thesis:
Transition to next paragraph:
Opening sentence (let us know you’re pulling things together):
Restatement of thesis:
Review/explanation of main points:
What is the larger significance of your argument? Why is the point you make important?:
REMEMBER: In formal essays, do NOT mention “I” or “You”—you do not want to mention yourself or
directly address the reader in formal writing.