The Odyssey Test: Study Guide Test Format: Fill in the blank (10 questions, 20 points) The answers to fill in the blank questions will be terms and character names from the following list. There will be no word bank on the test. - Odysseus - Agamemnon - Penelope - Helen - Telemakhos - Klytaimnestra - Athena - Antinoos - Zeus - Eurykleia - Poseidon - Mentor - Kalypso - Eumaius - Kirke - Nestor - Skylla - Teiresias - Kharybdis - Arete - Aiolos - Eurymakhos - Sirens - Helios - Lotus Eaters - xenia - Hermes - hubris - Alkinoos - epic simile - Menelaus - epithet Short answer (5 questions, 45 points) Answer these questions briefly (2-4 sentences) and in complete sentences. You will want to carefully review the following topics: - definition of an epic and epic hero - characteristics of an epic - stages of a hero’s journey and how this relates to The Odyssey - the function of an epic simile (practice explaining a couple, identifying what is being compared and how it adds to the epic) - characteristics of Greek gods and religion - the details of Odysseus’ journey - the details of Telemakhos’ journey - Penelope’s role - the role of hubris - the role of xenia Essay (1 question—35 points) You should come into the test knowing exactly how you will answer each question. In order to do this successfully: - develop a thesis statement to answer each of these questions (this will come at the very beginning of your essay) - plan to address many of the topics suggested in the question, but remember that your thesis statement should focus on the phrase or sentence in bold. - Remember that a thesis statement is an ARGUMENT, not a plot summary, and will need to be supported by specific details from the text. - outline answers to each question with specific examples Preparing answers to each of these questions will help you study for the whole test, even if the question itself does not appear on your test. Possible essay topics: What is the role of women in The Odyssey? Consider: How are they portrayed, and why? Are all women the same, or are they contrasted? Which women are we supposed to like, and how can you tell? Try to think beyond the most obvious examples. Odysseus, heralded by generations as the ultimate hero, is a complicated character with many strengths and weaknesses. Consider some conflicting views of Odysseus and determine whether or not he finally deserves to be considered a hero. (Note: you will need to tell us how you are defining hero.) When are you impressed by him? When are you disappointed in him? What is the role of religion and fate in The Odyssey? How does it affect people’s behavior? How does it affect the outcome of the epic? How do people feel about and treat the gods in the Greek epic? How do the gods feel about the people? How does justice work in The Odyssey? Revenge was more acceptable in Homer’s society than in our modern society, but it still needs qualification. Discuss the nature of revenge in The Odyssey: under what conditions is it an acceptable means of justice? Consider where we see incidents of violence and revenge in the epic and compare the outcomes of these situations.
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