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The History of Fantasy Literature

By Becky Ferreira Jun 3, 2013

2 of 11

The Odyssey

What better place to start an epic journey than with the Odyssey? Many mythological epics preceded the story of Odysseus and his intrepid crew, notably The Epic of Gilgamesh. But the Odyssey's enduring legacy is the poetic skill applied to themes such as fate, homecoming, loss of identity, disguise, and temptation. We also have this poem to thank for helping to cement gods, sea monsters, cyclops, and sorceresses as literary tropes, which greatly influenced the development of fantasy. Also, the poem features some awesome smackdowns between Poseidon and Athena, and who doesn't love a good old-fashioned god fight?

Tags: history, slideshows, fantasy, cs lewis, the hobbit, jrr tolkien, books-and-comics, the lord of the rings

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About the Author
Becky Ferreira

Becky Ferreira is a writer, performer, and raptor based in New York.

Wanna contact a writer or editor? Email contribute@sparknotes.com.