Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey is believed to have been composed in the 8th century BCE. Together with its companion poem The Iliad, The Odyssey is a foundational work of Western literature. The narrative follows the Greek hero Odysseus as he embarks on a perilous journey home after the Trojan War. The poem opens with Odysseus stranded on the island of Ogygia, where he has been detained by the nymph Calypso. The majority of the story unfolds as Odysseus faces numerous challenges, encounters mythical creatures, and battles both the forces of nature and divine intervention on his way back to Ithaca, his beloved homeland.

The setting of The Odyssey spans the Mediterranean and includes mythical realms such as the Cyclops’s island, the land of the Lotus Eaters, and the underworld. The poem is not only an adventurous tale but also a reflection on the complexities of human nature, loyalty, and the consequences of one’s actions.

Historically, The Odyssey is a crucial component of ancient Greek literature, showcasing the values and beliefs of the time. Its themes of cunning, divine justice, and the importance of home resonate across cultures and ages.

Read the full plot summary, an in-depth analysis of the character of Odysseus, and explanations of important quotes from The Odyssey.

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