Follow TV Tropes

Following

History Main / TheOdyssey

Go To



* ''Literature/Odyssey'', the fourth novel in the ''Literature/PriscillaHutchins'' series by Creator/JackMcDevitt.

to:

* ''Literature/Odyssey'', ''Literature/{{Odyssey}}'', the fourth novel in the ''Literature/PriscillaHutchins'' series by Creator/JackMcDevitt.


* ''Odyssey'', the fourth novel in the ''Literature/PriscillaHutchins'' series by Creator/JackMcDevitt.

to:

* ''Odyssey'', ''Literature/Odyssey'', the fourth novel in the ''Literature/PriscillaHutchins'' series by Creator/JackMcDevitt.


* ''LARP/{{Odyssey}}'', a LARP.

to:

* ''LARP/{{Odyssey}}'', a LARP.
{{LARP}}.



to:

* ''LARP/{{Odyssey}}'', a LARP.


* ''Series/TheOdyssey'', the Canadian children's TV series .


Added DiffLines:

* ''Series/TheOdyssey'', the Canadian children's TV series.


''The Odyssey'' may refer to:

* The ancient Greek epic poem ''Literature/TheOdyssey''.
* The Canadian children's TV series ''Series/TheOdyssey''.

to:

''The Odyssey'' may '''''The Odyssey''''' or '''''Odyssey''''' can refer to:

to the following works:

* The ancient Greek epic poem ''Literature/TheOdyssey''.
* The
''Series/TheOdyssey'', the Canadian children's TV series .
* ''Literature/TheOdyssey'', the ancient Greek epic poem by Creator/{{Homer}}.
* ''Odyssey'', the fourth novel in the ''Literature/PriscillaHutchins''
series ''Series/TheOdyssey''.by Creator/JackMcDevitt.
* ''Literature/TheOdysseyTrilogy'' by Creator/WilliamShatner.

If a direct wick has led you here, please correct the link in the concerned page so that it points to the corresponding article.


''TheOdyssey'' may refer to:

to:

''TheOdyssey'' ''The Odyssey'' may refer to:


* The Canadian children's TV series ''Series/TheOdyssey''.

to:

* The Canadian children's TV series ''Series/TheOdyssey''.''Series/TheOdyssey''.
----


http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/W6ES000Z_6153.jpg

->"ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ
->πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν"
-->-- '''Homer''', ''The Odyssey'' Bk.I:1-2 [[hottip:*:(Tell me, Muse, of the cunning man who traveled far and wide after he had sacked the famed city of Troy)]]

''TheOdyssey'' (Greek: ''Ὀδύσσεια'') is one the epics of TheTrojanCycle and one of the oldest recorded stories. The original was reputedly composed by the blind poet {{Homer}} [[OlderThanDirt well before 600BC]] and transmitted orally until it was (according to tradition) written down and standardised at the behest of the tyrant Peisistratus in about 550 BC.

It's about Odysseus (the Latinized name ''Ulysses'' is sometimes used in English), king of Ithaca (a small island off the west coast of Greece). He was involved in the sacking of Troy, which took ten years (see [[TheIliad the previous installment]]), and offended Poseidon while he was celebrating. Poseidon decided to do everything he could to keep Odysseus and his band of soldiers from returning.

The poem opens with the gods debating about Odysseus and his son, Telemachus. Odysseus left his infant son and wife, Penelope, for TheTrojanWar, but after the Fall of Troy he and his crew ended up stranded, and Odysseus had been away from home now for twenty years. Athena, who (unlike in ''TheIliad'') is the only god playing a large role in the story, heads down to Ithaca to tell the now-20-year-old Telemachus that it's time to man up and find out about his father. See, about three years before this [[OneHundredAndEight 108]] suitors showed up for Penelope and began trying to seduce her, and Telemachus was too much of a wimp to do anything. Penelope had managed to keep them at bay using a clever trick - she told them she would marry after she finished weaving a burial shroud for her father-in-law, but always undid the day's work at night. This kept them fooled for a while, but the plot is eventually discovered. So Telemachus goes and chats with several characters who survived the Trojan War--Menelaus and Nestor--who tell him about his dad and how [[BadassNormal badass]] he is. Unfortunately he neglected to inform Penelope of his departure, and now the suitors are out to murder him too.

Meanwhile, Odysseus is stuck on Calypso's island, crying on a rock because he misses his family. Hermes shows up and tells Calypso to let him go, and she does. He ends up chilling with the Phaeacians with the princess, Nausicaa, and tells what he's been doing since the Fall of Troy ten years ago.

[[{{Understatement}} It is a very long story]].

Basically, King Agamemnon and his brother got in a fight over sacrificing, which resulted in the Greeks getting split up. Through a whole bunch of other fights, Odysseus ended up with a much smaller crew. Then they got lost and ended up at the cave of the King of the Winds, and he gives them wind in a pouch so they can get home. But the [[TooDumbToLive crew]] are all idiots, and they open the winds so they all can't get home. Oh, and like most wind tends to do, this creates a storm and they get lost. Again. This is a recurrent theme throughout the poem.

First, they end up on an island full of [[LotusEaterMachine Lotus-Eaters]], who entrance the crew and give them [[MushroomSamba a good time,]] so they forget they want to go home. Odysseus drags them back to the ship, and they carry on, only to end up at the island of the Cyclops. Once again, the crew (along with Odysseus) show their wit by eating the food before the Cyclops, Polyphemus, shows up. He is a bit angry, demonstrated by the fact that he bit off the heads of two of the crew. Odysseus tells Polyphemus that his name is "Nobody," then [[EyeScream blinds ol' Poly with an sharpened olive branch]], so that when Polyphemus reacts, he can only say, "Nobody did this!" Of course, Odysseus is an idiot, and gloats, saying, "Cyclops, if anyone ever asks you how you came by your blindness, tell him your eye was put out by Odysseus, sacker of cities, the son of Laertes, who lives in Ithaca" (9.506). Had the Greeks had social security numbers, he would have thrown that in too.

Unfortunately, Polyphemus is [[PapaWolf Poseidon]]'s son.

Like many fathers would be, Poseidon is slightly tiffed that his son, who only had one eye to begin with, is now blind, so he seeks revenge on Odysseus. First, Odysseus ends up with the witch Circe, who turns his crew into pigs ([[IGotBetter they get better]]), then he goes to Hades and [[DeadPersonConversation chats with a few people]], including [[BlindSeer Tiresias]]--who tells him that even after he gets home, he won't be able to stay forever. After avoiding the Sirens and Scylla & Charybdis, the crew then kill all the Cattle of the Sun, who belong to Helios, [[TooDumbToLive despite being warned not to]]. [[RocksFallEveryoneDies Lightning falls, the crew dies]], and Odysseus is shipwrecked on Calypso's island. She makes him her manwhore for seven years and Odysseus cries on some more rocks. This takes us up to the present, or at least, the first chapter.

After this long {{flashback}}, about a third of the story, Odysseus finally gets home and finds the suitors still abusing hospitality (a capital sin in Ancient Greece) and trying to woo his wife. Odysseus reveals himself to his son, who has recently returned, and they begin to plot. The next day, Odysseus reveals himself to the suitors and kills them, kills the twelve housemaids who slept with them (but, of course, only after making the girls clean up the dead bodies), and then, finally, reveals himself to his wife. In typical Homeric fashion, this takes seventy-five pages. Odysseus tells Penelope that he'll have to leave eventually again, given what Tiresias prophesized, but in the meantime, he's home.

Of course, [[EndingFatigue it's not over]]. Odysseus goes and talks to his dad, Laertes, while the suitors talk to the dead in Hades, and the suitors' parents plot to kill Odysseus. They all show up to fight him, Athena tries to help Odysseus, Zeus shoots her with lightning, then Athena calls the whole fight off and makes the parents forget their sons died in a bloody, horrific massacre.

And yes, many historians believe the Homer part of the poem ended with Odysseus revealing himself to Penelope, and that someone else tacked on the end.

Because of its age the poem will be the UrExample or TropeMaker of quite a few of the following tropes.

For the Canadian television series see [[TV/TheOdyssey the Odyssey]].

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
!!''TheOdyssey'' provides examples of:

* {{Animated Adaptation}}: A classic example- {{Ulysses 31}} Is (sort of) The Odyssey IN SPACE!
* TheArcher: Odysseus.
* {{Badass}}: Odysseus himself. It's been theorized that he's something of an amalgamation of two heroes; one who was [[WeakButSkilled quite feeble but ridiculously intelligent and cunning]], and another that was a bit more of the GeniusBruiser type. Essentially, he's the ancient Greek version of {{Batman}}.
* BadassBoast: Odysseus does this to Polyphemus the cyclops.
** This bites him in the ass when Polyphemus, having learned Odysseus's name through his boasting, invokes a favor from his father Poseidon to make his journey home a living nightmare. [[PapaWolf Daddy delivers]].
* BalefulPolymorph: Circe turns the men who visit her island into pigs.
* BlindSeer: Tiresias makes a cameo.
* BoltOfDivineRetribution: Athena threatens one of these in the last book when Odysseus tries to go to war ''again.''
* BrownNote: The Sirens' song.
* CallToAgriculture: Odysseus' goal after going home.
* ClingyJealousGirl: Odysseus finds that having a nereid wanting to sex you up 24/7 gets old after seven years. Calypso, however, has no intention of letting go.
* DoubleStandard: Odysseus screws a number of women. Penelope waits twenty years for a husband that she believes to be dead and never cracks once.
** Then maybe she deserves more admiration than Odysseus.
** Of course, two of the encounters Odysseus has aren't exactly consensual.
*** And at least according to the Odyssey these were the only two women he had sex with. And indeed one could argue that it was even more amazing that Odysseus would return to his wife (now 20 years older than when he left her) passing up a chance of eternal bliss with either Circe or Calypso.
** Calypso herself sees a different kind of double standard at work. When Hermes tells her Zeus has ordered her to release Odysseus, she complains that the gods never allow goddesses to enjoy relationships with mortals, citing the examples of Orion and Iasion, lovers of Eos and Demeter respectively, who were killed by gods.
*** Olympians having a DoubleStandard is unsurprising. Greek gods had a surprisingly undivine habit of being more erratic, tyrannical, dishonorable, or just plain childish than even most mortals. Socrates noticed that and he wasn't the only one.
* DueToTheDead
* EnthrallingSiren: Odysseus has his men stuff their ears with wax to ward off their songs. [[{{Pride}} Not his own, of course.]] Instead he has himself tied to the mast and the men instructed to ignore his ranting so that he can hear the song but doesn't jump onto or order them into the rocks.
* EverythingsBetterOnDrugs: The Lotus Eaters, who eat nothing but a fruit that causes them [[LotusEaterMachine a sort of never-ending]] [[TropeMaker lethargic]] [[TropeNamer contentment]].
* EyeScream: Eat Odysseus' sailors and reap the consequences.
* ExploringTheEvilLair: The Cyclops's cave.
* FieryRedhead: Odysseus and King Menelaus(called the "Red-Haired King").
* {{Flashback}}: As is standard for classical epic, much of the story is told in flashbacks.
** It wasn't standard at the time it was written, which is why some scholars see the Odyssey as a more modern and sophisticated work than the Iliad.
* ForbiddenFruit: Aeolus's bag of winds.
* FridgeBrilliance: Odysseus has been away from Ithaca for twenty years, and Telemachos is just beginning to take control of his family in the last six months or so. So who's been ruling Ithaca? That's right, Penelope.
* GeniusBruiser: Odysseus. The Greeks wouldn't take no for an answer from him because of his famed intelligence.
* GuileHero: Odysseus.
* {{Hachiko}}: Odysseus' dog predates the trope namer, waiting faithfully for his master before dying shortly after his return. In some tellings he dies happy, in others Odysseus is forced to pretend he doesn't know the dog, making this more of a TearJerker.
* HappilyMarried: Odysseus and Penelope. How much time they actually spent together is debatable, but there's no denying they're happy together.
* HistoricalFantasy: Set during the Greek Bronze Age and although the actual date of composition was debated, it was ''at least'' a few hundred years later.
* HomeSweetHome
* TheHomewardJourney: TropeCodifier
* HowWeGotHere[=/=]InMediasRes: Everything before Odysseus arrival in the land of the Phaeacians is told in flashback.
* HoYay: Eurymachus to Odysseus: "You're a hard man, Odysseus. Your fighting spirit's stronger than ours; your stamina never fails. You must be made of iron head to foot." Also Telemachus and everyone.
* ImpossiblyDeliciousFood: We know, we know, never refuse free food, but it's probably not a good idea to accept handouts from the Lotus-Eaters.
* IWillWaitForYou: Penelope and his dog, although unusual for the trope he does come back, making the trope OlderThanDirt.
* JustBetweenYouAndMe: It's an inversion in that the hero is the one gloating, but Odysseus gives a speech like this to Polyphemus after the Trojans have escaped from the Cyclops' cave. Predictably, it backfires.
* KeepTheHomeFiresBurning: What Penelope does back in Ithaca while waiting for Odysseus to return.
* KingIncognito: Odysseus does this a few times.
* LotusEaterMachine: The TropeNamer (though not the 'machine' part).
* MadeASlave: Two of Odysseus's slaves had been free-born, to high status, before they were kidnapped.
* MagicMusic: The song of the Sirens.
* TheMentor: The original Mentor, who is actually Athena in disguise.
* MultipleEndings: At the end of Homer's poem, Odysseus and Penelope are reunited, but he still has to go on his pilgrimage to appease Poseidon. So what happens next? Numerous Greek and other writers from antiquity provide a plethora of different answers for you to choose from:
** Pretty much as Tiresias foretold, once Odysseus gets the thing with carrying the oar inland over with, he and Penelope live happily together, get another son called Ptoliporthes ("ravager of cities") until Odysseus' peaceful death.
** Penelope did not actually remain faithful to Odysseus and is banished from Ithaca, later giving birth to the god Pan, who was fathered either by Hermes or because Penelope had sex with all suitors ("pan" means "all", get it?).
** Telemachos ends up marrying Nestor's daughter Polycaste (whom he met in the Odyssey) or Nausicaa (who felt attracted to his father).
** Odysseus marries queen Kallidike of the Thesprotians while Penelope is still alive, is defeated in battle (with Ares fighting on the other side) and succeeded by his and Kallidike's son, Polypoites.
** The suitors' families bring their grievances to the court of Neoptolemus, Achilles' son. He orders Odysseus into exile (because he hopes to gain Odysseus' island Cephallenia (Corfu)). In this version Odysseus ends up marrying the daughter of king Thoas of Aitolia (resultant son: Leontophonos).
** In order to avenge his son Palamedes, whose death before Troy was engineered by Odysseus, Nauplios spreads the false news of Odysseus' death. Penelope throws herself off a cliff into the sea but is either transformed into a duck or rescued by ducks.
** Finally, a real feast of tropes popular in Italy: in one of the lost epics of TheTrojanCycle, the ''Telegony'', Odysseus fathers a son, [[HeroicBastard Telegonos]], with Circe. When Telegonos comes of age he goes out to seek his father, but when he arrives on Ithaca the two get into a fight without recognizing each other and he unintentionally [[SelfMadeOrphan kills Odysseus]]. When the truth emerges, Circe brings him, Telemachos and Penelope to her island of Aiaia, grants the latter two immortality. In the end, Circe marries Telemachos and [[ComfortingTheWidow Penelope marries]] [[OedipusComplex Telegonos]], which results in a TangledFamilyTree. The story was also dramatized by Sophocles in the lost tragedy ''Odysseus Akanthoplex'', with the added detail that an oracle foretells that Odysseus will be killed by his own son, so he banishes Telemachos to another island...[[YouCantFightFate but of course the oracle wasn't referring to him]].
* MyGirlBackHome: Penelope is one of the most famous examples.
* MyGirlIsNotASlut: Penelope.
* NarrativePoem: Not ''quite'' the UrExample...
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: Odysseus and his remaining crew escape from the cyclops, when Odysseus has a fit of hubris and mocks the injured cyclops along with revealing his true identity. Sure, the mountaintop that is [[DisproportionateRetribution thrown at the ship]] misses. The [[BoltOfDivineRetribution raging storms]], however, do not.
* NoMatterHowMuchIBeg: Odysseus with the Sirens.
* OldDog: Argos, who dies at an age of at least ''twenty years''.
* OldRetainer: the swine-herder and Penelope's old nurse
* OralTradition: Until it was written down, at least.
* PetTheDog: Man-eating giant Polyphemus gets a sympathetic moment talking to his favourite ram when letting the flock out to pasture.
* PreviouslyOn: The story begins with a brief recap of ''TheIliad''.
* {{Pride}}: Odysseus has a really big issue with this. Odysseus does end up taking a very, very long time to get home as a result from it, though his crew arguably suffers more as they end up all dying off, many as a result of his actions.
* RedShirt: Every single time Odysseus lands on an island, at least a few members of his crew have to die to show that the journey is dangerous. Some get eaten by the Cyclops, others by the Lestragonians, and one, seemingly unable to find another way to die, ''falls off a roof.''
* RealMenEatMeat: Being out of meat and forced to eat fish is always seen as a bad thing. Scholars have speculated that pre-Classical Greeks may have had some sort of taboo against eating fish, or perhaps the fish in those areas was simply bad.
* RealisticDictionIsUnrealistic
* RightfulKingReturns: Odysseus is a king, after all.
* RoaringRampageOfRevenge: Odysseus slaughters every suitor and twelve maids in his home once he returns.
* RocksFallEveryoneDies: Helios sics Zeus on your ass, lightning falls, everyone dies.
* SacredHospitality
* ScyllaAndCharybdis: TropeMaker.
** Notably, Odysseus ends up having to choose between them ''twice''. First, he's with his crew on a ship, and orders them to pass by Scylla. Scylla (giant tentacled beast) kills six men, but it was better than Charybdis (enormous whirlpool), who would have swallowed up the entire ship. Later on, Odysseus has to pass by them in a raft, and chooses Charybdis this time. Being alone, he's able to cling to a tree near the whirlpool, and makes it back onto the raft after it's swallowed and then expelled.
* SecondHandStorytelling
* SmiteMeOhMightySmiter
* SpinOff: Pretty much the UrExample.
* TangledFamilyTree: According to the version of the myth favoured in ancient Italy, Circe and Odysseus had a son called Telegonos[[hottip:*:(or three sons, Telegonos, Agrios and Latinus)]], who married Penelope after accidentally killing his father. Together they had a son, Italos. His older half-brother Telemachos meanwhile married Telegonos' mother Circe and fathered Latinus[[hottip:*:(unless you prefer the variant where Latinus is Odysseus' son)]]. Latinus lived in the city of Laurentum in Italy and had two daughters, Lavinia and Electra. Electra married Italos, while Lavinia at the end of the events chronicled in ''Literature/TheAeneid'' married Aeneas. Aeneas had a son by his first wife Kreüsa who Vergil called either Ascanius or Julus[[hottip:*:(who became the ancestor of the gens Julia, the family from which Julius Caesar and the Julian-Claudian emperors belonged)]]. But according to Livy, Julus and Ascanius were two different people, and Ascanius was the son of Lavinia, above.
* TellMeAboutMyFather
* TheThreeFacesOfAdam: Telemachos (Hunter), Odysseus (Lord), and Laertes (Prophet).
* ToHellAndBack: [[TheUnderworld Hades]] is one of Odysseus' stops.
* {{Trickster}}[=/=]GuileHero: Odysseus to a tee - if he were a villain, he'd be a MagnificentBastard.
* TrojanHorse: Given a mention in the ''Odyssey'', but despite common perceptions [[SadlyMythtaken never shows up personally in Homer's works]]. The [[TheTrojanCycle epics]] they did appear in have been lost.
* UnreliableNarrator: Odysseus is hinted to be one of these, talking about stuff that he couldn't possibly know.
* TheVamp: Circe and Calypso to Odysseus.
* [=~You Can't Fight Fate~=]: What we would call an OverusedRunningGag.
* [[WhosOnFirst Who's On First?]]: Possibly the [[OlderThanDirt oldest example in the book]]. Odysseus told Polyphemus his name was "Nobody" (''μη τις''). When the Cyclops started screaming that he had been blinded, his brothers asked who had done this foul deed. The Cyclops replied that "Nobody has blinded me", so his brothers told him to shut up with the screaming over things that hadn't happened.
* [=~You Can't Go Home Again~=]
* YouHaveWaitedLongEnough
----
<<|{{Literature}}|>>
<<|{{Poetry}}|>>

to:

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/W6ES000Z_6153.jpg

->"ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ
->πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν"
-->-- '''Homer''', ''The Odyssey'' Bk.I:1-2 [[hottip:*:(Tell me, Muse, of the cunning man who traveled far and wide after he had sacked the famed city of Troy)]]

''TheOdyssey'' (Greek: ''Ὀδύσσεια'') is one the epics of TheTrojanCycle and one of the oldest recorded stories. may refer to:

*
The original was reputedly composed by the blind poet {{Homer}} [[OlderThanDirt well before 600BC]] and transmitted orally until it was (according to tradition) written down and standardised at the behest of the tyrant Peisistratus in about 550 BC.

It's about Odysseus (the Latinized name ''Ulysses'' is sometimes used in English), king of Ithaca (a small island off the west coast of Greece). He was involved in the sacking of Troy, which took ten years (see [[TheIliad the previous installment]]), and offended Poseidon while he was celebrating. Poseidon decided to do everything he could to keep Odysseus and his band of soldiers from returning.

The poem opens with the gods debating about Odysseus and his son, Telemachus. Odysseus left his infant son and wife, Penelope, for TheTrojanWar, but after the Fall of Troy he and his crew ended up stranded, and Odysseus had been away from home now for twenty years. Athena, who (unlike in ''TheIliad'') is the only god playing a large role in the story, heads down to Ithaca to tell the now-20-year-old Telemachus that it's time to man up and find out about his father. See, about three years before this [[OneHundredAndEight 108]] suitors showed up for Penelope and began trying to seduce her, and Telemachus was too much of a wimp to do anything. Penelope had managed to keep them at bay using a clever trick - she told them she would marry after she finished weaving a burial shroud for her father-in-law, but always undid the day's work at night. This kept them fooled for a while, but the plot is eventually discovered. So Telemachus goes and chats with several characters who survived the Trojan War--Menelaus and Nestor--who tell him about his dad and how [[BadassNormal badass]] he is. Unfortunately he neglected to inform Penelope of his departure, and now the suitors are out to murder him too.

Meanwhile, Odysseus is stuck on Calypso's island, crying on a rock because he misses his family. Hermes shows up and tells Calypso to let him go, and she does. He ends up chilling with the Phaeacians with the princess, Nausicaa, and tells what he's been doing since the Fall of Troy ten years ago.

[[{{Understatement}} It is a very long story]].

Basically, King Agamemnon and his brother got in a fight over sacrificing, which resulted in the Greeks getting split up. Through a whole bunch of other fights, Odysseus ended up with a much smaller crew. Then they got lost and ended up at the cave of the King of the Winds, and he gives them wind in a pouch so they can get home. But the [[TooDumbToLive crew]] are all idiots, and they open the winds so they all can't get home. Oh, and like most wind tends to do, this creates a storm and they get lost. Again. This is a recurrent theme throughout the poem.

First, they end up on an island full of [[LotusEaterMachine Lotus-Eaters]], who entrance the crew and give them [[MushroomSamba a good time,]] so they forget they want to go home. Odysseus drags them back to the ship, and they carry on, only to end up at the island of the Cyclops. Once again, the crew (along with Odysseus) show their wit by eating the food before the Cyclops, Polyphemus, shows up. He is a bit angry, demonstrated by the fact that he bit off the heads of two of the crew. Odysseus tells Polyphemus that his name is "Nobody," then [[EyeScream blinds ol' Poly with an sharpened olive branch]], so that when Polyphemus reacts, he can only say, "Nobody did this!" Of course, Odysseus is an idiot, and gloats, saying, "Cyclops, if anyone ever asks you how you came by your blindness, tell him your eye was put out by Odysseus, sacker of cities, the son of Laertes, who lives in Ithaca" (9.506). Had the Greeks had social security numbers, he would have thrown that in too.

Unfortunately, Polyphemus is [[PapaWolf Poseidon]]'s son.

Like many fathers would be, Poseidon is slightly tiffed that his son, who only had one eye to begin with, is now blind, so he seeks revenge on Odysseus. First, Odysseus ends up with the witch Circe, who turns his crew into pigs ([[IGotBetter they get better]]), then he goes to Hades and [[DeadPersonConversation chats with a few people]], including [[BlindSeer Tiresias]]--who tells him that even after he gets home, he won't be able to stay forever. After avoiding the Sirens and Scylla & Charybdis, the crew then kill all the Cattle of the Sun, who belong to Helios, [[TooDumbToLive despite being warned not to]]. [[RocksFallEveryoneDies Lightning falls, the crew dies]], and Odysseus is shipwrecked on Calypso's island. She makes him her manwhore for seven years and Odysseus cries on some more rocks. This takes us up to the present, or at least, the first chapter.

After this long {{flashback}}, about a third of the story, Odysseus finally gets home and finds the suitors still abusing hospitality (a capital sin in Ancient Greece) and trying to woo his wife. Odysseus reveals himself to his son, who has recently returned, and they begin to plot. The next day, Odysseus reveals himself to the suitors and kills them, kills the twelve housemaids who slept with them (but, of course, only after making the girls clean up the dead bodies), and then, finally, reveals himself to his wife. In typical Homeric fashion, this takes seventy-five pages. Odysseus tells Penelope that he'll have to leave eventually again, given what Tiresias prophesized, but in the meantime, he's home.

Of course, [[EndingFatigue it's not over]]. Odysseus goes and talks to his dad, Laertes, while the suitors talk to the dead in Hades, and the suitors' parents plot to kill Odysseus. They all show up to fight him, Athena tries to help Odysseus, Zeus shoots her with lightning, then Athena calls the whole fight off and makes the parents forget their sons died in a bloody, horrific massacre.

And yes, many historians believe the Homer part of the poem ended with Odysseus revealing himself to Penelope, and that someone else tacked on the end.

Because of its age the poem will be the UrExample or TropeMaker of quite a few of the following tropes.

For the Canadian television series see [[TV/TheOdyssey the Odyssey]].

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
!!''TheOdyssey'' provides examples of:

* {{Animated Adaptation}}: A classic example- {{Ulysses 31}} Is (sort of) The Odyssey IN SPACE!
* TheArcher: Odysseus.
* {{Badass}}: Odysseus himself. It's been theorized that he's something of an amalgamation of two heroes; one who was [[WeakButSkilled quite feeble but ridiculously intelligent and cunning]], and another that was a bit more of the GeniusBruiser type. Essentially, he's the
ancient Greek version of {{Batman}}.
epic poem ''Literature/TheOdyssey''.
* BadassBoast: Odysseus does this to Polyphemus the cyclops.
** This bites him in the ass when Polyphemus, having learned Odysseus's name through his boasting, invokes a favor from his father Poseidon to make his journey home a living nightmare. [[PapaWolf Daddy delivers]].
* BalefulPolymorph: Circe turns the men who visit her island into pigs.
* BlindSeer: Tiresias makes a cameo.
* BoltOfDivineRetribution: Athena threatens one of these in the last book when Odysseus tries to go to war ''again.''
* BrownNote:
The Sirens' song.
* CallToAgriculture: Odysseus' goal after going home.
* ClingyJealousGirl: Odysseus finds that having a nereid wanting to sex you up 24/7 gets old after seven years. Calypso, however, has no intention of letting go.
* DoubleStandard: Odysseus screws a number of women. Penelope waits twenty years for a husband that she believes to be dead and never cracks once.
** Then maybe she deserves more admiration than Odysseus.
** Of course, two of the encounters Odysseus has aren't exactly consensual.
*** And at least according to the Odyssey these were the only two women he had sex with. And indeed one could argue that it was even more amazing that Odysseus would return to his wife (now 20 years older than when he left her) passing up a chance of eternal bliss with either Circe or Calypso.
** Calypso herself sees a different kind of double standard at work. When Hermes tells her Zeus has ordered her to release Odysseus, she complains that the gods never allow goddesses to enjoy relationships with mortals, citing the examples of Orion and Iasion, lovers of Eos and Demeter respectively, who were killed by gods.
*** Olympians having a DoubleStandard is unsurprising. Greek gods had a surprisingly undivine habit of being more erratic, tyrannical, dishonorable, or just plain childish than even most mortals. Socrates noticed that and he wasn't the only one.
* DueToTheDead
* EnthrallingSiren: Odysseus has his men stuff their ears with wax to ward off their songs. [[{{Pride}} Not his own, of course.]] Instead he has himself tied to the mast and the men instructed to ignore his ranting so that he can hear the song but doesn't jump onto or order them into the rocks.
* EverythingsBetterOnDrugs: The Lotus Eaters, who eat nothing but a fruit that causes them [[LotusEaterMachine a sort of never-ending]] [[TropeMaker lethargic]] [[TropeNamer contentment]].
* EyeScream: Eat Odysseus' sailors and reap the consequences.
* ExploringTheEvilLair: The Cyclops's cave.
* FieryRedhead: Odysseus and King Menelaus(called the "Red-Haired King").
* {{Flashback}}: As is standard for classical epic, much of the story is told in flashbacks.
** It wasn't standard at the time it was written, which is why some scholars see the Odyssey as a more modern and sophisticated work than the Iliad.
* ForbiddenFruit: Aeolus's bag of winds.
* FridgeBrilliance: Odysseus has been away from Ithaca for twenty years, and Telemachos is just beginning to take control of his family in the last six months or so. So who's been ruling Ithaca? That's right, Penelope.
* GeniusBruiser: Odysseus. The Greeks wouldn't take no for an answer from him because of his famed intelligence.
* GuileHero: Odysseus.
* {{Hachiko}}: Odysseus' dog predates the trope namer, waiting faithfully for his master before dying shortly after his return. In some tellings he dies happy, in others Odysseus is forced to pretend he doesn't know the dog, making this more of a TearJerker.
* HappilyMarried: Odysseus and Penelope. How much time they actually spent together is debatable, but there's no denying they're happy together.
* HistoricalFantasy: Set during the Greek Bronze Age and although the actual date of composition was debated, it was ''at least'' a few hundred years later.
* HomeSweetHome
* TheHomewardJourney: TropeCodifier
* HowWeGotHere[=/=]InMediasRes: Everything before Odysseus arrival in the land of the Phaeacians is told in flashback.
* HoYay: Eurymachus to Odysseus: "You're a hard man, Odysseus. Your fighting spirit's stronger than ours; your stamina never fails. You must be made of iron head to foot." Also Telemachus and everyone.
* ImpossiblyDeliciousFood: We know, we know, never refuse free food, but it's probably not a good idea to accept handouts from the Lotus-Eaters.
* IWillWaitForYou: Penelope and his dog, although unusual for the trope he does come back, making the trope OlderThanDirt.
* JustBetweenYouAndMe: It's an inversion in that the hero is the one gloating, but Odysseus gives a speech like this to Polyphemus after the Trojans have escaped from the Cyclops' cave. Predictably, it backfires.
* KeepTheHomeFiresBurning: What Penelope does back in Ithaca while waiting for Odysseus to return.
* KingIncognito: Odysseus does this a few times.
* LotusEaterMachine: The TropeNamer (though not the 'machine' part).
* MadeASlave: Two of Odysseus's slaves had been free-born, to high status, before they were kidnapped.
* MagicMusic: The song of the Sirens.
* TheMentor: The original Mentor, who is actually Athena in disguise.
* MultipleEndings: At the end of Homer's poem, Odysseus and Penelope are reunited, but he still has to go on his pilgrimage to appease Poseidon. So what happens next? Numerous Greek and other writers from antiquity provide a plethora of different answers for you to choose from:
** Pretty much as Tiresias foretold, once Odysseus gets the thing with carrying the oar inland over with, he and Penelope live happily together, get another son called Ptoliporthes ("ravager of cities") until Odysseus' peaceful death.
** Penelope did not actually remain faithful to Odysseus and is banished from Ithaca, later giving birth to the god Pan, who was fathered either by Hermes or because Penelope had sex with all suitors ("pan" means "all", get it?).
** Telemachos ends up marrying Nestor's daughter Polycaste (whom he met in the Odyssey) or Nausicaa (who felt attracted to his father).
** Odysseus marries queen Kallidike of the Thesprotians while Penelope is still alive, is defeated in battle (with Ares fighting on the other side) and succeeded by his and Kallidike's son, Polypoites.
** The suitors' families bring their grievances to the court of Neoptolemus, Achilles' son. He orders Odysseus into exile (because he hopes to gain Odysseus' island Cephallenia (Corfu)). In this version Odysseus ends up marrying the daughter of king Thoas of Aitolia (resultant son: Leontophonos).
** In order to avenge his son Palamedes, whose death before Troy was engineered by Odysseus, Nauplios spreads the false news of Odysseus' death. Penelope throws herself off a cliff into the sea but is either transformed into a duck or rescued by ducks.
** Finally, a real feast of tropes popular in Italy: in one of the lost epics of TheTrojanCycle, the ''Telegony'', Odysseus fathers a son, [[HeroicBastard Telegonos]], with Circe. When Telegonos comes of age he goes out to seek his father, but when he arrives on Ithaca the two get into a fight without recognizing each other and he unintentionally [[SelfMadeOrphan kills Odysseus]]. When the truth emerges, Circe brings him, Telemachos and Penelope to her island of Aiaia, grants the latter two immortality. In the end, Circe marries Telemachos and [[ComfortingTheWidow Penelope marries]] [[OedipusComplex Telegonos]], which results in a TangledFamilyTree. The story was also dramatized by Sophocles in the lost tragedy ''Odysseus Akanthoplex'', with the added detail that an oracle foretells that Odysseus will be killed by his own son, so he banishes Telemachos to another island...[[YouCantFightFate but of course the oracle wasn't referring to him]].
* MyGirlBackHome: Penelope is one of the most famous examples.
* MyGirlIsNotASlut: Penelope.
* NarrativePoem: Not ''quite'' the UrExample...
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: Odysseus and his remaining crew escape from the cyclops, when Odysseus has a fit of hubris and mocks the injured cyclops along with revealing his true identity. Sure, the mountaintop that is [[DisproportionateRetribution thrown at the ship]] misses. The [[BoltOfDivineRetribution raging storms]], however, do not.
* NoMatterHowMuchIBeg: Odysseus with the Sirens.
* OldDog: Argos, who dies at an age of at least ''twenty years''.
* OldRetainer: the swine-herder and Penelope's old nurse
* OralTradition: Until it was written down, at least.
* PetTheDog: Man-eating giant Polyphemus gets a sympathetic moment talking to his favourite ram when letting the flock out to pasture.
* PreviouslyOn: The story begins with a brief recap of ''TheIliad''.
* {{Pride}}: Odysseus has a really big issue with this. Odysseus does end up taking a very, very long time to get home as a result from it, though his crew arguably suffers more as they end up all dying off, many as a result of his actions.
* RedShirt: Every single time Odysseus lands on an island, at least a few members of his crew have to die to show that the journey is dangerous. Some get eaten by the Cyclops, others by the Lestragonians, and one, seemingly unable to find another way to die, ''falls off a roof.''
* RealMenEatMeat: Being out of meat and forced to eat fish is always seen as a bad thing. Scholars have speculated that pre-Classical Greeks may have had some sort of taboo against eating fish, or perhaps the fish in those areas was simply bad.
* RealisticDictionIsUnrealistic
* RightfulKingReturns: Odysseus is a king, after all.
* RoaringRampageOfRevenge: Odysseus slaughters every suitor and twelve maids in his home once he returns.
* RocksFallEveryoneDies: Helios sics Zeus on your ass, lightning falls, everyone dies.
* SacredHospitality
* ScyllaAndCharybdis: TropeMaker.
** Notably, Odysseus ends up having to choose between them ''twice''. First, he's with his crew on a ship, and orders them to pass by Scylla. Scylla (giant tentacled beast) kills six men, but it was better than Charybdis (enormous whirlpool), who would have swallowed up the entire ship. Later on, Odysseus has to pass by them in a raft, and chooses Charybdis this time. Being alone, he's able to cling to a tree near the whirlpool, and makes it back onto the raft after it's swallowed and then expelled.
* SecondHandStorytelling
* SmiteMeOhMightySmiter
* SpinOff: Pretty much the UrExample.
* TangledFamilyTree: According to the version of the myth favoured in ancient Italy, Circe and Odysseus had a son called Telegonos[[hottip:*:(or three sons, Telegonos, Agrios and Latinus)]], who married Penelope after accidentally killing his father. Together they had a son, Italos. His older half-brother Telemachos meanwhile married Telegonos' mother Circe and fathered Latinus[[hottip:*:(unless you prefer the variant where Latinus is Odysseus' son)]]. Latinus lived in the city of Laurentum in Italy and had two daughters, Lavinia and Electra. Electra married Italos, while Lavinia at the end of the events chronicled in ''Literature/TheAeneid'' married Aeneas. Aeneas had a son by his first wife Kreüsa who Vergil called either Ascanius or Julus[[hottip:*:(who became the ancestor of the gens Julia, the family from which Julius Caesar and the Julian-Claudian emperors belonged)]]. But according to Livy, Julus and Ascanius were two different people, and Ascanius was the son of Lavinia, above.
* TellMeAboutMyFather
* TheThreeFacesOfAdam: Telemachos (Hunter), Odysseus (Lord), and Laertes (Prophet).
* ToHellAndBack: [[TheUnderworld Hades]] is one of Odysseus' stops.
* {{Trickster}}[=/=]GuileHero: Odysseus to a tee - if he were a villain, he'd be a MagnificentBastard.
* TrojanHorse: Given a mention in the ''Odyssey'', but despite common perceptions [[SadlyMythtaken never shows up personally in Homer's works]]. The [[TheTrojanCycle epics]] they did appear in have been lost.
* UnreliableNarrator: Odysseus is hinted to be one of these, talking about stuff that he couldn't possibly know.
* TheVamp: Circe and Calypso to Odysseus.
* [=~You Can't Fight Fate~=]: What we would call an OverusedRunningGag.
* [[WhosOnFirst Who's On First?]]: Possibly the [[OlderThanDirt oldest example in the book]]. Odysseus told Polyphemus his name was "Nobody" (''μη τις''). When the Cyclops started screaming that he had been blinded, his brothers asked who had done this foul deed. The Cyclops replied that "Nobody has blinded me", so his brothers told him to shut up with the screaming over things that hadn't happened.
* [=~You Can't Go Home Again~=]
* YouHaveWaitedLongEnough
----
<<|{{Literature}}|>>
<<|{{Poetry}}|>>
Canadian children's TV series ''Series/TheOdyssey''.

Added DiffLines:

* MadeASlave: Two of Odysseus's slaves had been free-born, to high status, before they were kidnapped.


Added DiffLines:

* OldRetainer: the swine-herder and Penelope's old nurse


* ReturnOfTheKing: Odysseus is a king, after all.

to:

* ReturnOfTheKing: RightfulKingReturns: Odysseus is a king, after all.


* TangledFamilyTree: According to the version of the myth favoured in ancient Italy, Circe and Odysseus had a son called Telegonos[[hottip:*:(or three sons, Telegonos, Agrios and Latinus)]], who married Penelope after accidentally killing his father. Together they had a son, Italos. His older half-brother Telemachos meanwhile married Telegonos' mother Circe and fathered Latinus[[hottip:*:(unless you prefer the variant where Latinus is Odysseus' son)]]. Latinus lived in the city of Laurentum in Italy and had two daughters, Lavinia and Electra. Electra married Italos, while Lavinia at the end of the events chronicled in ''TheAeneid'' married Aeneas. Aeneas had a son by his first wife Kreüsa who Vergil called either Ascanius or Julus[[hottip:*:(who became the ancestor of the gens Julia, the family from which Julius Caesar and the Julian-Claudian emperors belonged)]]. But according to Livy, Julus and Ascanius were two different people, and Ascanius was the son of Lavinia, above.

to:

* TangledFamilyTree: According to the version of the myth favoured in ancient Italy, Circe and Odysseus had a son called Telegonos[[hottip:*:(or three sons, Telegonos, Agrios and Latinus)]], who married Penelope after accidentally killing his father. Together they had a son, Italos. His older half-brother Telemachos meanwhile married Telegonos' mother Circe and fathered Latinus[[hottip:*:(unless you prefer the variant where Latinus is Odysseus' son)]]. Latinus lived in the city of Laurentum in Italy and had two daughters, Lavinia and Electra. Electra married Italos, while Lavinia at the end of the events chronicled in ''TheAeneid'' ''Literature/TheAeneid'' married Aeneas. Aeneas had a son by his first wife Kreüsa who Vergil called either Ascanius or Julus[[hottip:*:(who became the ancestor of the gens Julia, the family from which Julius Caesar and the Julian-Claudian emperors belonged)]]. But according to Livy, Julus and Ascanius were two different people, and Ascanius was the son of Lavinia, above.

Added DiffLines:

* {{Hachiko}}: Odysseus' dog predates the trope namer, waiting faithfully for his master before dying shortly after his return. In some tellings he dies happy, in others Odysseus is forced to pretend he doesn't know the dog, making this more of a TearJerker.


* HowWeGotHere / InMediasRes: Everything before Odysseus arrival in the land of the Phaeacians is told in flashback.

to:

* HowWeGotHere / InMediasRes: HowWeGotHere[=/=]InMediasRes: Everything before Odysseus arrival in the land of the Phaeacians is told in flashback.


Added DiffLines:

* KeepTheHomeFiresBurning: What Penelope does back in Ithaca while waiting for Odysseus to return.

Showing 15 edit(s) of 80

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report