The Odyssey by philosopher Homer, is an epic poem is considered to be one of the major ancient Greek poems. A part of the poem is believed to be a sequel to the other famous work of Homer, Iliad. This poem is released under The Project Gutenberg in eBook format on April, 1999. The latest revision to the eBook was made on April 9th, 2013. The poem was originally composed in a Greek dialect and was meticulously translated to English language, for the eBook, by Samuel Butler.
The poem revolves around the Greek hero Odysseus, also known as Ulysses, and his journey home after a long and grueling Trojan war that caused the fall of Troy. The story begins ten years after the ten year long Trojan War ends. During his absence it is considered that Odysseus has died in the war and his widow Penelope and their son Telemachus have to fight against unruly suitors who are vying for Penelope’s love, and at the same time wasting Odysseus’s wealth. The Odyssey derives heavily from Greek mythology and we find all the great Gods and characters playing some role or the other. The character of Odysseus is described as a wise man and a warrior alike. He can deceive people physically as well as by cunning use of words.
Recently, efforts were made by two research scientists to determine the time of Odysseus return after the Trojan War. They used several clues, i.e astronomical data, from the text to zero in on the time of his journey and subsequently the end of Troy. The results are within convincing time frames determined by archaeological findings.
Literature purists and scholars have observed Near Eastern influence, both mythological and literature in this epic poem. They have pointed out several similarities between Epic of Gilgamesh and The Odyssey.
The Odyssey is worthy due to its varied plots and subplots and how the choices of women, political powers and actions of war crazed men have changed the course of history. The Odyssey has also spawned a sequel called Telegony however it was not penned by Homer.