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Classics & Ancient History   >   Homer: Odyssey

The Nature of the Poem

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Homer: Odyssey

In this course, Professor Richard Jenkyns (University of Oxford) explores Homer's Odyssey. We begin by thinking about the nature of the poem, focusing in particular on the nature of oral poetry and the Odyssey's relationship (if any) with the Iliad. After that, we think about the structure of the poem, including the idea that there are two kinds of Odysseus here, before moving on in the third module to consider the kinds of social and moral values that one finds in the poem – from the concept of divine justice to the importance of hospitality. In the fourth module, we think about society of gods and (especially) goddesses in the poem, before moving on in the final module to think about two of the most important characters in the poem after Odysseus himself – Nausicaa and Penelope.

The Nature of the Poem

In this module, we think about what sort of poem the Odyssey is, focusing in particular on the concept of oral poetry, the Odyssey's relationship with the Iliad, and the structure of the poem.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Jenkyns, R. (2018, August 15). Homer: Odyssey - The Nature of the Poem [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Jenkyns, R. "Homer: Odyssey – The Nature of the Poem." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018,


Prof. Richard Jenkyns

Prof. Richard Jenkyns

University of Oxford