What Is the Odyssey Ancient Greece?

The Odyssey is an ancient epic poem from Greece that tells the story of Odysseus, a legendary hero who embarks on a long and treacherous journey home after fighting in the Trojan War. It is widely considered one of the most important works of Western literature, and has had a profound impact on art, culture, and society throughout history.

The Plot

The Odyssey is divided into 24 books and begins with Odysseus’ struggles to return home to his wife Penelope and son Telemachus after being away for 20 years. Along the way, he faces numerous obstacles such as monsters, sea storms, and hostile armies. His journey takes him through many different lands and involves encounters with gods, goddesses, witches and other supernatural beings.

The Main Characters

Odysseus – The protagonist of the story. He is known for his intelligence, cunning and bravery.

Penelope – Odysseus’ wife. She is patient and loyal while waiting for her husband’s return.

Telemachus – Odysseus’ son. He sets out on his own journey to find out what happened to his father.

Circe – A powerful witch who turns some of Odysseus’ men into pigs.

Polyphemus – A Cyclops who traps Odysseus and his men in his cave.


The Odyssey explores many themes that are still relevant today. Some of these include:

– The importance of hospitality: Hospitality was highly valued in ancient Greece as guests were seen as representatives of the gods. – The power of temptation: Odysseus’ men are tempted by various pleasures such as food and drink which leads to their downfall.

– The consequences of pride: Odysseus’ pride leads to some of his mistakes which prolongs his journey home. – The importance of family: The reunion between Odysseus, Penelope, and Telemachus is a central theme of the story.


The Odyssey has had a profound impact on literature and culture. It has been translated into many languages and remains an important work of Western literature.

Its influence can be seen in many other works such as Dante’s Inferno and James Joyce’s Ulysses. The character of Odysseus has become a symbol of cunning and resourcefulness, and many modern stories continue to draw inspiration from him.


The Odyssey is a timeless epic that still resonates with readers today. Its themes of temptation, pride, hospitality, family, and the power of the gods are universal and continue to be explored in literature and popular culture. By understanding the story and its impact on society, we can gain a deeper appreciation for the artistry of ancient Greece and the enduring power of storytelling.