"The Odyssey is the tale of what happens to a great hero, Odysseus, after the apocalypse of Troy. The poem opens 10 years after the end of the war, when Odysseus is still trying to find his way home to Ithaca. The story shifts back and forth between Odysseus being cast adrift at sea, facing mythic dangers beyond measure, and the efforts of his wife Penelope and son Telemachus to ward off violent suitors and keep their home together until Odysseus' return. Eventually Odysseus returns home in the guise of a beggar, and plots the deaths of the suitors who are destroying his house. The poem portrays a world very different from that of The Iliad, and a hero, Odysseus, who is very different than Achilles. The Odyssey focuses more on issues of cunning intelligence, justice, endurance, home, and family. It is the perfect counterpart to The Iliad, both reflecting and criticizing the values portrayed in the other poem." Annotation by Professor Walter Englert.
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