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Scenes in Art Based on the Odyssey


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Telemachus and Mentor in the Odyssey
Illustration for a book, Aventures de Télémaque, by Fénelon.

Telemachus and Mentor

Public Domain. Courtesy of Wikipedia.

Aristotle had this to say about the bare bones plot of The Odyssey

"Thus the story of the Odyssey can be stated briefly. A certain man is absent from home for many years; he is jealously watched by Poseidon, and left desolate. Meanwhile his home is in a wretched plight---suitors are wasting his substance and plotting against his son. At length, tempest-tost, he himself arrives; he makes certain persons acquainted with him; he attacks the suitors with his own hand, and is himself preserved while he destroys them. This is the essence of the plot; the rest is episode.
Poetics; Butcher Translation

In Book I of the Odyssey, Athena dresses as Odysseus' trusted old friend, Mentor, so she can give Telemachus advice. She wants him to start hunting for his missing father, Odysseus.

François Fénelon (1651-1715), archbishop of Cambrai, wrote the didactic Les aventures de Télémaque in 1699. Based on Homer's Odyssey, it tells of the adventures of Telemachus in search of his father. An extremely popular book in France, this picture is an illustration from one of its many editions.

Homer The Odyssey - Book 1: The Gods in Council | Odyssey Summary Book I | Notes | Major Characters | Quiz on The Odyssey - Book I

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