The Odyssey, translated by T. E. Lawrence, an epic 12,000-line poem composed over 2,700 years ago, is the first adventure story in Western literature. It describes the ten-year wanderings of Odysseus in his quest to return home after the Trojan War. Hounded by the sea-god Poseidon and championed by the goddess Athene, he encounters giants, sorceresses, and sea monsters before finally reaching his beloved Ithaca. There he must endure the taunts of the Suitors to his queen, Penelope, who have taken up residence in his palace. At once enchanting fairy tale and gripping drama, the Odyssey is eminently readable, not least for the rich complexity and magnetism of its hero. An inspiration to writers as diverse as Virgil, Swift, and Joyce, the Odyssey has proved enormously influential and continues to captivate readers of all ages.
'Tell me, Muse, of the man of many turns, who was driven far and wide after he had sacked the sacred city of Troy' Twenty years after setting out to fight in the Trojan War, Odysseus is yet to return home to Ithaca. His household is in disarray: a horde of over 100 disorderly and arrogant suitors are vying to claim Odysseus' wife Penelope, and his young son Telemachus is powerless to stop them. Meanwhile, Odysseus is driven beyond the limits of the known world, encountering countless divine and earthly challenges. But Odysseus is 'of many wiles' and his cunning and bravery eventually lead him home, to reclaim both his family and his kingdom. The Odyssey rivals the Iliad as the greatest poem of Western culture and is perhaps the most influential text of classical literature. This elegant and compelling new translation is accompanied by a full introduction and notes that guide the reader in understanding the poem and the many different contexts in which it was performed and read.
'The Making of the Odyssey' is a penetrating study of the background, composition, and artistry of the Homeric Odyssey, which places the poem in its late seventh-century context in relation to the 'Iliad' and other poetry of the time.
'The Odyssey is a poem of extraordinary pleasures: it is a salt-caked, storm-tossed, wine-dark treasury of tales, of many twists and turns, like life itself' Guardian The epic tale of Odysseus and his ten-year journey home after the Trojan War forms one of the earliest and greatest works of Western literature. Confronted by natural and supernatural threats - ship-wrecks, battles, monsters and the implacable enmity of the sea-god Poseidon - Odysseus must use his bravery and cunning to reach his homeland and overcome the obstacles that, even there, await him. E. V. Rieu's translation of The Odyssey was the very first Penguin Classic to be published, and has itself achieved classic status. Translated by E. V. RIEU Revised translation by D. C. H. RIEU With an Introduction by PETER JONES