The Odyssey is Homer's straight-to-storyteller sequel to The Iliad. It was composed as a limerick (There was an Old Git called Oddy) but later changed to dactylic hexameter to match the earlier epic. This has lead to volumes of speculation by Greek classicists that The Odyssey was written by Homer's daughter Lisa whilst she was at home taking in her neighbours' laundry. This apparently explains the details found book six about never washing your best Grecian dress with a pair of dirty sandals, something old smelly feet Homer would have not known.
Authorship aside, The Odyssey is focused almost entirely on Odysseus and why it took him 10 years to get back from the Trojan War. The answer you will find that he met some amazing women on the return leg and just had to sample the goods on offer before going back to his wife Penelope 'Petrolhead' Pitsop. In fact women feature a lot in this epic, compared to the masculine he-man stuff in The Iliad and so perhaps Odysseus was catching up with lost opportunity (he was approaching middle age).
The story does see the return of a few old faces. Most of them are dead (spoiler alert!) and those that aren't, wish they were like Helen and her oafish husband Menelaus. No dead Trojans either (presumably they are hosted elsewhere in Hades) and hardly any Olympian Gods. Athena reappears as Odysseus's helper - though she goes through various masculine disguises to keep this secret. Also there is Poseidon who takes strongly against Odysseus for what he did to one of his blue-eyed boys (see below).
Despite the smaller number of epic battles, the book is considered superior due to its explicit tenth chapter, which has caused the book to be banned in Norway, Ghana, and Gotham city. Like The Iliad it was criticized that it just doesn't rhyme properly but obviously remained a best seller otherwise it would have perished with all those other lost classics of Ancient Greek literature. Like uhm...I'll get back to you.
So sit back, lie down or go to sleep and understand why The Odyssey is worth reading and how a story about a man who lost his fleet, his men and his trousers just so he could end up back in bed with his Penny Black.
The poem begins in Ithaca. Yes, where's that you may ask? If you have heard of Corfu then you're close. We are in Greece, in a set of islands known as the Ionian Islands ('fantastic beaches, water sports, pretty boys and girls'). It is now 10 years since the Trojan War has finished and at home, Penelope still has no news about what happened to her husband. Meanwhile in her two up and forty down palace, over a 100 suitors are eating her out of house and home in the hope of marrying her. Most have been there for a decade, a few even two decades - having pitched up first when Odysseus first sailed to Troy.
Penelope's son Telemachus is now all grown up and wonders if his father was a real man or some fantasy bloke his mother invented to keep herself free from her army of would-be lovers. Either way, Ithaca will soon go bust unless either Penelope marries one of them or Odysseus turns up. Meanwhile to help thinking what to do, Penelope is working on a bit of epic weaving herself. A 100 metre tapestry entitled Trojan War: A Bloody Long Epic.
Just as the story appears to be bogging down and the audience are shifting on their seats, Athena appears to Telemachus in the guise of one of his ex-girlfriends (Daisy Duke, now that you have asked) and suggests the answer to the puzzle of where his dad was could be found in Sparta. Repeat in Scottish:SPARTA!!!
Book2:Underneath the Mango Tree
We now switch to Odysseus, standing on a seashore and looking out to the setting sun. He has been skimming stones out to sea. Sitting on a giant clam shell and strumming a guitar is the goddess Calypso, a beautiful Caribbean beauty singing Underneath the Mango Tree My Honey. She is wearing a gossamer gown with no detectable underwear but Odysseus is frowning.
- Odysseus:I need to leave
- Calypso:You don't mean it. You said that seven years ago
- Odysseus:I have been here too long..and it's not if I fancy you anyway!
- Calypso:Well that's your choice. I will stay forever young and supple and you'll end up like a prune.
Odysseus's face goes dark with anger but then a man in flying sandals flutters down and lands on the beach. Odysseus thinks they have met before.
- Odysseus:Federal Express?
- Hermes: I am Hermes from Mount Olympus. This message is for Calypso.
Hermes hands over a piece of parchment.
- Calypso:(Reading aloud)Oi you droopy tits. This is from Athena. Let Odysseus go or I will make your life a barrel of shit otherwise. Yours, Athena.
- Odysseus:I CAN GO!!
- Calypso:You have no ship. You were all washed up when I found you Oddy.
- Odysseus:Don't call me Oddy! Hermes..can I..?
- Hermes:I am a messenger not a mule. Wait for further divine guidance.
Odysseus hangs around waiting for another message but thinking Mount Olympus must be on an emergency call out somewhere else, he starts building a rudimentary ship. Calypso is reluctant to help him build it but when Odysseus mentions Athena's name, his captor gets on with sawing the wood and painting the surface. Calypso promises to provide a fantastic send-off but fearing a trick, Odysseus sneaks off in the night. Calypso is too late to stop him and instead sits by the sea shore playing her mournful ditties for the next three thousand years.
Odysseus is spotted by Poseidon. Just give me a few books to get to the reason why the Greek sea god hates our hero. Anyway, Poseidon stirs up a storm and washes Odysseus off his life raft. Last time this happened, Odysseus at least kept his clothes. This time he washes up on another coast stark naked and with not so much a ring or arm bracelet to pawn for new togs. Exhausted, he goes to sleep and covers himself in seaweed.
The next morning he is woken by a group of young women playing beach ball. They are playing it in the nude as sea water is bad for textiles. Odysseus comes over, covering his old fellow with a handful of sea weed. The young women are surprised but don't hurry to dress. One approaches him and speaks.
- Nausicaa:It's strictly under 25s for the ritual orgy tonight. The old timers have their time next week.
- Odysseus:I am not here for the orgy. Where am I? I am looking for Ithaca.
- Nausicaa:Oh that's about 2 days sailing from here. If you start swimming it will take you...
Then one of the maidens transforms into Athena, with armour and helmet.
- Athena:Enough of that! Take this man home or I will shrivel your bodies!
Everyone gets dressed. No sex scene here and return to Nausicaa's palace.
Book 4:Poetical recap
Odysseus catches up with the news to discover his previous adventures have been turned into an epic poem. Miffed that someone else was coining drachma of his exploits, he threatens to 'brain' the bard responsible.
Chapter 3: Blown off course
Now we go back to the start of Odysseus's voyage back from Troy. He starts off with a fleet but everyone else sinks except his own vessel. Odysseus (who kept all the loot on his tub) cheers up the survivors by promising them greater shares of the booty when everyone gets home.
They strike land. It's getting dark and cold so they head inland to find some lodgings. A cosy cave is found and Odysseus and his crew quickly nod off to sleep. They are awoken when a giant cyclops called Polyphemus lumbers back and rolls a rock over the exit. He sees the Greeks have raided the larder and eaten all the feta cheese. Angry, Polyphemus picks up two of Odysseus's men, strips them naked and them stuffs them into his gob.
- Polyphemus:That's for stuffin' all my cheese you bastards. I'll eat the rest of you for brekkie. Now I need to sleep.
Polyphemus brushes the rest of the terrified Greeks into a biscuit tin.
Odysseus tries to think of plans to get out and secretly calls Athena's name in the hope she'll pop up and stick one on their captor. But there is no news. Perhaps reception for divine intervention cannot get a signal inside the giant's cave.
Next day as promised, Polyphemus snacks on two more Greeks, washing down the salty snacks with water.
- Polyphemus:Stick around tonight lads. I've invited some friends over for supper.
He then stomps out and rolls the stone back again over the entrance.
- Odysseus's crew: What now!?
- Odysseus:I'm working on it,.
Polyphemus returns later on, in a bad mood. He is carrying a shopping bag full of canapes, grapes and bread. Muttering, he pops two more Greeks into his mouth to chew on.
- Odysseus:What is wrong great one?
- Polyphemus:No one is coming round tonight to feast on eat with me. And that was after I got the shopping. Other cyclopes are bastards.
- Odysseus:You can talk to us.
- Polyphemus:Of course I can until I eat the rest of you. I'll save you chatty speaker till last. I didn't catch your name
- Odysseus:I am called Zippo Nullity, says Odysseus.
- Polyphemus:Pleased to eat you Mr Nullity. I am Polyphemus, son of Poseidon and Polyfilla, Goddess of Bodge and Make Do.
- Odysseus:I see you have no wine to go with the meal you want to make of us.
- Polyphemus:The taverna was fresh out of supplies.
- Odysseus: We can make you wine. I have some instant-out-of-a-packet wine. Give us a few hours with your grapes.
- Polyphemus:Make me wine Mr Nullity. I will just dip a couple of your friends in olive oil...
- Odysseus: Oh please spare them a little while longer. I will need them to help with the wine making.
- Polyphemus:Very well. Sing me a song or dozen.
One of Odysseus's men plucks a lyre and sings about the Legends of Greece, picking out a few gory stories and broad slapstick to appeal to an audience of a one eyed monster. Odysseus is good to his word and creates a bowl of wine. If Polyphemus had been wearing socks, they would have blown right across the Mediterranean. The greedy giant drains the bowl, eats a few more of Odysseus's men and falls into a giant snore by a roaring fire. Luckily the drunk had forgotten to put the Greeks back in the biscuit tin. Now is our chance, says Odysseus. They pick up one of Polyphemus's pencils, stick it into the fire and then charge straight at his eye. A direct hit. Odysseus leaves a message in braille. Zippo Nullity Woz 'ere.
Chapter 4: Canada
After going up the coast, Odysseus reached Canada. The Canadians apologised for being where they were. This impressed some of Odysseus's sailors who wanted to stay there and live on hockey and maple syrup. However Odysseus said this 'was unmanly' and herded everyone back on board. Athena then appeared to Odysseus whilst he was in his cabin and pointed to their new voyage. They were going to Easter Island. The Panama Canal was obviously not built so the ships set off to sail around the top of North America.
Chapter 5: Eskimos and Ice
Odysseus and 15 ships made it to the Arctic. The others got bored or were shipwrecked by Poseidon, because he was pissed. They had to get through a narrow channel of water through the ice to get to the Pacific Ocean. After about a day, cannibalistic Eskimos with pet seals noticed the convoy of ships, and set out with a wild cry to destroy them and eat all the Greek's testicles. The Greeks had arrows dispatch most of them, but some got onto ships, so Odysseus and his men had to fight with swords and spears. The Eskimos killed off and took one ship, leaving the other 14 to escape.
Chapter 6: The Land of the Dead
The fleet was desperately low on supplies, so they decide to stop at the scenic Land of the Dead. Here while they got water, Odysseus met with several ghosts of acquaintances he had known in the past. These included Achilles, Agamemnon and er..Medusa. For some reason, they were figure skating.
All of the spirits complained about the catering in Hades and pleaded with Odysseus if he had snacks he could share. Odysseus didn't but he had brought along a bull and a packet of paper cups. He cut the bull's throat and then handed out hot blood to the ghosts. They drank and then started to remember everything from their past lives. One shadow in particular then became very bitter towards Odysseus. This was Ajax, also called the Scourer and the Bleacher who had killed himself when he accused Odysseus at cheating in a game of poker over Achilles's trinkets. Ajax threw down his cup and lunged at Odysseus but being a spirit he passed straight through at his ex-friend and fell onto the earth. This cheered up the other ghosts who laughed.
Odysseus told Achilles "You appear to be happy," but Achilles said "HAPPY?!?!? ARE YOU SHITTING ME? BEING DEAD AND SITTING IN THIS GAY PLACE SUCKS!" Among them was his wife, who was pissed at him for wanting to go to a place with beautiful women. She had killed herself waiting for him. She wailed, "Why would you ever try to do this?!?! Do you love me? That war poisoned your mind!" He flipped her off and just said "There's better women where we are going!" She yelled that Ajax was hotter and more buffed anyway. Odysseus finally got tired of talking to dead people, but zombies came up out of the ground and Achilles said "You need to fight through a crowd of the living dead before leaving Odysseus." While all the ghosts watched, a huge zombie killing spree took place, and Odysseus beheaded more than he could count. One ship was destroyed in the fight and Odysseus and the others barely escaped.
Chapter 7: Asia
Odysseus and his men were again blown off course by Poseidon, who was enjoying their constant misfortune. They were alreay down to 13 ships. They landed on the Korean peninsula and went to ask the leader about directions and supplies. The leader, Kimus Jongus Illius the 2nd said that his country was being attacked by Mongolian Hunting Parties, and he would give them help if they helped repel the attack. Odysseus and his men got the supplies, but 5 ships were lost in the battle,so yeaaa then yeaa nd liek yeaa although it was won. He continued down the coast with 8 ships to Taiwan, an uninhabited island at that time. For a moment it seemed like their destination! The women who surprisingly lived here were hot, the climate was warm, and the vegetation was plentiful. But the women turned out to be cannibalistic sexists who hated men. ANOTHER ship was destroyed with the crew eaten. Odysseus said "Boy this place is getting hard to find!" He pulled out his map given to him by the Korean king when they left, and directed the ships towards the southeast pacific to find Easter Island. If they found Easter Island, they would find their destination.
Chapter 8: Encounter with Poseidon
Many days passed on the open sea. Odysseus and the others were getting quite bored with their nintendo greekcube, and hoped to find an Xbox 360 or Nintendo Wii on their island. After a while, Poseidon himself came up from the waters on a whale(gay), and said "I challenge Odysseus to a duel! If I lose, I will bother you no more! If I win, you men will never reach your island of choice!" Odysseus pulled out his sword and swung it at Poseidon, but it was deflected by the god's trident. A furious battle occurred, with each man giving the other many injuries. Finally, Poseidon called a draw, and turned to tell all the other men. But Odysseus, being known for trickiness, drove his sword into Poseidon's back, and twisted it several times. He fell dead then killed some eskimo penguins and they took his trident before giving him the deep six(throwing him overboard).
Chapter 9: Easter Island
Many more days passed with clear seas. Since the god of oceans was gone, the waters would always be calm. The Greeks saw an island in sight. They went right alongside a high cliff and Odysseus started to climb along with 5 of his men. The other men stayed with the 7 ships below. While exploring the somewhat treeless landscape, they saw many large stone heads in the ground, and even a village, but no one was there. Back at the ships, one sailor, a man named Shittus, noticed people high up on the cliffs. He waved to see if it was Odysseus and the others, but instead arrows and flaming grass balls rained down on them. All ships but one were destroyed. Odysseus and the 5 others were the only ones left alive. They went back and saw their ships were destroyed and the men gone. They saw a large smoke plume coming from the village, and Odysseus told 2 men to go down and secure the one intact ship. Odysseus and the 3 other went to the village and hid behind stone heads to see Crazy natives eating the remains of their comrades. Their scrotums were pinned on a stone head and their dicks were used as necklace pendants. Their balls were used for food. Odysseus and the 3 others tried to run, but were seen, and a hail of arrows came down. one man went down, and Odysseus jumped off a cliff to swim to his ship. The other 2 men remained to fight. No one knew what happened to them, until researchers found preserved Greek penises in a cave thousands of years later. It was believed they met the same fate as the others. Anyway, Odysseus sailed away eastward, vowing to never return to the island.
Chapter 10: The Destination
After about 3 days, an island was seen in the distance. Odysseus was wary of risking his last ship, due to the loss of 19 others. He and the other 2 men instead anchored it off the coast and swam to the island. What they saw after a long hike through the jungle was breathtaking. The 3 Greeks saw a village of nothing but beautiful women, who welcomed them and gave them soothing spa treatments. This concluded Odysseus's long journey, and he and the 2 other men stayed on the island, and they soon found that they were immortal on this island, and stayed here with all the other women and lived the good life. This island has been known as New Ithaca, and it is still undiscovered today.