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Listen&Learn: The Odyssey

Jaksyn Peacock
Learn about the famous legend of Odysseus.

Pre-listening vocabulary

  • epic poem: a long story told in verse
  • mythical: not real; from legend
  • journey: a long trip
  • copy: a single version of a book
  • interpretation: an understanding of a work’s meaning

Listening activity

Gapfill exercise

The Odyssey is an epic poem by the Greek writer Homer. It is made up of 24 books about a mythical named Odysseus; his wife, Penelope; and their son, Telemachus. The story describes Odysseus’s ten-year journey home from the Trojan War. It was written around 700 B.C., making it one of the oldest texts that is still commonly read today. The first copy of the Odyssey was in ancient Greek. The first English wasn’t published until 1615. Since then, the Odyssey has been translated many times, and every translator has given a different interpretation of the text. The story has also inspired many other works, including multiple books, movies, and .

Comprehension questions

1. The Odyssey was written by the ancient Greek writer

Correct! Wrong!

The Odyssey was written by the ancient Greek writer Homer.

2. The Odyssey tells the story of

Correct! Wrong!

The Odyssey tells the story of Odysseus’s journey home from the Trojan War.

3. The first copy of the Odyssey was written in

Correct! Wrong!

The first copy of the Odyssey was written in ancient Greek.

Discussion/essay questions

  1. The Trojan War is a widely-known legend from Greek mythology. Do you know any other ancient Greek myths?
  2. Even today, there are many movies and books based on ancient myths. Why do you think people find ancient mythology so fascinating?

Transcript

The Odyssey is an epic poem by the ancient Greek writer Homer. It is made up of 24 books about a mythical king named Odysseus; his wife, Penelope; and their son, Telemachus. The story describes Odysseus’s ten-year journey home from the Trojan War. It was written around 700 B.C., making it one of the oldest texts that is still commonly read today. The first copy of the Odyssey was handwritten in ancient Greek. The first English translation wasn’t published until 1615. Since then, the Odyssey has been translated many times, and every translator has given a different interpretation of the text. The story has also inspired many other works, including multiple books, movies, and plays.

Written and recorded by Jaksyn Peacock for EnglishClub

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