Tag Archives: teaching the epic

Detest “The Odyssey”?

Reading Odyssey

I have a confession to make to my former students. I detest The Odyssey. In the classroom I tried very hard to hide it, over-compensating to the point that I suspect more than a few of my former students thought I loved Homer’s classic. I had no choice but to teach the text; it was required reading in both school systems where I worked. And I’ll concede that it is one of the mostly widely alluded-to works of all time and that, given the current take on the literary canon, students should have some exposure to it.

But had any student ever asked, I would probably have admitted, in a moment of candor, that I think Homer’s epic may be the most sexist work of literature ever written—though perhaps the Old Testament might also be a competitor for that dubious prize. Continue reading Detest “The Odyssey”?