We touched on many reasons in the lecture notes for the content of ...

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We touched on many reasons in the lecture notes for the content of the first four Books. And that was just scratching the surface—there are many possible interpretations. While Homer is known for starting in media res, this story does not seem to start "in the middle of the action." We don't even start with the hero of the story.

Why do you think the story starts the way it does? Why are the first books organized in the way they are? Is there a moment (or a couple) that really crystalized for you that purpose? What specifically in the text made you think this?

(Note: The "Odyssey Timeline" in the Homer Help section may help you understand the differences between the narrative order and the chronological order.)

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Why do you think the story starts the way it does?

The first four Books of the Odyssey represent an unconventional way to begin a story about a character which does not even make an appearance in them. While not introducing the psychological contemplations of Odyssey, it does provide readers with an insightful background before they delve into the main character’s endeavors. Homer chooses to do this as to build...

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