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Course Hero. "The Odyssey Study Guide." Course Hero. 28 July 2016. Web. 20 Nov. 2017. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Odyssey/>.

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Course Hero. (2016, July 28). The Odyssey Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved November 20, 2017, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Odyssey/

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Course Hero. "The Odyssey Study Guide." July 28, 2016. Accessed November 20, 2017. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Odyssey/.

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Course Hero, "The Odyssey Study Guide," July 28, 2016, accessed November 20, 2017, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Odyssey/.

Author Biography

Learn more about Homer’s life and the personal experiences that inspired his epic poem The Odyssey in Course Hero’s video study guide.

Homer | Biography

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Little is known about the author called "Homer"—so little that there is speculation he never existed. One theory posits that he was a blind man who lived sometime during the 8th century BCE and that the Greeks considered him to be their greatest poet. Another theory holds that the name "Homer" merely stands in for many authors who expanded on the story of The Odyssey over generations. One thing that contemporary historians can agree on is that, even if one person did indeed write The Odyssey (and its companion, The Iliad), it had its genesis in a long tradition of oral storytelling that wasn't written down for centuries. These stories would be handed down through generations, and each storyteller would add new details or fine-tune the content. Who exactly Homer was remains one of the great literary mysteries yet to be solved—a mystery that scholars have named "the Homeric Question."

Despite the mystery around his origins and life, Homer has influenced storytelling ever since his works came into being. The Odyssey established the model of the epic quest and has inspired countless retellings. This epic also provides a rare poetic glimpse at life in ancient Greek society. Furthermore, Homer employed a variety of literary devices, such as metaphors, that have influenced authors for millennia.

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