The Odyssey

Ref: C3528564

This course is about Homer’s epic poem of Odysseus and his calamitous return from the Trojan war. It is the story of a man who - before he can be re-united with family and homeland – must encounter the conflicting wills of gods, some of mythology’s most scary monsters and ultimately himself. The course explores the origins of this foundation text of Western Literature and what its significance has been to the subsequent generations who have continued to read and re-interpret the work.

Course aim

This course offers an introduction to the Odyssey by Homer. The poem will be studied as a work of Literature, rooted in myth but with claims of relevance to today's world.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
  • This course is for anyone who is curious about the oldest and one of most influential of works of European Literature.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Provide an outline of the key narrative events of The Odyssey
  • Identify some key characteristics of some of the major participants in the narrative
  • Recognise the way that text reflects the culture, values and beliefs of Greek pre-Classical and Classical culture and society
  • Carry out simple analysis of the language of the text and discriminate – in basic terms – between different translations of the Odyssey
  • Participate in and make informed contributions to discussions about the meaning and value of The Odyssey from a personal perspective

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • Tutor led, illustrated presentation; Guided group analysis of selected extracts; Group activities relating visual and other materials from subsequent eras to selected extracts from the text; Group discussion about topics related to the text.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions

What else do I need to know?

  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)
  • A copy of the Odyssey and note-making materials may be useful. NB: Slides used in teaching sessions will be shared via email at the end of each session.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • A reading guide with recommended translations, and a programme of additional optional reading designed to support each session will be made available to all students at the start of the course.

What can I do next?

Download full Course information sheet

The Odyssey


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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