Homer's Odyssey - an enduring story and a new English translation WEA Sydney

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In our close reading of Homer's Odyssey we shall unravel questions about the story of the hero Odysseus, myth and history, the epic's "author" and the cultural contexts and modes of the Odyssey's telling and transmission. We shall look at the effects and impacts of its retellings, asking ourselves what has been so enduring about this epic over the millennia. We shall consider the effect of Emily Wilson's new translation - the first translation into English by a woman - alongside glimpses of other English translations from over the last century and what it might contribute to our reading and enjoyment of the epic.


  • Face-to-Face


  • Homer: The Odyssey, translated by Emily Wilson, 2018, Norton, New York and London


  • The Odyssey will be studied in its entirety
  • Consideration of the myth and the epic's transmissions and translations
  • Historical and cultural contexts of the Odyssey's composition
  • Exploration of heroic values


By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Discuss questions about the Odyssey's "author"
  2. Have a thorough knowledge of the story of the Odyssey
  3. Discuss aspects of the epic's transmission
  4. Discuss our 21st century reception of the epic

Suzanne MacAlister

BA (Hons), PhD
Dr Suzanne Macalister gained her BA Hons in both Modern and Ancient Greek, followed by her doctorate in Ancient Greek and Byzantine language and literature (University of Sydney); she became...