The Odyssey


What is the authors purpose of starting the story in the first 4 chapers in Ithaca without hearing from the main character, Odyssey?

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The story of The Odyssey starts quickly, or "in medias res" ("in the middle of things"), relating in brief exposition the background before jumping into the present narrative. Homer's contemporary audience would have already been familiar with the story of The Iliad, whose events precede The Odyssey, so there is no need to waste time reminding them of it. Remember that the poem was delivered orally, so an audience member could not skip through the opening pages at his leisure.