The Odyssey

Cultural impact

  • Cyclops by Euripides, the only extant satyr play, retells the respective episode with a humorous twist.
  • True Story, written by Lucian of Samosata in the 2nd century AD, is a satire on the Odyssey and on ancient travel tales, describing a journey sailing westward, beyond the Pillars of Hercules and to the Moon, the first known text that could be called science fiction.[14]
  • Merugud Uilix maicc Leirtis ("On the Wandering of Ulysses, son of Laertes") is an eccentric Old Irish version of the material; the work exists in a 12th-century AD manuscript that linguists believe is based on an 8th-century original.[15][16]
  • Dante Alighieri has Odysseus append a new ending to the Odyssey in canto XXVI of the Inferno.
  • Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria, first performed in 1640, is an opera by Claudio Monteverdi based on the second half of Homer's Odyssey.
  • Every episode of James Joyce's modernist novel Ulysses (1922) has an assigned theme, technique and correspondences between its characters and those of Homer's Odyssey.
  • The first canto of Ezra Pound's The Cantos (1922) is both a translation and a retelling of Odysseus' journey to the underworld.
  • Nikos Kazantzakis aspires to continue the poem and explore more modern concerns in The Odyssey: A Modern Sequel (1938).
  • Homer's Daughter by Robert Graves is a novel imagining how the version we have might have been invented out of older tales.
  • The Japanese-French anime Ulysses 31 (1981) updates the ancient setting into a 31st-century space opera.
  • Omeros (1991), an epic poem by Derek Walcott, is in part a retelling of the Odyssey, set on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia.
  • The Odyssey (1997), a made-for-TV movie directed by Andrei Konchalovsky, is a slightly abbreviated version of the epic.
  • Similarly, Daniel Wallace's Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions (1998) adapts the epic to the American South, while also incorporating tall tales into its first-person narrative much as Odysseus does in the Apologoi (Books 9-12).
  • The Coen Brothers' 2000 film O Brother, Where Art Thou? is loosely based on Homer's poem.
  • Zachary Mason's The Lost Books of the Odyssey (2007) is a series of short stories that rework Homer's original plot in a contemporary style reminiscent of Italo Calvino.
  • The film Ulysses' Gaze (1995) directed by Theo Angelopoulos has many of the elements of the Odyssey set against the backdrop of the most recent and previous Balkan Wars.
  • The poem "Ulysses" by Alfred, Lord Tennyson is narrated by an aged Ulysses who is determined to continue to live life to the fullest.
  • Between 1978 and 1979, German director Tony Munzlinger made a documentary series called Unterwegs mit Odysseus (roughly translated: "Journeying with Odysseus"), in which a film team sails across the Mediterranean Sea trying to find traces of Odysseus in the modern-day settings of the Odyssey.
  • Cream's 1967 song "Tales of Brave Ulysses" is based on the encounters that Odysseus had on his way back, such as the sirens.
  • Steely Dan's 1977 song "Home at Last (song)" on the album Aja (album) is based loosely on Odysseus's efforts to return home. It includes lyrics such as, "Well, the danger on the rocks is surely past/Still I remain tied to the mast/Could it be that I have found my home at last?/Home at last."
  • Margaret Atwood's 2005 novella The Penelopiad is an ironic rewriting of The Odyssey from Penelope's perspective.

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