Homer, name traditionally assigned to the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, the two major epics of Greek antiquity. Nothing is known of Homer as an individual, and in fact the question of whether a single person can be said to be responsible for the creation of the two epics is highly controversial. Linguistic and historical evidence, however, allows the supposition that the poems were composed in the Greek settlements on the west coast of Asia Minor sometime in the 9th century BC. Both epics deal with legendary events that were believed to have occurred many enturies before their composition.
The Iliad is set in the final year of the Trojan War, which forms the background for its central plot, the story of the wrath of the Greek hero Achilles. Insulted by his commander in chief Agamemnon, the young warrior Achilles withdraws from the war, leaving his fellow Greeks to suffer terrible defeats at the hands of the Trojans. Achilles rejects the Greeks’ attempts at reconciliation, but he finally relents to some extent, allowing his companion Patroclus to lead his troops in his place.
Patroclus is slain, and Achilles, filled with fury and remorse, turns his wrath against the Trojans, whose leader, Hector (son of King Priam), he kills in single combat. The poem closes as Achilles surrenders the corpse of Hector to Priam for burial, recognizing a certain kinship with the Trojan king as they both face the tragedies of mortality and bereavement. Odysseus, in Greek legend, a Greek hero, ruler of the island of Ithaca and one of the leaders of the Greek army during the Trojan War. Homers Odyssey recounts Odysseuss adventures and ultimate return home ten years after the fall of Troy.
Initially, Odysseus was mentioned as the son of Laertes, king of Ithaca, although in later tradition Sisyphus, king of Corinth, was considered his real father, his mother having later married Laertes. At first Odysseus refused to accompany the Greeks to Troy, feigning madness by sowing his fields with salt, but the Greeks placed his son Telemachus in front of the plow, and Odysseus was compelled to admit his ruse and join the invading army. Throughout the Iliad of Homer, he is portrayed as a brave, sagacious, cunning warrior, and he is awarded he famous armor of the Greek warrior Achilles on the latters death.
Odysseus was responsible for bringing the Greek heroes Neoptolemus and Philoctetes to Troy for the final stage of the conflict. In the Odyssey it is said that he proposed the strategem of the Trojan Horse, the means by which Troy was conquered. The Odyssey describes the return of the Greek hero Odysseus from the Trojan War. The opening scenes depict the disorder that has arisen in Odysseus household during his long absence: A band of suitors is devouring his property as they woo his wife Penelope.
The focus then shifts to Odysseus himself. The epic tells of his ten years of traveling, during which he has to face such dangers as the man-eating giant Polyphemus and such subtler threats as the goddess Calypso, who offers him immortality if he will abandon his quest for home. Many of the places that were visited by Odysseus and his crew are Aeaea, Thracek, Erebus and the island kingdom of Phaeacia. While on this odyssey he and his men had to fight many strange creatures and gods and goddess such as Aeaea, the witch goddess,
Clypso who keeps Odysseus on her island for seven years, Charybdis who by sucking is water forms a deadly whirlpool. Also included in the epic are Circe who turns Odysseus men into swine and Cyclops with one eye, the son of the sea god Poseidon who Odysseus blinds. The second half of the poem begins with Odysseus arrival at his home island of Ithaca. Here, exercising infinite patience and self-control, Odysseus tests the loyalty of his servants, plots and carries out a bloody revenge on Penelopes suitors, and is reunited with his son, his wife, and his aged father.