Storytelling in The Odyssey
The story of Odyssey comes from a time when storytellers spread tales of heroes and heroic deeds. The Greeks have been known to tell their stories of their heroes in oral tradition. The first few lines of the Odyssey is the narrator asking a Muse to help him tell the story of Odysseus. The story is also filled with dialogue, which might indicate that it is a form of theatre and that these lines were performed orally. From the first few lines, the Odyssey could be recognized as a story that is told rather then read.
The very first line,
"Sing in me, Muse, and through me tell the story of that man skilled in all ways of contending",
reveals that the narrator is asking a Muse, to inspire him and through him tell a story. If this story was meant to be read, then the narrator should have just started the story, but he mentions a Muse, which deals with Greek Mythology. And Greeks were known to spread stories around through oral story telling. The story should of just started with a narrator speaking to us and not to an audience.
The narrator first mentions the audience in line17 when he says,
"tell us in our time, lift the great song again."
Seems here when he says,
he is referring to a group of people he wanted to tell the story to. It's seemingly obvious that the general audience for this story when it was told were the Greeks. There are numerous references to Greek theology.
Line 39 "In the bright hall of Zeus upon Olympos"
is a prime example that obviously shows that this story is Greek. Also other many Greek myths and stories are mentioned.
The very first lines of the Odyssey make reference to the Iliad and how Odyesseus fought in the war with Troy.
"man skilled in all ways of contending, the wanderer, harried for years on end, after he plundered the stronghold on the proud height of Troy."
So in a sense the Odyssey is a spin-off of the Iliad. Also the Muse that the narrator is talking to, is the daughter of Zeus.
Line 16 "Of these adventures, Muse, daughter of Zeus".
Even the names are derived from Greek.
Line 21 "for home and wife. Her ladyship Kalypso"
The name Kalypso is formed from a Greek verb that means "cover, hide." Even the home of Odysseus is close to Greece. Ithaca is an...