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The Odyssey Project 2024

The Inspiration of Greek Literature on Modern Works

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Penelope and the Bow

by Bridget Haselbarth

Homer describes Penelope's going into the store room to get her husband's bow before the suitors' archery contest, the winner of which would attain the queen's hand in marriage. Describing the scene as a "quiet climax" of the epic, Bridget believes the  incident foreshadows what will happen next—Odysseus will execute vengeance upon the suitors. The scene, pictured on the left, was executed with colored pencil.

A Doodled Greek Tapestry

by Francesca Milani

Executed in pen and ink, Francesca's "doodle" prominently pictures Athena who is in a sense the "director" of Odysseus' travels, as she watches over him and his family and manipulates events to make things work out.  Throughout the intricate doodle work there are scenes from the hero's adventures.

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The Spike That Blinds the Cyclops

by Steve O'Hara

One very dramatic scene in the Odyssey is our hero's encounter with the Cyclops, Polyphemus. Showing not only a concern for his crew, but also his cleverness and strength, Odysseus saves his men from the clutches of the giant by making a stake, setting it on fire and thrusting it in the Cyclops eye. Sizzle! The model spike was carved from wood.

Pandora's Box

by Gabriel Wallacavage

With wood from a bed frame, Gabe fashioned a box. It was a mystery for all of us what was inside, just as it was for Pandora, and when Gabe opened the box the mystery was revealed with all the wonder of mist and smoke.

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Translation of the Odyssey

by Lucas Mohan

Using his language skills (having studied Ancient Greek for three years), Lucas translated an excerpt from Homer's Odyssey, particularly the passage in which Odysseus makes his boast to the Cyclops—the boast that cost the life of his crew. Lucas then adorned the passage with figures and designs  typically found on Greek vases. 

Odysseus's Struggles

by Grace Oglesby

Grace imagined Odysseus as a man who carried all his struggles and adventures around with him wherever he went. She communicated that fanciful image of Odysseus using charcoal on paper.

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by Miriam Knutson

What do we value much when we are grieving? Sleep. Penelope waited a full twenty years for the return of her husband. Miriam recreates the mind of Penelope in a Medieval song, which you can read here. You can listen to her sing part of the first stanza of "Rose" by clicking the icon below.

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Penelope's Unfinished Tapestry

by Theresa Carriker

Penelope would marry no man, she said, until she finished the burial shroud of her husband's father. By day she weaved her beautiful tapestry and at night she unravelled it. The suitors caught onto her ruse, however, and demanded that she marry one of them without delay. Theresa's unfinished embroidery represents Penelope's cleverness (akin to her husband's) as well as her love for Odysseus.

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The Myth of Persephone

Felicity Sutton

Felicity pondered the myth of Hades and Persephone and used her photography skills to create a series of tableaux, which she presented to the class on the night of the Odyssey Project. To see more of the pictures, click here.  

Ulysses by Alfred Tennyson

by Elise Lengkeek

Inspired by Tennyson's "Lotos-eaters" (which in turn was inspired by Homer's Odyssey), Elise wrote out a passage from the poem which echoes its overarching theme—the sense of incapacitating world-weariness. The calligraphy was written in the Gothic hand and illustrated.

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Dinner, Dessert and Charades

Our Greek Project night began with a pizza dinner. After the Greek projects were presented, we had a dessert, which consisted of a chocolate tart (gluten- and milk-free), an orange cake (gluten-free) and a chocolate graduation cake loaded with gluten and sugary butter icing and decorated with "Happy Graduation!" We ended the evening with a game of charades based on the literature that we read this year. How would you act out Aristotle's Poetics? No one can do it well, but—don't ask me how she did it—within seconds Bridget guessed it!

     On a personal note, I am saddened that most of the class will be graduating this year—obviously happy that they will going on to bright futures, but sad that I will no longer see these very special students next year!

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