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SUBJECTS — World/Ancient Greece; Mythology; Literature; Seafaring;
SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING — Humility; Surviving; Marriage;
MORAL-ETHICAL EMPHASIS — Trustworthiness; Responsibility.
Age: 14+ for the film; 11+ for the book; MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for violent sequences and some sensuality); Drama; 1997; 165 minutes; Color
This movie recounts some of the efforts of the Greek's most clever warrior to reach home after the Trojan War. The names of the characters are the same as those of The Odyssey and most of the incidents in the film bear a strong resemblance to episodes in the classic Greek epic. The movie adds some explanatory material on the birth of Telemachus and the Trojan War.
The characterization of Odysseus (Ulysses) by Armand Assante is excellent and will leave a strong impression of this memorable character of Greek mythology.
The TeachWithMovies.com Learning Guide to this film focuses on the text because the movie is best used as an adjunct to reading the book. Homer's tale is truly exceptional. A student who can read at a 10th grade level can have a great time with this book. The Robert Fitzgerald translation reads almost like a modern popular novel. For this reason, TeachWithMovies.com recommends showing the film to children after they have read the book. The film can be used by teachers as a reward or a supplemental activity. Alternatively, certain portions of the film can be shown in class, analyzed, and discussed.
The Learning Guide to The Odyssey will help teachers prepare lesson plans for classes with students who are reading the book or portions of it.
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The Odyssey is one of the seminal works of Western literature. This film can function as a reward to a class for reading the book or seleted portions of the film can be used to illustrate episodes from the text. Odysseus (Ulysses) is a quintessentially human character.
Learning Guide Excerpt
To demonstrate how our Learning Guides can be used by teachers to improve lesson plans, we have set out below two paragraphs from the Learning Guide to The Odyssey.
This story is about a man who understands his humanity and accepts it. Gods and divine beings appear, but unlike many other myths, the Gods are not the focus of interest. Odysseus makes use of his capacity to reason and think (that most human of tools) to deal with the situations he faces. When offered eternal life with the divine nymph, Calypso, Odysseus declines, choosing instead to remain a mortal devoted to his human wife, Penelope. By the end of his travails, both Odysseus and Penelope are past the golden age of their youth, but Odysseus knows that his nature is that of a mortal human being, born and bred into a particular society, and a member of a family who cares for him. His story and his choice are a celebration of humanity.
Odysseus' weaknesses are quintessentially human. He suffers from pride (hubris) and sometimes fails to see the frailties of his friends. Odysseus is curious; almost terminally curious in some cases. He struggles to control his desires and largely succeeds. His sailors on the other hand, cannot control their desires, with fatal consequences.
The Learning Guide to the film The Odyssey contains sections on Benefits of the Movie, Possible Problems, Helpful Background, Discussion Questions, Links to the Internet, and Bridges to Reading. The Discussion Questions are divided into three categories: Subject Matter, Social-Emotional Learning, and Moral-Ethical Emphasis.
A subscription to TeachWithMovies.com will give teachers access to 350 Snippet Lesson Plans, Learning Guides, and Movie Lesson Plans. Subscribe Today and create a great lesson plan using The Odyssey. Introduce students to the fascinating character of Odyssesu (Ulysses).
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