Odysseus: Biography: Homer
Homer was a blind Greek poet who is believed to have written both the Iliad and the Odyssey. Little is known about him, and some scholars debate his existence. However, he is significant because the novels are attributed to him, and ancient Greek history treats him as if he was an actual person. Since the Greeks believed that Homer wrote the Odyssey, the modern reader can assume that as well. Homer probably wrote the Odyssey after the Iliad. The Odyssey was first an oral poem, and was transcribed around 700 BC. Repetition of certain lines and its metrical structure helped the storyteller remember the poem.
Homer is a significant historical figure because his work is one of the oldest examples of the modern novel that modern scholars have. Homer's Odyssey has a more modern flair than even the Iliad: it contains a healthy dose of blood and gore, which modern audiences still enjoy, and the Odyssey has a complex plot structure. Odysseus' son gets several chapters devoted to him before the reader gets to meet the title character, and Odysseus' wanderings are all told in flashback form. Humor even exists in the Odyssey, when a naked Odysseus is found by the princess Nausikaa and her servants. In this way, the Odyssey works well as a movie-like story, where the reader can visualize the events of the novel.