As my students and I tackled Book 1 of The Odyssey a couple of weeks ago, I realized we needed to have a quick vocabulary lesson about the Muse and her role in Book 1. We talked about how the Ancient Greeks directly speak to the Muse asking her to sing the story of Odysseus in lines 1-2:
Tell me, O muse, of that ingenious hero who travelled far and wide after he had sacked the famous town of Troy.
In our textbook, we're given an explanation that the Muse is Zeus's daughter, but even this didn't seem like enough "context" for my students. So, I asked if any of them were in theater or drama, many answered, "No." Then, I asked them if they'd read/heard of William Shakespeare before and many agreed they had. I asked them these questions to help give them some background information and then I requested they re-read these first two lines again and asked them: