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What was life like for poets in Homer's time with epics like The Odyssey and why were poets held in high esteem? |

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During the days when Homer existed, the essential thing to remember is that there was no entertainment.  There was no television, movie theaters, radios, etc...  Entertainment came down to sporting events and poets.  One person would be responsible for entertaining large crowds so they would travel from city to city, reciting their stories or poems in musical and memorable ways.  Since the poets weren't always in the city, when they arrived, it was a big celebration for those able to attend the performance.  Performances were occasionally restricted to the upper class, or upper levels of society.  Some rulers of cities would actually try to find ways to force the poet to stay in their city for their own selfish purposes.  This is why some poets were blinded or disfigured -- if they couldn't travel, they would only be able to perform in that city. 

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