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Unformatted text preview: Homer’s Book of the Dead (the Odyssey, Book Chapter 15: Views of the Afterlife: Chapter 15: Views of the Afterlife: The Realm of Hades 11): earliest surviving account of realm of the Underworld (HADES) In the context of the Odyssey: Odysseus tells his adventures to the Phaeacians and their king, right before his final return to his homeland, Ithaca. In order to reach his goal (RETURN HOME), he must consult with the seer TIRESIAS about how to reach ITHACA. Tiresias 1Mt. Olympus 6Aeolia's Island 11Scylla & Charybdis 2Troy 1Mt. Olympus 7Laestrygonians 12Calypso 3Cicones 8Circe's Kingdom 13Ithaca 4 Lotus Eaters 9Land of the Dead 5Cyclops 10Sirens Beginning of journey to the Beginning of journey to the Underworld Ritual Activity. Arrival to the Underworld. Pour libation to all the dead, mixture of honey and milk, then sweet wine mixed with water, over it sprinkled white barley. Promise of sacrifice upon return Prayers and supplications. Sacrifice (black sheep) Description of ritual activity. Souls of the dead came I (Odysseus) did not allow the souls to come near before I had questioned TEIRESIAS, the seer. He first sees the soul of his comrade Elpenor who had fallen (being drunk ?) Elpenor says to Odysseus, “Do not leave me unburied” This reflects the ideology that proper burial rites are very important. Anthropological perspective. Dialogue between TEIRESIAS and Dialogue between TEIRESIAS and ODYSSEUS Teiresias tells him his destiny. Anticlea, Odysseus’ mother is among the dead, and Odysseus wants to speak with her. Teiresias’ advice ”any of the dead you allow to come near the blood will speak to you clearly, anyone you refuse will go back from you.” Folktale motif present Mother reveals that heartache and longing for Dialogue between Odysseus and his Dialogue between Odysseus and his mother her son brought her to the Underworld. Emotional Odysseus. Wants to embrace his mother, which is not possible. Details of physicality of the Underworld. Anticlea to Odysseus: “This is the doom of mortals when they die, for no longer sinews hold bones and flesh together, but the mighty power of blazing fire consumes all, as soon as the life breath leaves our white bones and the soul flies away” Conception of the soul in the Underworld. HEROINES: Mythological catalogue of women. Genealogies of famous ladies. Mythology at a glance. Agamemnon (the leader of the Greek army in the expedition to Troy) is dead and tells Odysseus how he was murdered by his own wife, Clytemnestra, and her lover, Aegisthus, and remains suspicious of women. Ideology about the Underworld Ideology about the Underworld Achilles’s despair: “I should prefer to serve as a slave another man, even if he had no property, and little to live on, than to rule over all these dead who have done with live” Famous quote from Homer, Achilles’ view of the Underworld. Also a view on life, on poetry. Achilles’ reflections on heroic activity. Achilles asks Odysseus about his son, Neoptolemus, and finds out that he is a worthy son of his. Communication between dead and alive, the one take information from and about the other. Ajax (hero from the Trojan war) committed suicide because his honor and pride were hurt, when Odysseus was awarded the armor of Achilles rather than he. Ajax does not talk to Odysseus. Prior heroes Prior heroes King Minos of Crete, son of Zeus. He was a judge of the Underworld. Theme of justice with after life. Tormented sinners Tityus (vultures eat his liver, he had assaulted Leto, consort of Zeus, mother of Apollo and Artemis) Tantalus (hence the term “tantalize” unquenchable thirst, tried to drink, water dried, couldn’t reach food from trees either, wind snatched it away) Sisyphus Sisyphus Son of Aeolus (god of winds) He had aroused the anger of Zeus by telling the rivergod Asopus that Zeus had carried of his daughter Aegina. Zeus sent Death (THANATOS, Greek name) to carry Sisyphus off. Sisyphus chained THANATOS and as long as he was chained, no mortals could die. Eventually Ares (god of War) freed Death Sisyphus had left instructions to his wife Merope not to make customary sacrifices after his death. When Hades saw no sacrifices he sent him back, where he died in advanced old age. He was punished in the Underworld for revealing Zeus’ adventures by having to roll a huge rock uphill only to have it roll down again. RepetitionPunishment. Last but not least: Odysseus sees the phantom of Heracles (the real Heracles is in Mount Olympus with his wife, Hebe). End of Odysseus’ journey abrupt. Hordes of crying dead swarm up, Odysseus leaves in fear. Interpretation of Book 11 of the Interpretation of Book 11 of the Odyssey Sacrificial ceremonies Ritual activities Catalogue of heroes Competitive aspect to account for the catalogue Vague geography of the Homeric Underworld. Very influential for later literature (Compare Virgil, Dante etc). Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Red figured Crater (475-425) The Underworld Apollo and Tityos, Falling, Artemis, Woman Apollo B2: Zeus and Giant (Gigantomachy ?), with Stone, Hermes with Stone A,B1: Herakles (Beardless), Theseus and Perithoos, Both Seated, Hermes, Meleagros (All A,B1: Named), Hades, Draped Men and Youths, Some with Staffs, One with Fillet, Woman with Alabastron, Persephone Seated (Named, Perrephatta), Columns Alabastron, Meeting of Odysseus and Elpenor at the Undeworld- Detail from Athenian red-figure clay vase about 475-425 BC. Boston (MA) Museum of Fine Arts red-figure ODYSSEUS (depicted young) with seer Teireseias. South Italian Red-figure bowl . Detail: Tiresias seated holding sacrificial knife as Odysseus (left) Odysseus stands by him. Bibliothéque Nationale, Paris. Dolon painter. stands Odysseus (left), Teiresias (middle), Eurylochus (right) one of Odysseus’ companions. Odysseus’ Sisyphus rolling a stone (behind him Sisyphus rolling a stone (behind him possibly a Fury, personification) Titian, Sisyphus rolling a stone Titian, Sisyphus rolling a stone 15481549 ...
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- Fall '07
- The Odyssey, Odysseus, Zeus, Achilles, Elpenor, Hermes, Tiresias, Book 1