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Unformatted text preview: I ntroduction to the Odyssey I. Introduction a. The Date of the Odyssey i. Sometime 8 th century b.c ii. Very early in Archaic period, coming out of Dark age. iii. Corresponds to northern fall of Israel. iv. Same time with E and J documents. b. The Troy Cycle i. Odyssey recounts events of the fall of Troy ii. Composed of 6 other poems besides Iliad and Odyssey iii. They would start at the birth of Helen to the death of Odysseus. iv. More popular works such as Iliad and Odyssey were copied, other of 8 poems were lost. I I. The Structure of the Odyssey a. The Nostos i. The Nostoi of Agamemnon and Menelaus 1. Nostos means “ a return or a homecoming” 2. The homecoming of all these characters, Nestor etc. 3. The Odyssey is the nostoi of Odysseus back to his island of I thaca 4. Question the Odyssey asks us is will Odysseus repeat the homecoming of Agamemnon? Where a suitor kills Agamemnon. Or he will repeat the homecoming of Menelaus where he goes home and leads a peaceful and uneventful life. 5. Some songs/nostoi are seen as grief while they can be entertaining to other people ii. Three Segments 1. The Telemacheia (bks 1-4) a. Three Stages: Ithaca, Peloponnesus, Ithaca (bk 15) i. Initial scenes on I thaca where Odyssey commences. 1. Athena disguises herself as an old man name Mentis. 2. Tells Telemachus he should find his father and drive the suitors out. 3. Telemachus calls assembly and orders suitors out of his house. 4. He fails and decides to leave ii. Telemachus journeys to Peloponnesus 1. Athena is disguised as Mentor 2. First meets Nestor at Pylos 3. Takes a chariot to Sparta and meets Menelaus 4. Finds out Odysseus is stuck on island of Calypso. iii. Returns to Ithaca b. Central Themes i. Transition from Telemachus’s childhood to adulthood. ii. He has had no father to instruct and guide him. He does not know how to handle the suitors. iii. Older male figure is filled in first by Athena, then Nestor, then Menelaus. iv. They inspire him with actions about his father. c. Myth of Initiation i. Typical that man is removed from his home. ii. He must perform a sacrificial rite to the Gods iii. He experiences introduction to warfare and suffers some sort of wound. 2. Travelogue (blks 5-12) a. Calypso’s Island to Phaeacians (Scheria) i. He sails on a raft to the Island of the Phaeacians. ii. Occurs simultaneously as the events in the Telemacheia. iii. Odysseus had escaped Calypso with the help of the Gods b. Odysseus’s Tale to the Phaeacians i. A flashback to the king, his adventures since he left Troy. c. Voyages, Places, Death i. Attack on Cicones 1. Take heavy casualties ii. Storm off Cape Malea iii. Lotus Eaters iv. Cyclops Island 1. Enrages Poseidon....
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- Winter '08
- The Odyssey