compare the opening of the Odyssey to Iliad? What similarities or

differences between Achilles and Odysseus do you notice?

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Below are threads on five of the "famous" scenes in the Odyssey, a story that has greatly influenced the development of literature in the West. Pick THREE and write a two-paragraph response. Let's discuss each in turn and think about why these scenes or stories have remained so famous through the ages. I expect THREE posts this week-- you do not have to reply to classmates. Again, if you are doing external research you MUST CITE YOUR SOURCES. You can't copy from sparknotes and post that material as yours! Thread 1: The opening of the Odyssey The opening of this poem is as famous as the Iliad 's and also contains an "invoca±on to the Muse" a standard trope of epic literature. Read the opening and compare it to the Iliad. What similari±es or diFerences between Achilles and Odysseus do you no±ce? Thread 2: The Cyclops Decep±on, lies, and misrepresenta±ons on the part of people and gods inform the heroic world of the Odyssey. The famous "false tale" is prominent in the repertory of Odysseus' brilliant adap±ve quali±es. Pay special a²en±on to all the details of Odysseus' encounter with Polyphemus, the Cyclops, which is told as a ³ashback in Book IX. Think about the Homeric epithets for Odysseus -- the wily man, the man of twists and turns. How do lies and deceit play into our understanding of Odysseus's character, and why do we s±ll like him, a´er all those lies? In the encounter with the Cyclops, why does Odysseus call himself "Nobody"? Relate that to the Greek idea of fame and reputa±on Why does Odysseus µnally reveal his name to the Cyclops? Is it wise to do so? What happens because of this revela±on and why? Thread 3: Odysseus Meets Achilles in the Underworld Homer invents the hero's journey to the underworld in the Odyssey. Look over Book XI, as this becomes the "map" for Aeneas's decent into Hades and, eventually, Dante's journey into hell. Who does Odysseus see and why? (List one, and let another classmate list another.) Later in the book, Odysseus meets Achilles and they have a famous exchange (see page 421- 423). Why is Achilles' answer ironic when compared with the story of the Iliad? Thread 4: Odysseus' Adventures with Circe, the Sirens, the Scylla and Charybdis, and the Ca±le of the Sun Pay a²en±on to Circe's warnings to Odysseus a´er he returns from the Underworld (read with par±cular a²en±on pages 426-428). What do the Sirens sing about? Why are they so dangerous? What is the Ca²le incident about? Describe one monster and the reason it is included in your answer. Thread 5: Demodocus and Odysseus as Storytellers Many readers µnd the famous descrip±on of the blind poet, Demodocus, whose poetry moves the great and hardened Odysseus to tears, reminicent of Homer himself, the other famously blind bard (page 372F). Robert ¶agles, the translator of one edi±on of the poem, sees in the Odyssey a great "performa±ve" work, which the poet-performer Homer composed and his successors sang to rapt audiences. What happens a´er Demodocus tells his tale? What is the
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