Odyssey Book 7

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  • Book 7
    • Flow Chart
      • O exits the woods and is guided by a small child, who is Athene, and is enveloped in a mist the doesn't permit the Phaeacians to see him as Athene is worried they will attack a stranger as it is such a distant land. Athene guides O to Alcinous' palace where she leaves him and departs.
        • We hear of the Phaeacians lineage and how Alcinous is descended from Poseidon. Then their palace is described in extreme detail. They have golden doors on either side stands gold and silver dogs which Hephaestus gifted to them. They employ fifty maids and own a huge orchard where plants are in season all year round. There are two springs in the garden.
          • On entering the palace O sees captains and counsellors pouring libations to Hermes as a form of prayer. He progresses to Arete and on clasping her knees the mist evaporates from around him. She is shocked and O makes his petition blessing her and asking for protection. An elder, Echeneus, speaks first asking why Al has not done anything for O.
            • Al proceeds to carry out the Law of Xenia providing O with a seat which is that of his favourite son Laodamas and water in a silver basin. They then pour libations to Zeus. Alcinous states he will assist O on his journey home. He then contradicts himself saying he thinks O may be God playing a trick on them which never happens as Gods come to them in their normal form. O assures Al than he is not a God.
              • Arete juts in and asks O questions about his identity. O then begins to recount his tale explaining how he was trapped by the Goddess C but then she released him but he was met with bad fortune by Poseidon. His raft was broken and he was washed up here. He praises Nausicaa for helping him, calling her 'godlike'.
                • Alcinous is annoyed his daughter didn't bring O to the palace but O contracts this. A then says he wishes to have a man like O for a son in law. He promises to take O home and boasts of the Phaeacians sea-fairing skill. O is provided with a bed by maids and he prays to the Zeus that A may fulfil his promises and return him home.
    • themes
      • O's identity
        • O fails to reveal his identity avoiding Arete's questions, he knows this valuable to him
      • Civilised People
        • We see this through their wealth and the description of the palace which uses sensory language to emphasise all they have. their possessions are all Gold and Silver - more possessions the better people - time
          • time also seen in Hermes and Athene when they are decribed with bronze spears and silver shoes etc.
        • they are also shown as favoured by the Gods - they come to them in their original form, Hephaestus gives them gifts.
      • Law of Xenia
        • The Phaeacians follow Xenia precisely. Even going further A giving O the chair of his favourite son and serving everything in gold and silver bowls
    • techniques
      • epic similes
        • 'like the leaves of a poplar while soft olive-oil drips from the close woven fabrics they have finished'
          • suggests beauty of the maids weaving.
      • stock scene of putting someone to bed at the end


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