Notes on Odysseus in Books 5 & 6 in 'The Odyssey'

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Notes on Odysseus ­ Books 5 & 6
Book 5:
Odysseus ruled his people well ­ `like a loving father' (line 12) ­ Athene;
He has undergone much ­ `long-enduring Odysseus' (line 30) - Zeus;
He is brave ­ `lion-hearted Odysseus' (line 80), `valiant Odysseus' (line 149);
He is depressed ­ `tormenting himself with tears and sighs and heartache' (line 85);
He wants to return home ­ `tears he shed for his lost home' (line 155);
He is loyal and hardworking ­ `stalwart good Odysseus' (line 173);
He is wise ­ `give me your solemn oath that you will not plot some other mischief against me' (line
179) - Odysseus;
He is crafty ­ `It shows the crafty way your mind works' ­ Calypso (line 183);
He is clever ­ `nimble-witted Odysseus' (line 215);
He has technical knowledge ­ `giving the same width to his raft as a skilled shipwright would choose
in rounding out the hull for a broad-bottomed trading vessel' (line 250);
He is happy to leave Calypso's island ­ `with a happy heart noble Odysseus spread his sail' (line 269);
He wants to be honoured and remembered ­ `I should at least have had my burial rites and the
Achaeans would have spread my fame abroad' (line 311) ­ Odysseus to himself;
He is favoured by many gods ­ `Poor man' (line 339) ­ Ino ­ shows she pities him;
He is determined and persistent ­ `For two nights and two days he was driven by the heavy seas'
(line 388);
He is pious ­ `I come to you with a prayer' (line 445) ­ Odysseus prays for help;
He is logical ­ `he decided this was the better course' (line 475).
Book 6:
Odysseus is getting weary of his travels ­ ``What country have I come to this time?' he said with a
groan' (line 119);
He is polite and thoughtful ­ `he decided it would be better to courteously plead his case' (line 147);
He has little hope for an easy homecoming ­ `I have no hope that my troubles will come to an end'
(line 175) ­ Odysseus;
He is a nice, sensible man ­ `your manners show you are not a bad man or a fool' (line 185) ­
He has shame ­ `I should be ashamed to stand naked in the presence of elegant ladies' (line 221) ­
He is very hungry ­ `[he] ate and drank with avidity, for it was a long time since he had tasted any
food' (line 250).
Hollis Butler


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