Classics Homer


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  • Created by: Ben
  • Created on: 23-05-12 10:00

Book 1 Plot

  • The muse beguins the epic songand talk about his long journey home, telemachus entering manhood and the revenge apon the suitors
  • The tale beguins on Mt Olympus were the gods are having an assembly and disuss the revenge of Orestes of his father on Aegisthus who had killed his mother and her lover to avenge her father
  • Athena pleads for Odysues to be saved even though poisdon is ****** but never the less Zeus sends Hermes to get Calypso to release him
  • Athena then takes a spear and disguised she in taken into the palace by Telemachus and shown good Zenia 
  • t is his xenia which means theese suitors 'waste his wealth' and eat the food in order to marry his mother
  • She tells him he must got to Pylos and Sparta 
  • The mistrel tells a story of Odyesues and Penelope the loyal wife beguins to cry and goes to her bed whilst the suitors discuss how they would like to sleep with her and telemachus tells them to leave but Alcinous shoots him down
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Book 1 annalysis

  • The epic hero- O is praised by the gods and we asume that this shows what he was famous for in homers day. 
  • Epic hero-The gods all have takes on Odyesues Zeus and Athena like him whilst poisidon hates him and causes him constant issues
  • Zeus-Zueus speech in which he berates mortals for blaming gods for their misfortunes when its what they diserve. For examplke he talks about Aegisthus who is deservebly killed
  • This both reinforces the loyalty of Penelope and infigures telemachus. He must avenge his father and save him
  • Narrative-Homer has used the council of gods to set out the narrative and show the moral dimnetions of it
  • Xenia-The xenia in ithica is important -telemachus vs Suitors
  • Gods take OS side-The gods seem to disaprve of the suitors and the dramatic tale Athena tells telemachus reinforces that like Orestes he must be brave
  • Pathos-Their is also an element of pathos in the suffering of Penelope
  • Telemachus- takes authority which is suprising and is important to the plot as he has found a new confidence and he is about to take matters into his own hands
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2 plot

  • The assembly meets, Aegyptius, a wise Ithacan elder, speaks first. He praises Telemachus for stepping into his father’s shoes, and they respect him for calling the assembly
  •  T has a speech in which he denonces the soutors behaviour. He says that they feed on his father oxen and sheep when any decent man would simply go to Penelope’s father and ask him for her hand in marriage.
  • Antinous says P seduces every suitor but will commit to none of them. and reminds the S of her weave plot. and say she must make up her minf but Telemachus refuses to throw out mother 
  • At that moment, a pair of eagles, locked in combat, appears overhead. The soothsayer Halitherses interprets their struggle as a portent of Odysseus’s imminent return and warns the suitors that they will face a massacre if they don’t leave. The suitors balk at such foolishness, and the meeting ends in deadlock.
  • As T prepares for Pylos and Sparta, Athena disguised as Mentor visits, another old friend of Odysseus. Shepredicts that his journey will be fruitful. She then sets out to town and, assuming the disguise of Telemachus himself, collects a loyal crew to man his ship. 
  • Telemachus also keeps things quaite as his departure wouldupset his mother. He tells only Eurycleia, his wise and aged nurse. She pleads with him not to take to the open sea as his father did, but he puts her fears to rest by saying that he knows that a god is at his side.
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  • In pylos they witness a gloroius sacrafice
  • Although Telemachus has little experience with public speaking, Mentor gives him the encouragement that he needs to approach Nestor, the city’s king, and ask him about Odysseus. Nestor, has no information . 
  • He recounts that after the fall of Troy a falling-out occurred between Agamemnon and Menelaus, the two Greek brothers who had led the expedition. Menelaus set sail for Greece immediately, while Agamemnon decided to wait a day and continue sacrificing on the shores of Troy. Nestor went with Menelaus, while Odysseus stayed with Agamemnon, and he has heard no news of Odysseus. 
  • He can only pray that Athena will show Telemachus the kindness that she showed Odysseus. 
  • Again he tells Tlemachus to act like Oretes in honoring his father
  • N then tell T of when Aga returned from Troy to find that Aegisthus, a base coward who remained behind while the Greeks fought in Troy, had seduced and married his wife, Clytemnestra who murdered Aa and attempted to take As kingdom had not Orestes returned and killed Aegisthus and Clytemnestra. Orestes an example for Telemachus. 
  • He sends his own son Pisistratus along to accompany Telemachus to Sparta, and the two set out by land the next day. And A turns to an eagle in Pylos in order to potect T in book 4
    • he visits Sparta and the king and queen, Menelaus and Helen
    • And in Ithaca the suitors plan to ambush and kill oddysues 

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5 plot

  • All the gods on Mount Olympus to discuss Odysseus’s fate. Athena’s speech in support of the hero prevails and hermes is sent to Ogygia.
  •  In reply, Calypso delivers an impassioned indictment of the male gods and their double standards. She complains that they are allowed to take mortal lovers while the affairs of the female gods must always be frustrated. 
  • But she submits to the supreme will of Zeus. By now
  • Calypso helps him build a new boat and stocks it with provisions from her island. With sadness, she watches as the object of her love sails away.
  • After eighteen days at sea, Odysseus spots Scheria, the island of the Phaeacians, his next destination appointed by the gods. 
  • Just then, Poseidon, returning from a trip to the land of the Ethiopians, spots him and realizes what the other gods have done in his absence. Poseidon stirs up a storm, which nearly drags Odysseus under the sea, but the goddess Ino comes to his rescue. She gives him a veil that keeps him safe after his ship is wrecked. 
  • Athena too comes to his rescue as he is tossed back and forth, and gives him a rock to cling ontoand he reaches safty of a river
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  • That night, Athena appears in a dream to the Phaeacian princess Nausicaa, disguised as her friend. She encourages the young princess to go to the river the next day to wash her clothes so that she will appear more fetching to the many men courting her. T
  • he next morning, Nausicaa goes to the river, and while she and her handmaidens are naked, playing ball as their clothes dry on the ground, Odysseus wakes in the forest and encounters them. 
  • Naked himself, he humbly yet winningly pleads for their assistance, never revealing his identity. Nausicaa leaves him alone to wash the dirt and brine from his body, and Athena makes him look especially handsome, so that when Nausicaa sees him again she begins to fall in love with him.
  •  Afraid of causing a scene if she walks into the city with a strange man at her side, Nausicaa gives Odysseus directions to the palace and advice on how to approach Arete, queen of the Phaeacians, when he meets her. With a prayer to Athena for hospitality from the Phaeacians, Odysseus sets out for the palace.
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    • This Chap inforces what Menelaus’s and Helen’s accounts of his feats during the Trojan War and what Homer’s audience would already have known: that Odysseus is very cunning and deliberative. 
    • The poet takes pains to show him weighing every decision: whether to try landing against the rocky coast of Scheria; whether to rest by the river or in the shelter of the woods; and whether to embrace Nausicaa’s knees (the customary gesture of supplication) or address her from afar.
    • He is shrewd, cautious, and extremely self-confident. At one point, he even ignores the goddess Ino’s advice to abandon ship, trusting in his seafaring abilities and declaring, “[I]t’s what seems best to me” (5.397).  “endearing, sly and suave” 
    • While these inner debates are characteristic of Odysseus, they are in some ways characteristic of the Odyssey as a whole. Unlike the Iliad, which explores the phenomena of human interaction—competition, aggression, warfare, and the glory that they can bring a man in the eyes of others—theOdyssey concerns itself much more with the unseen universe of the human heart, with feelings of loneliness, confusion, and despair. Not surprisingly, Homer introduces the hero Odysseus in a very unheroic way. We first find him sulking on a beach, yearning for home, alone except for the love-struck goddess who has imprisoned him there. Although not entirely foreign in theIliad, this sort of pathetic scene still seems far removed from the grand, glorious battles of the first epic. Even without the linguistic and historical evidence, some commentators consider the stylistic divergence of scenes like this strong evidence of the separate authorship of these two poems.

    Commentators are split in their interpretation of Calypso’s extraordinary speech to the gods. Some see it as a realistic, unflinching account of the way things work in the patriarchal culture of ancient Greece: while men of the mortal world and Zeus and the other male gods can get away with promiscuous behavior, society expects females to be faithful at all times. Others understand Calypso’s diatribe as a reaction to this reality. With this interpretation, we find ourselves naturally sympathetic to Calypso, who is making a passionate critique of social norms that are genuinely hypocritical. The question of interpretation becomes even trickier when we consider the relationship between Penelope and Odysseus. The poet seems to present Odysseus’s affair with Calypso without rebuke while looking askance at Penelope’s indulgence of the suitors, even though her faith in Odysseus never wavers. If we understand Calypso’s speech as a criticism of these patriarchal norms, we can see how the text presents two contrary attitudes toward sexual behavior, and Calypso’s speech seems to point out and condemn the unfair double standard that Homer seems to apply to Penelope.

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  • On his way to the palace of King Alcinous, Odysseus is stopped by a young girl who is Athena in disguise. She offers to guide him to the king’s house and shrouds him in a protective mist that keeps the Phaeacians, a kind but somewhat xenophobic people, from harassing him. 
  • She also advises him to direct his plea for help to Arete, the wise queen who will know how to get him home. then A goes to ber 'beloved athens'
  • Ofinds the palace residents holding a festival in honor of Poseidon. 
  • The palace is beutiful and the king wealthy. As soon as he sees the queen, he throws himself at her feet, and the mist about him dissipates.
  • He then explains his predicament, and the king and queen gladly promise to see him off the next day in a Phaeacian ship.
  • Later that evening, king and queen are alone with Odysseus, and 'wise' Arete recognizes Nausicaa clothes and she interogates Oddesyus-she nitted the clothes
  •  While still withholding his name, Odysseus responds by recounting the story of his journey from Calypso’s island and his encounter with Nausicaa that morning, which involved her giving him a set of clothes to wear. To absolve the princess for not accompanying him to the palace, Odysseus claims that it was his idea to come alone. Alcinous is so impressed with his visitor that he offers Odysseus his daughter’s hand in marriage.
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  • The next day, Alcinous calls an assembly of his Phaeacian counselors and athena makes sure they provide a ship for O so he can return to his homeland. The measure is approved, and Alcinous invites the counselors to his palace for a feast and celebration of games in honor of his guest. 
  • There, a blind bard named Demodocus sings of the quarrel between Odysseus and Achilles at Troy. Everyone listens with pleasure except Odysseus, who weeps at the painful memories that the story recalls. The king notices Odysseus’s grief and ends the feast so that the games can begin.
  • The games include standard boxing, wrestling, racing, and throwing of the discus. At one point, Odysseus is asked to participate. Still overcome by his many hardships, he declines. One of the young athletes, Broadsea, then insults him, which goads his pride to action. Odysseus easily wins the discus toss and then challenges the Phaeacian athletes to any other form of competition they choose. The discussion becomes heated, but Alcinous diffuses the situation by insisting that Odysseus join them in another feast, at which the Phaeacian youth entertain him and prove their preeminence in song and dance. Demodocus performs again, this time a light song about a tryst between Ares and Aphrodite. Afterward, Alcinous and each of the young Phaeacian men, including Broadsea, give Odysseus gifts to take with him on his journey home.

At dinner that night, Odysseus asks Demodocus to sing of the Trojan horse and the sack of Troy, but as he listens to the accomplished minstrel he again breaks down. King Alcinous again notices and stops the music. He asks Odysseus at last to tell him who he is, where he is from, and where he is going.

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you are literally a life saver! thankyou! 

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