Odyssey class 2--smarx

I.     Epic

A.  largest, most ambitious literary genre—the central and comprehensive document(s) of a culture—its “mythology”

B.  Bible, Odyssey, Aeneid, Divine Comedy, Beowulf, Faerie Queene, Paradise Lost, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings

II.   Cosmology

A.  Four levelled world:Underworld and overworld—plus two levels in middle world—order and chaos

B.  Earth and Sea

1.    map of the Aegean; as much sea as land

a)   http://www.princeton.edu/~markwoon/Myth/myth-maps.html

2.    Odysseus’ voyages—not reliable

a)   http://www.glencoe.com/sec/literature/cgi-bin/splitwindow.cgi?top=http://www.glencoe.com/sec/literature/top2.html&link=http://library.thinkquest.org/19300/data/Odyssey/voyage1.htm

3.    *Excitement and release of ship’s departure; description of wind in sails 2.433

4.    *Ship building scene 5.243-270—human love and art

a)   http://www.showgate.com/medea/ships/grkship7.gif

b)   http://www.showgate.com/medea/ships/grkshp20.gif

5.    *Storm scene—natural chaos—Poseidon shows up—5.293-395—Oceans and earthquake—land like ocean!—esp. 324-357 and 441-464

a)   http://www.getty.edu/art/collections/objects/o1468.html

6.    Sea voyage over “fathomless and immortal” sea toward underworld in Book XI

7.    Earth in Ithaka

III. Love

A.  Lust

1.    Kalypso love, the cave

2.    Kalypso, Kirke, Aphrodite, Helen—associated with women more than men in this book—physical love or lust

3.    The Seirenes, Lotos Eaters

B.  Nostalgia—longing for home and love of home

1.    the drive of the plot—homeward bound; return of the king; restoration of previous lost order

2.    Oedipus on the  shore of Ogygia crying

3.    The men crying at their transformation back to men

a)   Aristophanes longing for the original, earlier, completed state—the longing for the mother

4.    The longing for innocence, especially by a senex amans; puer eternus

a)   Alkinoos offers daughter, but Odysseus resists 7.335

(1) contrasts the story of Faust—old man who makes pact with the devil for recapturing youth and seducing innocence

b)   *Goodbye to Nausikaa—delicate moment  8.474

C.  Marriage and family

1.    In addition to nostos, another word—oikos--and concept of home is household—family not as emotional unit but as economic or survival or social unit-- this is another form of love

2.    *LOVE—Odysseus on marriage—“May the gods accomplish your desire/a home, a husband, and hamonious/converse with him—the best thing in the world/being a strong house held in serenity/where man and wife agree. “  6.193—standing naked, tossed by the storm

3.    Power of mother Arete, in this society—yet another HOME, like Pylos and Sparta  7.71

a)   No lady in the world/no other mistress of a man’s household/is honored as our mistress is, and loved [LOVE] / by her own children, by Alkinoos/and by the people.  When she walks the town/they murmur and gaze, and shough she were a goddess./No grace or wisdom fials in her; indeed/just men in quarrels come to her for equity”

b)   Book of Proverbs 31—the capable wife vs. the prostitute who leads men astray

(1)         [10 ] A good wife who can find?
(2)         She is far more precious than jewels.
(3)         [11 ] The heart of her husband trusts in her,
(4)         and he will have no lack of gain.
(5)         [12 ] She does him good, and not harm,
(6)         all the days of her life.
(7)          [15 ] She rises while it is yet night
(8)         and provides food for her household
(9)         and tasks for her maidens.
(10)     [16 ] She considers a field and buys it;
(11)     with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
(12)     [17 ] She girds her loins with strength and makes her arms strong.
(13)     [18 ] She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
(14)     Her lamp does not go out at night.
(15)     [19 ] She puts her hands to the distaff,
(16)     and her hands hold the spindle.
(17)     [20 ] She opens her hand to the poor,
(18)     and reaches out her hands to the needy.
(19)      [23 ] Her husband is known in the gates,
(20)     when he sits among the elders of the land.
(21)      [25 ] Strength and dignity are her clothing,
(22)       and she laughs at the time to come.

c)    *Oikos, ecos, economy, ecology=earth household=sustainability

d)   Orchard—7.119-140; California agriculture

(1) Suitors are wasters, unsustainable, no allegiance to gods or family or the fair exchange of husbandry

e)    “companionate marriage”; “esteem  enlivened by desire”

D.  Varieties of Family

1.    Missing father family—Ithaka; then Telemachus leaves; Penelope desperate but comforted

2.    Nestor—father and sons—on beach

3.    Murderous betraying woman—the great cautionary example of Kleitemnestra and Agamemnon

a)   He hears the story many times and so do we.    He meets Aegisthus and Agamemnon who yet again tells the story of Klytaimnestra and warns him not to confide in women “the day of faithful wives is gone forever.” XI.503

4.    Menelaus and Helen

a)   Helen enters—her beauty and grace—she recognizes Telemakhos 4.150; admits her responsibility for war

b)   *She drops anodyne in their wine 4.227; tells story of how she had sided with Odysseus and helped the Greeks; contradicted by mildly by Menelaos, who was there and reports she tried to betray Greeks in the horse—Menelaos the cuckold  4.307

5.    Aphrodite and Hephaestus

a)   *Story of Aphrodite and Ares  LOVE—another adultery; love as trap; ugly art 8.293 vs. beautiful lust—compare to Proverbs, the husband gone  8.298…artfulness of the story, switching from Hehaestus’ to Ares perspective…success for the husband: sick at heart 8.315…humiliation of trapped and weighted down lovers—laughter of happy gods…no dash in adultery now [Ovidian narrative]; quotations of the audience…Apollo’s leering…Poseidon’s gravity…Hephaestos’demand for compensation—Adultery always punished and always alluring—cf. Helen, Clytemnestra, Penelope

IV.         The Epic Hero—leader, king, prophet

A.  Heroic personal identity—Kleos—fame, honor, immortality, glory—50 synonyms for it—reputation and name

1.    Demodokos sings of the horse in book 8; emphasis again on the exploits of Odysseus, with whom the Phaiakians are obsessed

2.    *Odys weeps described in heart wrenching simile  8.550 –most intense emotional moment; Alkinoos catches the difference between entertainment and real suffering…Break off the song p. 319

3.    “Tell me the name you bore…no man good or bad,/but gets a name in his first infancy/ none being born, unless a mother bears him.”

a)   first self-revelation presaging that at the end with return of the disguised king with story of Autolycus

4.    Odyss eloquent answer.  “Here is flower of life…you wish to know my cause for sorrow”  9.12

5.    First reveals his name: Laertes’ son, Odysseus—then his “this fame has gone abroad”—Kleos:formidable for guile in peace and war 

a)   Identity: his reputation, his home  Ithaka…where shall a man find sweetness to surpass his own home and parents

6.    Next comes the narrative of his travels—his experience that makes him sad and who he is—the story of his trials and errors and what he learned from his mistakes

a)   Kikones—plunder and rapine; men making mutinous pigs of themselves—just like suitors  9.51 punished by Kikones

b)   Lotos eaters—drugs and content—he forces discipline on them; ties the three who tried it under their rowing benches

c)    Kyklopes—long narrative—Odysseus’ great glory and his downfall—his name and identity

(1) Giants, louts, without a law, ignorant, no agriculture, no muster and meeting—primitive, crude, savage—related to Poseidon—wives and children—wilderness no shipwrights
(2) Special wine brought along; nice pastoral scene of cheesemaking  225; 255-262—sympathetic
(3) Odysseus’ thievery and egocentric curiosity—wished to see caveman 240
(4) Kyklops says he doesn’t care about xenos or the gods; cannibalism—gruesome 300
(5) Tricking him; revenge story—Nohbody’s my name—disguise identity and then reveal it  380
(6) *Eating men and blinding Kyklopes 380-432—gory and humorous; a story promoting laughter like Ares and Aphrodite—more disguise—binding to the sheep
(7) *Odysseus’ hybris—men tell him enough already and he taunts Kyclops and reveals his name for fame and then draws down Poseidon’s curse  520-530. Kyklops remembers the prophecy on him; Odyss. Takes pride in vote of his men to give him the big ram; Zeus disdains his offering. 

d)   As Odysseus betrays his men with Kyklopes, they betray him Ailos—but while he sleeps

(1) Aiolos generously gives him wind to take him home—while Odysseus sleeps, temptation hits crew; they greedily open bag looking for treasure and lose the blessing—“mischief aboard and nodding at the tiller” 10.74

e)    Kirke

(1)  tries to deceive him and he responds “Am I a boy”  10.269; he enters her bed only after she swears to not work enchantments—he resists her blandishments till she frees his men
(2) *She releases the men 10.424 and they weep: “their eyes upon me, each one took my hands/and wild regret and longing pierced them through/so the room rang with sobs, and even Kirke/pitied that transformation”
(3) But he then lags and the men have to move him onward

f)    Achilles in hell  [Jim]—relation to Kalypso?

(1) Importance of prudence in staying alive—death is no release or relaxation
(2) Achilles: the dim witted dead, the after images of used-up men
(3) Odyss tells him he neednt be pained by death because of his fame
(4) Ach. Is cynical, says better to break sod as a farmhand…than lord it over all the exhausted dead 11.544
(5) Odysseus tells him the story of Neoptolomus, his son’s fame and Achilles glories in that 11.603

B.  Distinctions of leadership

1.    Force and fraud; lion and fox--Daring and disguise

a)   1.1 Odyss the man: skilled, wanderer, weathered

(1) Relation to shipmates—children and fools

b)   Telemakhos—

(1) who has known his own engendering? 1. 260—male distance from procreation
(2) Athene providing Telemachus with heart
(3) Eurykleia infantilizing him—1.485
(4) shyness and lack of masculine power
(5) Telemakhos refuses to accept Antinoos friendly advances
(6) Telemakhos tells nurse to pack provisions, she tries to keep him home  2.385

2.    Self control and self mastery

a)   Teiresias’ advice  “One narrow strait may take you through his blows/denial of yourself, restraint of shipmates” 11.112

b)   self-discipline; trial and error; testing; self control; self mastery vs. ecstasy=loss of self

c)    Not losing it; learning about oneself through experience

d)   As he does with the Phaiakians—at the end of his wanderings

3.    Relation of leader and followers

a)   Athene as Mentor upbraids Ithakans for tolerating anarchy and provisions the expedition and assembles crew disguised as Tel.

V.  Justice and Piety—respect for seniors, for legal authorities, for gods

A.  Leaders and followers—the family, tribe and state

B.  vice and virtue—crime and punishment--order vs. disorder in society

C.  Suitors-wastrels, bad guests, cowards, no bonds, parasites

1.    Great house plundered—nobody to keep control of property; keep people in order; vision of lost partriarchy—violation of property and propriety

D.  Tel. Answers 2.2—this is rapine…warns of slaughter; eagle atack—intepreted by old seer Mastor

E.  Eurymakhos mocks omens and seer—impiety and anarchy 186

F.   Athene as Mentor upbraids Ithakans for tolerating anarchy and provisions the expedition and assembles crew disguised as Tel.

G.  Suitors plan ambush of Telemachus, end of book 4—triple shift of setting

1.    Minos gives out justice—there is punishment—for the giants mainly.  Odysseus wants to learn more but decides to leave before completing his questioning.  11