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CLAS 203 Lecture Notes - Eumaeus, Iphthime, Theoclymenus

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CLAS 203
Margaret Palczynski

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CLAS203 Lecture 35 Notes
Return to Ithaca:
o The Phaeacians escort Odysseus back to Ithaca
o Offers him Xenia. Told not to speak to king but rather the queen. Thus, he asks
the queen for Xenia
o Symbolism in the “threshold”.
o This is the moment of crossing, the passage home. The way is no longer blocked
o He falls asleep once more. What is the significance of sleep?
The Telemachy (books 1-4):
o Characters:
Main protagonists: Telemachus (son of Odysseus), Penelope (wife of
Odysseus), Eumarus (swine herd)
Minor protagonists: Eurycleia (female servant of Odysseus, recognition of
Odysseus when he is back), Philoetius, Medon, Theoclymenus
Suitors: Atinous, Eurymachus, Ctessipus, Amphinomus*
Suitor supporters: Melanthius (goat herder of Odysseus, is a traitor by
giving them the choice of food), Arnaeus, Melantho (female counterpart
of Melanthius)
Athena’s disguises: Mentes, Mentor, Telemachus, shepherd, Iphthime
(phantom of Penelope’s sister)
o Telemachus was a baby when Odysseus left. Felt powerless because he didn’t
have enough power do to anything. Penelope was frustrated, sadden that she
can’t help. Upset at suitors; due to Xenia, she cannot kick them out. Telemachus
first meets Odysseus through Eumarus; they plot to kill the suitors at this
Telemachus and his journey:
o Debate on Olympus: Poseidon, Athena, and Zeus
o Telemachus and Athena:
Assembly tells the Suitors to leave, suitors laugh at Telemachus and
refuse to listen to him: Egyptius, Antinous and the shroud for Laertes
Trip to Pylos and Sparta, Nestor, Menelaus inquire about his father
At Pylos, Nestor is performing a huge sacrifice to the gods.
Three locations:
Repetition of events:
Odysseus on Calypso’s island
The suitors plot against Telemachus over
and over (murder)
Debate on Olympus
Odysseus has things thrown at him again
and again
Affairs in Ithaca
His ignorant servants insult him time after
Odysseus’ false story
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