CLASSICS 102 Lecture Notes March 28
attack on ISMARUS, wine from MARON priest of apollo
land of lotus eaters.
AFTER LAND OF LOTUS EATERS
as they traveled to ithica, they stop off in Sicily, the land of
● ONE EYED GIANTS
● EACH BACHELOR CYCLOPS LIVED IN THEIR OWN CAVE
they run into one of them:
ODYSSEUS IS FUNDAMENTALLY CURIOUS
he wants to know
he stops off on sicily
such an insight into the greek character. this is a period of
vast expansion and colonization. greeks were simply curious.
odysseus selcts his twelve best men to explore the island with him.
right before he sets off he grabs a goat skin of wine
first things first, they need to find food.
they come across a cave full of food
they are ready to steal it and take off.
but odysseus doesn't want to take off, he wants to stay there. a
stranger in Ancient Greece is owed a gift. he wants to stay and
get a gift.
as the sun sets, the man of the house finally returns.
but hes not what they expected: a giant CYCLOPS
when he lights his nightly fire, the men are explosed.
he is angry.
odysseus steps up, beats his chest, and is like, we just
arrived, give us our gift, so they are both being rude.
in the blink of an eye, he lunges forward and eats two of the
they're shocked and frightened. cannibalism was a barbarous act.
the mark of a civilized person was the way they eat and drink.
they decide that while he is asleep we will kill him. odysseus
is like NO, we can't kill him because there is a boulder baring
the cave that only the cyclops can move. odysseus cant use his strength, he will use his intelligence.
odysseus is smart, always scheming, thinking.
some experts think cyclops was inspired by a real beast????
at sunrise the cyclops eats two more men. he then leaves to
graze his sheep and seals the cave behind him.
what is different about odysseus is he thinks before he acts
cyclopia is real in infants. certain herbs cause this. these
toxins prevent fetus brain from developing properly. this could
have been inspiration. women were prescribed these herbs.
the cyclops could have been inspired by the volcano.
they may have found elephant skeletons and thought they were
cyclops, giant skulls with a hole in the middle.
odysseus focuses always on the problem instead of getting
cyclop returns at night fall, eats two more sailors.
while he was gone. odysseus sharpens his clubs one end and
hardens it in the fire.
he gives the cyclops the wine.
the cyclops gets drunk. ancient wine was super strong (fortified
wine), peopel would typically measure it out and mix it with water.
as the drunk giant stumbles around the cave. he asks odysseus
his name and he says "NOBODY" and then the cyclops passes out.
with the help of his men, he plunges the stake into the monsters
the other cyclops hear him groaning and come holler from outside
what's going on and the cyclops is all like
NOBODY IS HURTING ME
NOBODY IS HARMING ME
cyclops opens the door in anger and desperation.
the men cling to the underbelly of the sheep. the sheep pass by
and cyclops feels each sheep on top.
brain over brawn, its david and goliath, jack and the beanstock,
our brain can overcome obstacles, it is a story core ot humanity.
the cyclops is on the shore cursing them
odysseus can't help but brag: I AM ODYSSEUS!
fame, reputation, thats what matters. he wants credit for his
brains. but this was stupid of him.
cyclops is the son of poseidon, and he intends to make odysseus
pay. so he tells his daddy.
darkness of cave is the ally of death in this story. half his
entourage is killed.
so death is recurring theme. he receives a four part curse from POLYPHEMUS.
● asks that it takes long for O to get home
● that all his sailors die
● that he arrives home on foreign ship
● and he will find his home in disarray.
Polyphemus asks this from his dad, Poseidon.
this was the wine he received from the priest.
AEOLUS (island and guys name)
- floating island
- shows good xenia
- he gives odysseus a bag of good wind that will blow him home
- as they approach ithica, he gets sleepy and takes a nap (an
ally of death)
- his crewmen dont know what is in the leather bag
- they think odysseus is hoarding gold in the bag, they open it
at the wrong time and it blows them off course
- they go back to the island of aeolus and ask for more, and
aeolus is not into it, he thinks a god must be against O and
aeolus doesn't want any part in it.
- they get on the ship and try to sail home again.
they encounter inhabitants called LAESTRYGONIANS, who attach and sink his fleet except his own ship. then they eat his
crewmembers except those on O's own ship.
THE ONE SHIP PRESSES ON
arrive at the land
the land of a witch named CIRCE
she and her maids are a stirring sight for these men who have
been at sea for so long.
they give them drink and food
CIRCE is supposed to show us what happens when men get led
astray not by drugs (lotus eaters) but by sex. it turns men to
circe transforms the men into SWINE.
but one man escapes her sspell, who returns to warn odysseus.
he goes to confront her. notice his optimism. he thinks he can
on the way to Circe's palace, he crosses paths with HERMES.
hermes was sent to odysseus with a drug called MOLY (holy moly).
he takes it and it is supposed to stop circe from changing him
into a pig.
she can't turn him into a pig so she decides to lure her into
he says only if she turns his men back into men and no more
with that, he enters the innter sanctum of the sex goddess and
doesn't come out for a whole year! this has to do with the double standard in greek society: women
chaste, men extramarital affairs.
after a year, he has had enough and wants to get back to his
wife, Penelope. he is a man like any other man. he should be
striving to get home. he owes penelope and ithica a king. the
longer he spends with her, he is denying what is owed.
this time the ally of death was forgetfullness of purpose
some soruces say that him and Circe have a son: TELEGONUS.
*(her palace is surrounded by dogs and cats and lions and wolves
circe decides to help him get home and instructs him:
- go talk to dead Tiresias, the seer
see underworld section for details.
tiresias tells him he has 8 and a half years to go before he
gets home. when he gets home he will have to deal with a 100
suitors going after his girl.
so when he goes to the underworld HE IS LITERALLY VICTORIOUS
next Circe tells Odysseus he will pass by the territory of the
SIRENS (the bird like bodies with female heads whose songs enticed sailors to turn their ships towards their rocky area
where the ships would crash and all the men would drown and die)
Odysseus, being curious, wants to hear the song.
he has himself tied to the mast and then stuff wax in their ears.
so he outsmarts death again.
ULYSSES, another name of odysseus.
next, he is told by Circe to make a decision between going
through two dangerous directions:
between wandering rocks called PLANCTAE, which would smash
ships. this would probably mean their deaths.
or the other way is to go near, between two cliffs (a strait),
where there is the CARYBDIS on one side, a whirlpool that sucks
everything in and destroys it, and on the other side is the
SCYLLA where the monster will rise out of the sea and eat six of
he realizes of course that he just has to abandon six guys to
avoids death again, but not his homies haha.
lastly, Circe says if you get past all that, you will end up on
she says there will be lots of cows, BUT DON'T KILL THEM,
because they belong to sun god, HELIUS. you already have one god
mad at you...
when they get there, the men are starving but odysseus says
don't touch these fucking cows. but he gets sleepy and has a nap
they disobey him while he's napping (sleep, ally of death)
helius is pissed and complains to zeus
zeus punishes them: when they jump on their ships and start
sailing, zeus hits them with lighting. the ship is destroyed and
all his men die but him.
he just lost his ship and the last of his men. two parts of the
curse of polyphemis have come to pass.
he safely floats to the island of
inhabited by nymph, CALYPSO. there he spends seven years with
her. it is seen as some kind of eternal death, cause for a long
time he is prevented from continuing his quest.
it is said she lived in lavish cave. unclear where the island is
(lots claim they are that island)
after seven years, odysseus is finally reminded "i need to get
back to penelope"
calypso tries to prevent him by offering immortality if he stays
but he decides he must get back home and return to his kingdom,
wife, and son.
he constructs a small raft and pushes off.
calypso doesn't force him to stay, but just offers him so much
she can be sort of seen as an evil female that prevents him from
continuing his quest. pictures of lavish riches and food and
poseidon sends a storm to try to capsize odysseus, and it does. he is saved from death only through the help of the goddess
ATHENA and a sea goddess, LEUCOTHEA.
with their help he finds his way to island of PHAEACIANS.
there is a symbolic rebirth: naked, alone, exhasted, spit out of
sea. he has survived all this death. from this point on things
will go better.
when tossed out of sea, he is discoverdd by princess of
phaeacians: NAUSICAA. her attendants came upon the naked guy and
are scared and run away, but nausicaa takes him to the palance,
feeds him and fixes him and clothes him etc. seen as deliverer
in the odyssey, this is where he tells the whole story.
they put him on one of their ships and sail him back home to
he gets home on foreign ship.
poseidon is pissed and turns all the phaeacians on the ship to
remember, NAUSICAA, deliverer of odysseus
mostly short stays except one year with circe and seven years
BUT ODYSSEUS IS FINALLY HOME!
during his wanderings, his son TELEMACHUS is getting fed up with
the suitors. he badly wants his father to come home so the two
of them can go kill all the suitors he looks for evidence, proof his dad is still alive
athena shows up in disguise, but telemachus, being pious,
recognizes she is athena and welcomes her into his house.
she helps him with proof
guides him to NESTOR AND MENALAUS, who say he is still alive,
hes with calypso, but don't worry, he'll return home.
telemachus goes home to tell his mom.
while he is on his way, her suitors try to assasinate him (he's
in line for the throne and trying to thwart them)
he returns home with the news and tells penelope to hang in there
so he suffers through the insults of the suitors
when ODYSSEUS gets home he decides to scope out his kindom in
disguise so as not to be killed
he realizes theres over 100 suitors, but he sees that penelope
has remained faithful and not let anyone into her bedroom.
her suitors are all trying to convince her odysseus isn't coming
given the scenario, penelope comes up with lots of ways of
she is seen as equivalent in intelligence to odysseus
one thing she does: i can't make a decision till i'm finished
sewing a burial shroud for odysseus dad, LAERTES.
she takes three years to sew it because every night after the
suitors go to bed she undoes everything she has finished.
this goes for three years. in the fourth year they get
they say MAKE A DECISION. this is when odysseus shows up. she stalled just long enough.
he scoped out his palace in disguise as a beggar.
a few people recognize him: a swinherd, EUMAEUS, and his son
telemachus is fucking pumped his dads home so they can kill
his old dog ARGUS is also super happy.
when he scopes out his palace, these suitors treat him poorly,
deride him, push him around.
another begger, IRUS, gets in a fight with O, and he knocks IRUS
he encounters penelope. she won't admit it is him until he
describes a broach odysseus had given her.
when she reveals that he is odysseus, she tells him her plan.
the suitors are making me make a decision tomorrow, so i've come
up wiht a contest.
she will marry whoever can string the bow of odysseus and fire
it through 12 axe heads, knowing no one can do this.
odysseus is like, ok, tomorrow i'll return.
on his way out he runs into his old nurse, EURYCLEA, who
recognizes him by scar on his thigh.
so even coming home he must face death one more time since the
suitors would try and kill him.
BOW AND ARROW CONTEST just before the game begins, the sun is blotted out of the sky.
poetic device or real eclipse?
in the myth, this two decade fight for penelope. none can string
it till this tattered begger comes up and wants a turn. by the
rules, he deserves him
they are irate and deride him. he strings it with no hesitation.
he lines up the shot and BOOM, haha.
the contest is over, but the suitors are pissed.
odysseus' final battle ends with teh suitors slaughtered by him,
telemachus, and two servants. 4 vs 100+
he has won back his throne. now to win back his woman. king of
cunning has one last test to pass.
penelope has one last test.
she says bring the bed out and put it on the porch, he can sleep
there. he's like no, i built our bed round a solid tree, it can
be moved. test passed!
he also hanged 12 unfaithful maids because they willingly served
everyone who was not faithful to his house died except for a
herald named MEDON and bard named PHEMIUS who telemachus saved
by saying they were forced to give entertainment, they tried not
to attend cause they knew it was going against house of odysseus.
otehr servants were killed.
equal to odysseus. in intellegence and loyalty.
compared with clytemnestra, who killed agamemnon when he comes home.
intelligence shown with
● GARMENT OF LAERTES
● STRINGING THE BOW
● THE TRIAL OF THE BED
So she is seen as a model for other Greek women to follow.
WOMEN OF ODYSSEY
play huge roll. play a much different roll than they do in iliad
(spoils of war, cause of war, more negative light).
- women seen as protectors, nausicaa, athena,
- also some evil women