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Myths of death.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Classical Studies
Vichi Ciocani

Myths of death Odysseus' journey to the underworld: - Homer’s Odyssey book 11  Told Odyssey himself to Phaecians --> hosts in imaginary Phaecia  Odysseus’ lover (witch Circe) --> instructs him to find Tiresias to inquire about future o Circe lives in the realm of the dead o Tiresias --> blind seer  He has the gift of prophecy b/c of Hera  Hera asks him who has more pleasure in sex --> he says women = punishment is blindness and receives the gift of prophecy  He sees 2 snakes coupling and kills the female ==> punishment: appearance mix of female and male o Place near the ocean, dug a pit and pour an offering for the dead who show up one by one o Athena protected him during the Trojan war o First soul of death that appears in the story --> Elpenor  Asked Odyssey to bury him and weep for him before leaving to his home  Crying is a ritual to avoid death by the dead (haunt as a ghost) = show sympathy  Odyssey's mother died when he goes to fight the trojan war but he does not know she died  Odyssey talks to Tiresias and then Anticlea (Odyssey's mother) --> couldn’t hug her b/c she is just a soul  The other encounters with the dead (all heroes of trojan war but had conflict of odysseus): o Agamemnon --> survives from the trojan war but is killed by his wife and her boyfriend while bathing o Achilles o Ajax --> kills himself when Odysseus receives the armour of Achilles after winning the competition between the both o Shift to the underworld:  Minos, Rhadamanthys, Aeacus --> judges of the underworld o Tantalus, Sisyphus  Tantalus boiled his son and offers him to the g
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