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Classical Myth: Oddysey Notes Books 1-4

7 Pages

Classical Studies
Course Code
Classical Studies 2200
Kendall Sharp

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Homer’s “The Oddyssey” 11/3/2012 10:04:00 AM BOOK ONE There is a council of the Gods. Zeus is son of Kronos He is saddened by the death of Aigisthos (done by Orestes). Aigisthos had married the wife of Atreus’ son = Agamemnon, and murdered him on his homecoming. He was warned not to 1) marry the wife and 2) murder the former husband by Hermes (Zeus’ messenger). We find out immediately that Oddysseus was detained by the queenly nymph Kalypso, who wanted him as her husband. Also, Poseidon plays a part (as god of the sea) buy making Odysseus’ travels very troublesome. Zeus recalls the unfortunate event of Aigisthos. Athena’s greater concern though is for Odysseus who she feels is deserving of some help for a safe homecoming. She wants to send Hermes to the nymph to have Odysseus released. Athena has now decided to go visit Odysseus’ son, Telemachus, but in disguise as a Taphian. She is disguised as a man named Mentes. Telemachus sees Mentes and invites him to stay for supper, while saying that afterwards he would like to know who Mentes is, his purpose, possible news of Odysseus through Mentes, etc. Mentes instructs Telemachus to stand up for himself and devise a plan to banish the suitors from his household. Telemachus is told to: Have an assembly in which he will tell the suitors to leave. If his mother desires marriage, then to have her go to her father’s household and have the father (Laertes) choose a husband for her. Gather a ship with crew to search for Odysseus by word of mouth (through a possible whisper of Zeus to a mortal) and will travel to Sparta. When we first see Penelope she is upset at one of the suitor’s playing a tune of the Achaians’ bitter homecoming from Troy, which ironically Athena (Mentes) had inflicted upon them. The singer is Phomeios and is said to have a voice of an angel. Telemachus shocks Penelope by reasoning that the song is not one to be upset about, but rather The suitors are a bit suspicious of the quick encountering of Mentes at the household. Telemachus says he is a friend of Oddysseus’. Mentes is described as a Taphion, as mentioned above, and describes the Taphian people as “oar-loving”. We are introduced to Eurykleia, daughter of Ops the son of Peisenor. She is the nurse to Telemachus and was at one point something of a similar figure to Oddysseus. She is with Telemachus when he retires to his chamber. BOOK TWO Telemachus wakes up and is prepared to start the assembly. First to speak: Aigyptios (good man, not a suitor). He is an old man, whose son, Antiphos the spearman, was the last to be killed by the Cyclops (Odysseus immediately after kills the Cyclops). Aigyptios is surprised by the set up of an assembly because it hadn’t been performed much since Odysseus departed (reminiscent of Odysseus through Telemachus as a man now). He shows that he has faith in Telemachus. Next to speak: Telemachus. He explains the grief of his father’s absence, including the frustration of his valuables, food, animals being consumed without any payment. Next to speak: Antinoos.  He is one of the leaders of the suitors. He explains to Telemachus why they are not going to leave: Penelope had promised that if the suitors would be patient, while she simultaneously would weave a web of threads, then after the weaving would be finished, she would choose a husband. She is making the web to cover her father Laertes whenever his eventual death occurs. It is at that point she would choose a husband. Antinoos explains that once the 4 thyear of waiting arrived, they found out thru one of her servant women that in daytime she would do the webbing, and then at nighttime would torch it with fire and undo it. Antinoos wants Telemachus to send Penelope to her father and have her be married to any man her father chooses. If she however stays and continues to psychologically torture the suitors, then they will continue their wild acts around the house. Telemachus says if they stay then he will call on Zeus. After hearing this, Zeus sends two birds who upon arrival in front of the assembly attack one another then flee. An aged warrior, Halitherses, Mentor’s son, thinks that this signifies a close return of Oddysseus. He says that his prediction should be considered accurate because his previous prediction long ago that Odysseus would come hom
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