2-3-14 Notes - The Odyssey

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Seth Schien

• When you are presented with an action that a god has somehow inspired, hated, or contributed to, you get a combination of attribution to a god and human – divine and human motivation – *double determination* (Freud – Over determination) o It might seem to us that this is contradictory – it’s not, it’s just different. o In terms of responsibiltity and moral agency, the human being is the responsible person, the gods are not held responsible (#nitchze #beyondgoodandevil) Humans are held responsible for their actions. The gods are giving but theyre not good but just in a functional way. o More common in Iliad than Odyssey • In representing human life, it seems that they in effect define what it is to be male and what it is to be female in the suffering and actions and places of these. Let’s talk about GENDER ROLES! • Interested in gender? Brook Holmes’s Gender: Antiquity and Its Legacy (Ancients & Moderns) • If you think about the Odyssey, what is it that males do that make them boys and then men? o Telemachos  Not yet a man in the beginning! He’s still immature, although the presence of Athena touches him in such a way that he gains a maturity. • Tells Penelope to get out of the way of men’s affairs. Aka talks back to his mom. Line 354 “Go therefore back in the house and …” READ IT ITS IMPORTANT. • It’s as if women and the activities appropriate for women are inside the house (domestic), and men’s are supposed to be public. • It’s an ideal assumption that is constantly being violated. • Women o The maids are weaving.  Prototypical activity for women.  Wife is supposed to be devised from weaving. (folk etymology but its still important) o Cleaning, singing, grinding meal, getting water, doing various domestic chores. Also sleep with the suitors (or refuse, in Penelope’s case). • Men o Suitors (men other than Odysseus and Telemachos)  They consume without anything to earn. They are unproductive
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