odyssey bks vii ix n.
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Odyssey Bks. VII-IX

Odyssey Bks. VII-IX

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Odyssey Bks. VII-IX

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  1. OdysseyBks. VII-IX

  2. WHERE WE LEFT OFF • Odysseus has left Kalypso, and been shipwrecked by Poseidon on the island of Phaiakia – Nausikaa • Telemakhos is happily staying with Menelaos and Helen in Sparta • Penelope is still holding off the suitors, but barely • Poseidon is still angry, Athena is still helping

  3. The Phaiakians • a race where “the only things they trust are the racing ships Poseidon gave” • 1st thing Odysseus hears: “they do not care for strangers in this neighborhood” • 1st thing Odysseus sees: “high rooms…bronze-paneled walls…lapis lazuli…doors were golden…bronze plated…silver upon silver…golden handles…boys of gold…”

  4. Phaiakian Palace vs Greek Palace • Menelaos’ Palace = “a-glitter everywhere, as though with fiery points of sunlight, lusters of the moon” • Nestor’s Palace = a “great house”, a “famous hall” • Phaiakian wealth in material things, Greek wealth in animals, land, the oikos

  5. “We don’t take too kindly to strangers around here.” • Odysseus supplicates Arete • this is very strange • NOBODY MOVES • this is very strange • Where is the love? • no one seems aware of the law of xenia • it takes an elder to move Alkinoos to action

  6. Why no Xenia? • To offer solace would require an understanding of misery • Phaiakia is a utopian society, with no war, hunger, pain, or suffering • The Phaiakians cannot relate to Odysseus’ suffering, thus they don’t know that he IS suffering • This is why Odysseus can’t stay (as we shall see)

  7. Arete, Queen of Phaiakia • Seemingly the most important person in Phaiakia • “no lady in the world, no other mistress of a man’s household, is honored as our mistress is, and loved…no grace or wisdom fails in her…supposing, then, she looks upon you kindly, the chances are that you shall see your friends under your own roof, in your father’s country.” (pg. 113)

  8. Arete, Queen of Phaiakia After xenia finally occurs, Arete takes the lead, questioning Odysseus about his identity • She ends the evening’s conversation by sending maids to make up Odysseus’ bed • Why does Odysseus go to her first? • Nausikaa and Athena tell him to: “as soon as you are safe inside, cross over and go straight through into the megaron to find my mother.”

  9. The Blind Bard • Bk. VIII opens with a bard singing of “the clash between Odysseus and Akhilleus” • The bard’s name is Demodokos • Could this be Homer? • Notice the power of the song • “Odysseus with massive hand drew his rich mantle down over his brow, cloaking his face with it, to… miss the secret tears that started to his eyes.” (pg. 127)

  10. The Games • THE PENTATHLON • Running • Wrestling • Broadjump • Discus • Boxing • Panhellenism • Lack of epic distance – the Olympics

  11. Demodokos Redux • The third song is of the Trojan Horse • Odysseus unconsolable • Only after revealing his pain over Troy does he reveal his name • Then we get to the trials and tribulations

  12. Adventure 1: The Kikones • Odysseus and his men sack Ismaros • For the first time, greed proves their undoing • Odysseus and his men get thumped pretty good (lost six men per ship)

  13. LESSON #1 The point is, ladies and gentleman, is that greed -- for lack of a better word -- is bad. Greed is wrong. Greed doesn’t work.

  14. Adventure 2: The Lotus-Eaters

  15. Adventure 2: The Lotus-Eaters • “Those who ate this honeyed plant, the Lotos, never cared to report, nor to return: they longed to stay forever, browsing on that native bloom, forgetful of their homeland.” (pg. 148)

  16. LESSON #2 (Keep this in mind when we meet Kirke)

  17. Adventure #3: The Kyklopes • Completely uncultured • “They neither plow, nor sow by hand, nor till the ground, though grain…grows untended, and wine-grapes, in clusters, ripen in heaven’s rain.” • Greed is, again, bad. • The whole episode can be summed up in the following clip:

  18. AFTERMATH • Once he blinds him: • Odysseus lies to Polyphemos, but can’t leave well enough alone • “My name is ούτις” = nobody • By taunting Polyphemos, Odysseus makes Poseidon mad at him • This is why Poseidon wants to destroy him • Not even a great offering to Zeus can keep Odysseus out of trouble

  19. What Have We Learned • Women rule the roost on Phaiakia (and Ogygia and Aiaia and Ithaka). • Greed is bad. • Drugs are bad (or are they?). • Blinding Kyklopes is bad. • Xenia is the highest law of the land, and seperates men from beasts (or Kyklopes). • Even the gods cannot overcome fate.