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Returns

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Returns

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  1. Returns HUM 2051: Civilization I Fall 2013 Dr. Perdigao September 13-16, 2013

  2. Narrative Strands • Book XIII—“Ithaca at Last” • Ithaca now unfamiliar: “Man of misery, whose land have I lit on now? / What are they here—violent, savage, lawless? / or friendly to strangers, god-fearing men?” (360) • Punishment to Phaeacians • Athena: “We’re both old hands at the arts of intrigue” (362) • “Clearly I might have died the same ignoble death / as Agamemnon, bled white in my own house too, / if you had never revealed this to me now, / goddess, point by point. / Come, weave us a scheme so I can pay them back!” (364) • Eumaeus • Eurycleia

  3. Narrative Strands • Odysseus’ response to the journey to the underworld: “What good can come of grief?” (328); as model for the story • House in ruins: Order • Meeting with Achilles, offered choice between short, glorious life or long life—here switches opinion (340, 553) • The whole warrior code that informed The Iliad is called into question • Odysseus: Agamemnon—underworld, parallels • Caution about reentry, subtlety, cunning • Difference between murder and survival • Telling of story: Demodocus, Odysseus, Sirens

  4. Dualisms, Dichotomies • Order/disorder • Courtesy/discourtesy (who respects strangers: gods: humans—all rites, rituals between worlds) • Restraint/rage • Civilized/barbaric • Father/son • Odysseus/Agamemnon

  5. Patterns and Parallels • Agamemnon/Odysseus parallel: Elpenor (rites to bodies); suitors (no propriety in house) • Agamemnon appears at end to praise Penelope’s loyalty in a revision of that story and shift from tragedy: comedy (ends with physical union, marriage) • Final symbol—bed—pillar at center of house; olive tree (center of Greek culture) • Book XXIV—deus ex machina: Athena appears, resolves all conflict, example of gods’ intervention that we did not see in The Iliad (visible here); now a call for peace

  6. Deus ex Endings • Telemachus as version of father—parallel to Orestes (454, L117; 455, 144). Odysseus shakes head, sign that Telemachus is able to perform like father, assertion Telemachus is almost grown • “Purify” house, purging and cleansing • Poem ends with sexual reunion—common pattern—establishment of order at home (western literary tradition) • Retelling of entire Odyssey (story within the story) (481, L355) • Last book—“Peace”—reunion with father, impossibility for Priam

  7. O Brother, Where Art Thou? • “Sing to me, Muse” • Sheriff, in pursuit • Baptism • Radio station, “soggy Bottom Boys” • “Man of Constant Sorrow” • “twists and turns” • Depression-era struggles • Sirens • Cyclops

  8. O Brother, Where Art Thou? • Penny • Homer • Menelaus • “Keep on the Sunny Side” vs. “Man of Constant Sorrow” • Fire, water • “He’s a suitor” • Paterfamilias • Loyalty, disloyalty • Ulysses as drifter

  9. O Brother, Where Art Thou? • “typical womanly behavior”—Sirens • In disguise to perform • “I’m just a stranger” • Oak tree out front, “ancestral manse” • “Twists and turns” deposits him there, eluded fate and the sheriff • “not the law,” law as “human institution” • Prayer • Water—salvation, baptism • Prophecy fulfilled

  10. O Brother, Where Art Thou? • “All’s well that ends well”