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THE ODYSSEY III-V. The Magical Mystery Tour Continues. WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DISCUSS TODAY?. The Who and the Where of the Odyssey 3-5 The Mini-Epic of Telemakhos The Continual Rebirth of Odysseus. Major Players in the Odyssey 3-5. Odysseus – king of Ithaka and our hero

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the odyssey iii v

The Magical Mystery Tour Continues

what are we going to discuss today
  • The Who and the Where of the Odyssey 3-5
  • The Mini-Epic of Telemakhos
  • The Continual Rebirth of Odysseus
major players in the odyssey 3 5
Major Players in the Odyssey 3-5
  • Odysseus – king of Ithaka and our hero
  • Telemakhos – son of Odysseus
  • Penelope – wife of Odysseus
  • Nestor – king of Pylos, elder sage of the Greek army at Troy
  • Kalypso – sea nymph trying to detain Odysseus permanently
major players in the odyssey 3 51
Major Players in the Odyssey 3-5


  • King of Sparta
  • Husband of Helen, and younger brother of Agamemnon
  • Had major issues getting home
  • Oath to uphold his marriage led Odysseus to go to war
major players in the odyssey 3 52
Major Players in the Odyssey 3-5
  • Husband of Klytemnestra (oops)
  • Commander of the Greek fleet at Troy
  • Killed his daughter to get to Troy
  • Murdered by ______?


major players in the odyssey 3 53
Major Players in the Odyssey 3-5


  • Wife of Menelaos, and daughter of Zeus
  • Supposedly the most beautiful woman in the world
  • Might not have gone to Troy
  • Claims it wasn’t her fault
the where of the odyssey
The Where of the Odyssey


  • Odysseus’ kingdom,
  • the place he just wants
  • to get back to
  • located on the western
  • side of Greece
the where of the odyssey1
The Where of the Odyssey


-Home of Nestor

-Telemakhos’ first stop

on his way to find out his

father’s fate

the where of the odyssey2
The Where of the Odyssey


Home of Menelaos and Helen

telemakhos journey
  • WHY? – to find his father and himself
  • WHERE? – Pylos, Sparta, back to Ithaka
  • WHO? – Mentor, Nestor, Menelaos, Helen, Athena
  • What are the differences between Telemakhos’ journey and Odysseus? (besides the obvious ones)
father and son go walk about

Goes on a rented boat

Has only one ship

Goes to visit friends

Has a goddess with him

Leaves behind a terrible home situation

Gets home in a couple of weeks or so


Takes his own fleet

Has fifty ships

Goes to war

Doesn’t have a goddess with him

Leaves nothing amiss at home

Doesn’t think it’ll take so blasted long to get home

different but same
  • Both men are going at the behest of others:

- Telemakhos because of the suitors

- Odysseus because of an oath to Menelaos

  • Both men are tempted by hospitality
  • Both men go with a single purpose: to reclaim their kingdom
questions to ponder about telemakhos journey
Is Telemakhos, as Nestor, Menelaos and Helen say, a spitting image of his father in all respects?

Whose journey is more filled with peril, the father’s or the son’s?

3) Would you consider Telemakhos’ journey an odyssey?

4) Is Telemakhos’ journey necessary? Is Odysseus’?

just what is an odyssey
Just what IS an odyssey?

“The first MYTHEME in our odyssey plot involves getting

there (getting started, then getting through or over any

hurdles, obstacles, perils, or getting out of baited traps

along the way), the second MYTHEME involves getting

what you went to get once you get there;while the third

MYTHEME involves getting away with it in spite of the

guards; and the fourth MYTHEME involves getting back

where you came from, again, as on the way out, getting past

dangers, which may be harder now because the prize you're

bringing back makes you more likely to get ripped off.”

(John van Sickle)


Just what IS an odyssey?

“In such a story, we can notice, the traveler keeps coming

up against the unexpected; in other words, dangers and

distractions keep overtaking one. Now "over" plus "take"

add up to what in the languages derived from Latin gets

called SURPRISE; while coming upon or up against gets

called ADVENTURE. So the odyssey we have been defining

turns out to be a classic plot of adventure and surprise.”

first mytheme getting there
First Mytheme: Getting There
  • Getting Started:
    • Telemakhos
    • Odysseus
  • Getting Through Hurdles:
    • Telemakhos: suitors, youth, inexperience, despair
    • Odysseus: nine major perils along the way, distrust, despair, heroic nature
second mytheme getting what you want when you get there
Second Mytheme: Getting What You Want When You Get There
  • Telemakhos:
    • News of his father
    • Courage and encouragement
    • A plan and a friendly face
  • Odysseus:
    • Food
    • Just a little bit closer
    • Constitutional fortification
third mytheme getting away with it despite the guards
Third Mytheme: Getting Away With It Despite The Guards
  • Telemakhos:
    • Doesn’t really apply here
  • Odysseus:
    • The Cyclopes
    • The Sirens
    • Poseidon
    • The witch
    • The suitors
fourth mytheme getting back
Fourth Mytheme: Getting Back
  • Telemakhos:
    • We’ll have to wait and see
  • Odysseus:
    • We’ll have to wait and see
Odysseus is constantly left for dead, yet he always manages to get out of it

The war, Calypso’s island, the shipwrecks

Usually with a little (or a lot) of help from the gods (Athena)

Each time he reaches a new place, he is reborn

Phaiakia: Odysseus, for all intents and purposes, goes through the birth cycle again

the rebirth of odysseus in phaiakia
He is “sick with salt water, and all his flesh was swollen, and the sea water crusted stiffly in his mouth and nostrils, and with a terrible weariness he lay unable to breathe or speak in his weakness” (Lattimore)

“Newborn is covered in vernix, the greasy substance covering the skin…Some blood may be visible on the body of the little one…the nose and airways may need to be cleaned and oxygen provided (if necessary).”

The Rebirth of Odysseus in Phaiakia
questions to ponder concerning women in the odyssey
What is the role of women in the Odyssey: to advance plot, provide paradigms, or serve men?

Is Kalypso right to be angry with Hermes?

3) Does Penelope’s refusal to remarry smack of stupidity? Would Odysseus even have cared?

4) Was Helen guilty of starting the Trojan War?

Questions to Ponder Concerning Women in the Odyssey