Homer’s Odyssey. The epic poem that details the 10 year adventure home to Ithaca- after winning the 10 year war against Troy and the Trojans. Odysseus’s Family…. His family faces certain challenges in his absence. They are forced to adapt to their unique situation…
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The epic poem that details the 10 year adventure home to Ithaca- after winning the 10 year war against Troy and the Trojans.
His family faces certain challenges in his absence. They are forced to adapt to their unique situation…
Telemachus – In his father’s absence – Telemachus must grow-up and be a man before he is ready. He starts the search for his father and helps his mother fend off the suitors.
“Faithful” Penelope – Odysseus’ loving wife develops the plan of the shroud – to keep those who want to be king at bay.
The gods play a unique role in the Odyssey. Instead of being “above it all” and allowing free will to take its course, they interact with the mortals they favor…
Athena – favors Odysseus – she helps him throughout
Poseidon – dislikes Odysseus and tries to hinder his journey home.
The Land of the Lotus Eaters – Odysseus was barely able to continue his journey home because he crew, weak and weary from many years of war, ate the Lotus plant. It made them forgetful, happy and lethargic(lazy). Finally Odysseus and his crew made it back onto the ship.
The Island of the Cyclops – (Polyphemus – son of Poseidon)
Odysseus evades the terrible 1 eyed monster by blinding it and escaping under the bellies of the sheep. Odysseus is “NO MAN”…
Odysseus and his crew visit the god of the winds on his floating island – King Aeolus. Odysseus negotiates a fair wind home and receives a leather bound bag which contains all of the “bad winds” …
However – nothing ever being easy for Odysseus, his crew – curious as to what was in the bag – untied it and unleashed powerful storms that drove Odysseus back to the island of the winds.
Having to restart their journey to Ithaca, Odysseus and his crew need to replenish their food/water supply. They find an island and Odysseus sends Eurylochusand a scout team to explore.
They find many different –tame –animals all over the island. They find a beautiful woman who invites them to eat. Laughing, Circe uses her ivory wand to change this scout team into PIGS. Eurylochus escapes back to the ship – and Odysseus with the guidance of Hermes, and a twig called moly, tamed Circe, ate dinner and continued on his way.
The Sirens’ song lured men to their deaths. They were such beautiful women with such beautiful voices that any passing ship would come too close to shore and crash on the rocky coastline – destroying their ships.
BUT – clever Odysseus- put wax in the ears of his crew and tied himself to the mast of his ship so that he alone might safely enjoy the song of the Sirens.
Between Italy and Sicily, Odysseus had to pass between a 6 headed monster, known as the Scylla, and the whirlpool Charybdis. The monster snatched 6 of Odysseus’ crewmates but he deftly sailed through.
Odysseus and his men were starving. They stopped at Helios's island to feast on the cattle. Helios complained to Zeus and Zeus threw a thunderbolt and destroyed the ship and drowned Odysseus’ crew.
On this island lived the nymph Calypso. Odyssey floating aimlessly for 9 days. On the tenth day Odysseus was found by Calypso- she took pity on him and cared for him. He was grateful to Calypso for saving him, but after 7 years with her – he had a great desire to see Penelope and Telemachus again – so Odysseus resumed his journey.
With a ship from Calypso, Odysseus sailed toward the big bear constellation until POSEIDON stirred up another storm that crashed his skiff . He was rescued by Princess Nausicaa, daughter of King Alcinous, who brought him back to health.
At a dinner feast Demodocus sang songs of old and Odysseus wept at all of the things that he and his crew endured.
Alcinous promises to send him home.
Odysseus makes it back to Ithaca – after 20 long years.
Dressed in rags, only his dog Argus recognizes him . To begin prove he was who he was, he shoots an arrow through 12 axe heads… the suitors who were trying to marry Penelope are massacred.
Penelope did not yet fully believe that this could be her husband Odysseus – and wanted more proof.
Odysseus told the story of how he built their bedroom and carved their head board out of an living olive tree – then she knew. They both wept with joy.
Homer’s purpose for telling this story was to allow the Greek people descended directly from Odysseus, and all Greek people’s to feel a sense of pride knowing that their past was formed by the strength, cleverness and the overall greatness of Odysseus and his men.