M. I. Finley, The World of Odysseus, Chatto & Windus 1977, Ch.

But his pride in his name foreshadows Odysseus' questionable judgment in identifying himself during the escape from Polyphemus. Characters, ideas, and situations are constantly juxtaposed, and the result is that time, place, and action are forever shifting. However, this shift in perspective is important. Condemned to the second tier of hell for […], The pressure to succeed often influences individuals to make spontaneous choices regarding their life.

One's name and reputation are crucial in the Homeric world.

Yet perhaps the most striking image of sorrow in Book 19 is brought out by means of a simile: Snow deposited high in the mountains by the wild West WindSlowly melts under the East Wind’s breath,And as it melts the rivers rise in their channels. When Cyclops returns that night, he downs two more men for supper, and Odysseus offers him the skin's contents. With apparent ease, they sack the city, kill the men, enslave the women, and enjoy a rich haul of plunder.

Find full texts with expert analysis in our extensive library. Many critics see Odysseus' wanderings as a series of trials or tests through which the hero attains a certain wisdom and prepares to be a great king as well as a great warrior. The retelling of the story in Book 19 is more than simply narrative repetition. Equally questionable is his blinding of Polyphemus and the particularly gruesome manner in which it is achieved. As Steve Reece notes, the final of these is less than welcoming: Instead of offering them a meal, he makes a meal of them […] This is surely the darkest form of parody.

Discovering abundant food in the cave, the men want to raid it and sail off, but Odysseus insists on staying to try the hospitality of the owner, who proves to be no charming host. See in text (Book IX).

Certainly her weaving and unweaving of Laertes death shroud, a trick that keeps the Suitors at bay for almost four years, is a deception of which the hero himself would have been proud. What we have here is Odysseus in microcosm: a man who learns from his experiences in order to prevent the repetition of previous mistakes. . For instance, Book 9 explores the conventions of hospitality and civility through a contrast between the Phaeacians and the Cyclopes. The cold and wild is dispelled by the warm and gentle, just as Odysseus’ homecoming will drive out the wildness of the Suitors and the frozen, sorrowful state of his wife. Importantly, Polyphemus’ bastardisation of guest-friendship resonates with the later transgressions of the Suitors, who devour the wealth of their host’s household and react with aggression towards anyone they consider to be a beggar. Join for Free School Memberships, © 2020 OwlEyes.org, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Stanley Lombardo, Hackett 2000 (see bibliography)2 Introduction to Lombardo, pp xviii3 References to Odysseus’ ‘teeming mind’ in Bk. In Book 9, where Polyphemus is ‘like a mountain lion’ (9.285) and Odysseus’ men ‘like puppies’ (9.282), similes are employed in order to enhance the contrast between savage and gentle, might and weakness.

"stout and sturdy and strong..."  Penelope relates these ‘wiles’ to her disguised husband in Book 19 (lines 154-177), and it is of significance that this is the second account of the episode in the Odyssey. Storms blow the ships off course, but they finally arrive at the land of the Lotus-eaters. Physical prowess alone is not enough to warrant the label of ‘hero’.

This is not to say that Odysseus and his men are free of blame ­ they enter the cave uninvited, quite happily feast on his stocks, then blind their host and make off with his flock. Antinous cites Penelope as one ‘Who knows more tricks than any woman alive’ (2.96).

More important, the variation of 158-161 ~ 300-306 in Book 9 of the Iliad is essential to the master plot of the whole composition.

Odysseus and his men retreat by sea. Coupled with her auspicious dream, in which the eagle breaks the necks of the geese, the poet prepares us for the climax of the story. Polyphemus then calls on his father, Poseidon, god of the sea, to avenge him. Nor are his words hollow, and time and again in the Odyssey he proves himself to be a warrior of the sharpest intelligence, as the meticulously prepared death of the Suitors demonstrates (Bk.22). Reece argues that the scene follows the pattern of hospitality shown earlier by the Phaeacians (as well as Nestor and Menelaus), but that the conventions are continually reversed.4 Thus, the revelation of the guest’s real name occurs on departure rather than arrival; the guest is interrogated before, rather than after the meal, as was tradition; the gifts exchanged (Odysseus’ wine and Polyphemus’ sardonic promise) are intent on destruction; and the host issues a curse rather than a blessing as his guest leaves. Self-preservation through self-suppression is one of the poem’s pervasive ironies. This is the woman whom he holds above Calypso, the woman he has not seen for twenty years, and yet he is as unmoving as ‘iron’. As Odysseus and his men sail away, however, Odysseus again employs questionable judgment, shouting taunts at the wounded monster. Odysseus eulogises Demodocus, the blind bard, and at the same time Homer eulogises his own art of storytelling ­ an art that I will examine in the course of this essay, through two books that hold particular thematic prominence in the Odyssey. Filial Duty and Cultural Anatopism Across Generations in ‘Bound Feet and Western Dress’, Supernaturalism in Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”, The Puzzle of Bosola: A Reading of The Duchess of Malfi, The AIDS Pandemic in Context in Beauty’s Gift, Guilt Driven Action: Dunstan’s and Cobb’s Tricky Choices, A Comparison of How Alienation Affects the Protagonists of The Thief and the Dogs and The Stranger, Narrative and Thematic Techniques in Books 9 and 19 of the Odyssey. He wishes to test Penelope’s love and loyalty, and to see ‘if he [the Cyclops] would give him a gift of hospitality’ (9.220).

This website uses cookies to provide you with the best browsing experience. Or, if the Fates have already determined that he must, then may he arrive late, broken, and alone, finding great troubles in his household (9.590-95). Sentence on info. Homer also employs the repetition of certain syntactic units. In Robertson Davies’ Fifth Business and Christopher Nolan’s Inception, the cause of action […], The Aids pandemic has spurred so much commentary in South Africa that its true, startling impact can sometimes be overlooked: is easy to forget that approximately 5,38 million people are […], In John Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi, the audience’s opinion on the anti-hero Bosola and his moral integrity changes throughout the play due to his sudden catharsis and change in […], Poets in the Romantic period were not preoccupied with reason, unlike most of the intellectuals in the Eighteenth Century. It is instead a byproduct of the translation into English, which attempted to preserve the poetry of the original by using modern tools like alliteration and assonance. And this tension between the civilised and the savage, the hospitable and the inhospitable can be seen again in Book 19, as the tenderness of Eurycleia is set against the roughness of Melantho, who threatens to strike the disguised Odysseus with a torch (19.72-75). 47-57, 79-108 1 Homer, Odyssey, trans. (Homeric geography is suspect, but some scholars place this at or near Libya.). Following the victory at Troy, he and his men sail to Ismarus, the stronghold of the Cicones.

When the giant passes out, the Greeks immediately seize their opportunity and grind the lance into the Cyclops' single eye, blinding him. Bibliography Line numbers refer to the verse translation of Homer Odyssey by Stanley Lombardo (introduced by Sheila Murnaghan, Hackett 2000) and not to the original Greek text. Both these characters are alienated from […], Survival in Auschwitz is a memoir written by Primo Levi, an Italian Jewish survivor of the Holocaust who was sent to and worked in the Auschwitz-Monowitz labor camp during the […], In Canto XIII of Dante’s Inferno, one of the most pitiful souls that Dante comes in contact with is Piero delle Vigne. They call me Noman ­ My mother, my father, and all my friends, too!’ (9.364-365) Odysseus engineers a plan that simultaneously punishes the Cyclops and ensures that he and his men are freed from the dwelling, and although physical force is involved, the hero could not have made his escape without this quality of mind.

Much comment has been made on the complex, perhaps even convoluted, structure of the poem, but it allows for the juxtaposition of characters and situations that in turn augment some of the pervasive themes of the story.

The inhabitants are not hostile; however, eating the lotus plant causes Odysseus' men to lose memory and all desire to return home.

Only the Greek hero's wily plan allows escape. As the protagonist of course, Odysseus is himself a galvanising force within the poem. Ismarus an ancient seaport on the Aegean Sea, north and slightly west of Troy, home of the Cicones.

Using the Greek's voice to direct his aim, Polyphemus hurls giant boulders after the ship, barely missing. Even if Penelope does recognise Odysseus, this actually increases rather than decreases the irony of the scene. Students familiar with some of the legends of The Odyssey but new to the epic itself might be surprised to see that the section on the Lotus-eaters is only about twenty-five lines long (9.92-107). 172-1747 Agathe Thornton, People and Themes in Homer’s Odyssey, Methuen 1970, p.508 M. I. Finley, The World of Odysseus, Chatto & Windus 1977, p.113, In Naguib Mahfouz’s The Thief and the Dogs Albert Camus’ The Stranger, we are exposed to two very different characters, Said Mahran and Meursault. The Cyclops, whom the wanderers visit next, contrast most vividly with the Phaeacians. bellwether a ram, usually castrated, that wears a bell around its neck and is followed by the other sheep. Homer contrasts contrasts the violent action being performed with this bouncy alliterative phrase, which lightens the tone of the passage.

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