Story Time

Tuesday (October 21, 2015) 2:10pm-3:30pm

In today’s lecture Dr. Sandridge told us of the speculation that there is an entire epic devoted to Telemachus. We also discussed Menelaus and his situation. So, he comes back to his kingdom after he has lost his brother. His grief is strong and for his son’s name to be — Megapenthes which means great grief. Menelaus’s nostos starts with him fighting with Agamemnon. Next, we discussed Menelaus and Helen’s relationship, which we only get a glimpse of through the stories they tell of Odysseus. Helen’s story is one that speaks about her loyalty while Menelaus’s story is one that speaks about her disloyalty. Helen claims it was because of Odysseus that she had a change of heart and actually realized Menelaus was a way better husband than Paris. Menelaus speaks about how she almost got all of them killed because she basically enjoyed being with the Trojans. They have a lot going on with each other. I think it just results from her not being around, so they’re just together for the good of the kingdom. Clearly their oikos is barely being held together. It just seems as if they’re in an arranged marriage. Menelaus is having a moment to talk about his story. He tells the story about how he had to hide under sealskin and wrestle with Proteus to tell him his tales. Dr. Sandridge related this to how Odysseus hide under a ram and his comrades hide under sheep when they’re in the Cyclops cave. This is just one of the many trials Odysseus has to endure in order to get home. He also has to go to the underworld. He’s faced with a lot of adversities.

Words we’ve learned

‘homophrosume’ = Like-mindedness

‘Phren’= Mind

‘Sophrosume’ = Self-restraint/ Sound mindedness

-Odysseus shows restraint by restraining the men from speaking when Helen was calling out to them in the voices of their wives.

Wednesday (October 21, 2015) 1:00pm-3:30pm

Athene disguised herself as Nausicaa friend and came to her in a dream and scolded her about her clothes. She urged the princess to go to the streams and wash her linen. This is supposed to make more appealing to the many men that court her. They describe her as being beautiful, resembling the goddess Artemis. So, her and her handmaids go to the river and wash their clothes and play. They’re playing so loud that they eventually wake Odysseus up and he goes to them. Athene always has tricks up her sleeves. She’s present in the smallest details throughout the Odyssey. I never knew the goddess had so much spunk! So, Odysseus hears them and starts walking over to them, all the handmaidens run but Nausicaa stays (Athene gave her courage). Odyesseus doesn’t know whether to move her with his words or to supplicate her. Seeing as how he’s naked, he just decides to praise her beauty, tell her his story, and ask for help. She could either let him be and not help her but because the Xenia is so strong in this poem, she decides to help him because that’s what you do when you have great hospitality. So after he bathes, Athene makes him finer than he actually is and Nausicaa falls head over heels at the sight. She tells her handmaidens she wants to marry someone who looks exactly like Odysseus. She gives him directions to the palace, not wanting him to follow behind her because the people are known to gossip. He’s to go into the garden and then when the time is right he must find her mother and supplicate her. If and when he wins the queen over, he’s good to go. Apparently the queen’s opinion is the only opinion that matters. He prays to Athene for good luck and she hears him.

How does Nausicaa compare to Calypso and Penelope?

I don’t really get much about her character in this one scene. But she is as beautiful as the both of them. So, she’s definitely easy on the eyes. She too falls in love with great Odysseus. It seems like all these women just really love Odysseus. They go crazy for the way this man looks and speaks. He better be a looker!

Are the Phaeacians heroic? Is there king a good leader?

I believe so, just because of how they display their hospitality. Odysseus is an unknown man and a princess actually listens to him and wants to help. It’s nice to see that she just doesn’t feel like everyone is beneath her.

Thursday (October 22, 2015) 2:10pm-3:30pm

Today’s class was basically a sermon. We briefly discussed the events in the book and we went over the test that I did terrible on. I never do that bad on quizzes, I was too blown. But, the take away for me from today’s class was basically I need to find something that I love in life. This started with everyone discussing things they collect or use to collect and I realized I collect nothing. They say college is all about finding yourself and I have yet to find something that I do well and have enough passion to want to do every day. I’m still in the mist of finding myself and finding something I’m innately good enough with room for improvement. I’m afraid I’m running out of time. I’m hoping sometime soon I’ll figure out my calling in life. Learn what it is that I was born to do you know? Maybe I’ll start collecting things; I just honestly don’t know what makes me happy. I have yet to find something that gives me happiness and I know I’m young and I have time but the clock is ticking. I won’t be young forever and I need to figure put a career before I graduate next year.

Friday (October 23, 2015) 12:00am-3:30am

Book 7 Athene cloaks Odysseus with a mist that makes him invisible while he’s traveling to the kingdom. So, then Athene comes to him disguised as a little girl and takes him to the palace while telling him about the Phaeacians. Athene is master of disguises. She’s really been coming through in this poem. I love her! So, Odysseus gets into the kingdom and immediate goes to Queen Arete and supplicates her — at this moment he is finally able to be seen and everyone is stunned quiet. The king’s oracle tells King Alcinous about himself for not showing the beggar hospitality. Then this is where everyone rushes to serve Odysseus and there’s going to be a feast in his honor. So after he talks and tells them about his dilemma without revealing himself the Queen notices his attire (its her daughters) and questions him about it and he makes up this lie which makes the king offers his daughters hand in marriage — Odysseus obliges. Book 8, at the feast the blind bard Demodokos sings a song about Achilles and Odysseus’s fight before the war which causes Odysseus to cry no one sees this but the king and then the feats begins! Prince Laodamas invites Odysseus to join in on the activities but he obliges and Euryalos joking says he’s not the athletic type. So, Odysseus is basically like I’ll challenge everyone in everything except the race because the sea messed homeboy’s legs up. So he hurls a discus the furthest ever (Athene disguised as a Phaeacian measured the distance). So to clear up the tension, king Alcinous tells Demodokos to sing another song. He sings a song about Ares and Aphrodite’s love affair and how Hephaistos caught them and put the on display for everyone to see. The people give gifts to Odysseus after the song. For some reason Odysseus asks Demodokos to sing the song again which causes him to cry AGAIN. So, the king tells Demodokos to stop because he’s upsetting Odysseus and then the king asks him to tell him who is really is. This goes into Book 9, where we see the star of Odysseus’s journey home. So we know Calpyso held him captive and he basically says that she would’ve never been able to persuade him to be her lover. I interpreted this as him being faithful to Penelope not sexually, but emotionally. His emotions only lie with Penelope. Then the travel to the land of Kikonias where they kill everyone and enslave the women till the people start fighting back. Then they go to the island of Lotus Eaters and when you eat a lotus flower you forget everything and just want to stay on the island forever. Then they go to the Cyclops’s island and then men want to steal but Odysseus being the great guy he is decides to make a fire and have an offering for the Cyclops. Hospitality is so strong in this book! The Cyclops then eats some of his man and Odysseus realizes he cant kill him because he needs his strength to remove the boulder on the door. So, he pokes his eye out and hides under the rams so when it was time for them to go out in the morning the Cyclops, Polyphemos, couldn’t see where the men were so he felt the ram. He felt the ram and didn’t feel the men because they were under the lamb so he let them go. They escape and Odysseus taunts him and tells the Cyclops his name and the Cyclops is Poisedon son so he asks his father to curse Odysseus trip home- Poisedon accepts.

Monday (October 26, 2015) 1:00pm-3:4pm

Read Homer’s Odyssey, Book 7–10

In Book 10, Odysseus is still traveling. They go to the island of Aiolia, ruled by the god of wind — Aiolos and say with him for a month. He gives Odysseus a bag of wind for his trip. So, Ithaca is so close to the men and one of them opens the bag of wind, which causes them to go off course. They go back to Aiolos and the god realizes that Odysseus is cursed and won’t help them anymore. Then they go to Lamos and leave immediately because the king is a jerk and ate one of their men. Then they go to the island of Aiaia where the goddess Circe lives. She invites them into her home and everyone goes in except Eurylachos (lucky him!). She feeds them and they all get turned into pigs — he goes to tell Odyeseus. Odysseus suits up to fight Circe, Hermes tells him what he needs to do — basically eat this herb called Moly and then draw his sword and ultimately have sex with her. He does everything correctly. They stay with Circe for a year. She prophesizes that Odysseus won’t be able to go home until he travels to the underworld to see Teresias. She gives him directions and leave a black ewe and a ram as sacrifice to the underworld. She’s so thoughtful!

Why does Odysseus agree to tell his story to the Phaeacians?

He’s been crying at the very mention of his name and/or the Trojan war — and the king sees it. He has no choice but to him about who he is, especially when they’re being nothing but gracious to him.

What does it mean to be “civilized”? Are the people that Odysseus encounters in his wanderings civilized? Why or why not? In Greek terms being a mortal or a god is civilized. He sees the cylcops as being uncivilized because they live differently than them. They’re not uncivilized they’re just different. They live life a certain way and just because someone sees it as different doesn’t mean its wrong or uncivilized. There are different teachings for different types of people.

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