- Read Homer’s Odyssey, Books 7–8
- How strongly does Odysseus want to go home at this point in the story? What to you explains his desire to go home?
I believe that Odysseus really wants to go home at this point, but I’m not convinced that he has put forth all of his talents and energies to do so just yet. He is known for being smooth talking shape shifter, qualities which he has not fully used in his effort to make his way back to his home country.
3. How does Nausicaa compare to Calypso and Penelope?
I think Nausicaa relationship with Odysseus is different than the others. She is put under a spell by Athena, so much of what she feels is fabricated because he appears more handsome and appealing than he actually is. Plus, she is very young and impressionable. As we discussed in class, this is a “story” that occurs across many cultures. A young, innocent, impressionable girl falls in love with and older rugged bad-ass guy, only to be left heartbroken. With Calypso there is a peculiar male-female power being displayed in the Homeric age. For once, a woman is the dominant force in a relationship. The shoe is on the other foot! Take that Homeric era patriarchy. But seriously, it is interesting for the man to be a captive for once. He is forced to love and obey Calypso, kind of like all of the women that men encounter during that time. Penelope and Odysseus’ relationship differs from both of the ones mentioned above because it is one that seems to be the most genuine in the Iliad or the Odyssey thus far, besides Hector and Andromache, which was my personal favorite. Penelope staying loyal to Odysseus after decades kind of reminds me of when a woman stays loyal to a man who is incarcerated until he is free. She is a strong partner. She sometimes showed signs of weakness, as when she wouldn’t stand up to the suitors, but overall she is a great companion and they seem to share a legit bond.
4. Are the Phaeacians heroic? Is their king a good leader?
I think the Phaeacians are “heroic” in because as we discussed in class, to be a hero, one has to be dead and part of a distant history whose spirit still haunts society. I do believe that the Phaeacians are honorable and hospitable people, and their King is a good, just, leader. This is displayed through his treatment of the stranger Odysseus. He housed him, invites him to several feasts, provides a ship for him to be on his way home, and even offers his daughter’s hand in marriage. The King also displays good hospitality because he pays close attention to Odysseus and made sure he was always comfortable. As we discussed in class, this is a quality of good hospitality. An example of this is when the King notices how Odysseus gets emotionally distraught whenever the Trojan war is being sung about, so he moves on to the gaming activities so that Odysseus will not be sad anymore.
Day Eighteen (October 19)
Assignments (all assignments begin at the end of the class day on which they are assigned and must be completed by the beginning of the next class):
- Read Homer’s Odyssey, Book 9–12
- Why does Odysseus agree to tell his story to the Phaeacians?
He agrees to tell his story because the Phaeacians agree to let him use a ship to sail to Ithaca if he tells his story. Also, Odysseus I think he tells his story because he feels that is identity is about to be revealed. King Alcinous questioned him about why he always would get emotional whenever the blind Demodocus would sing about the great Trojan War and the battle of Hector and Achilles. While everyone else would enjoy the song, Odysseus would weep. Also, he was being questioned about wearing Nausicaa’s clothing after Arete recognizes the garb as one she had made herself. I believe all of the suspicion by the King and Queen made Odysseus nervous about his cover being blown, so he decided to just reveal himself.