All Hail The Phaeacians!

Tuesday October 20th (2 Hours) 2:10 PM

We began class speaking of Telemachus and his journey so far, especially in book 3 and 4. Dr. Sandridge tell us that these first books are even referred to as “Telemachia” or the story of telemachus due to his maturation and the emphasis put on his character in the beginning books.

Dr. Sandridge foreshadows future events when my classmate hints about when Odysseus and the Cyclops becomes the centerpoint of the story. We learn that the greek word for nobody is “outis”, and we also are told that Odysseus hides under sheep in order to escape from the cave later in The Odyssey(Can’t wait!). I actually remember reading an excerpt of Cyclops in AP Literature in high school, so I kind of remember. After speaking about how Odysseus can’t come back to Ithaca I am still very confused about how Odysseus has to come back in disguise. I often try to separate his actions from The Iliad(when in certain scenes, he kicked butt) thus, this is why I sometimes don’t understand why he can’t come back and just take his throne and put everyone back in their place. Dr. Sandridge explains to us that he is outnumbered.. the suitors have more manpower and he must manipulate his way back into his kingdom and also find a moment to reconcile with his family after his twenty year absence, which is very understandable! I guess I am still a little confused as to how Odysseus could kill lines and lines of troops in The Iliad, but can’t just come in and take his throne back with ease. But I respect this theory, as it spices things up in the books to come!

Tuesday, October 20th, (2 Hours) 7:15 PM

I sat down in my dorm room to re-read parts of Book 5 in order to prepare for Book 6. One thing I focused on, was the sequence of events of what event led to another. I focused on the names of the characters and their significance. For example, when Odysseus sees Scheria, and when Poseidon comes back to seek revenge on Odysseus by disrupting his voyage. Of course Athena comes to his rescue and keeps him safe until he reaches the island of Phaeacians. To help me remember, I made a chart with every character’s name that I have encountered in The Odyssey so far. In the boxes, I included the most significant thing that they have done in the entire book so far, that way, when I have to remember a character, I can instantly look at an event that they played a significant role.

Wednesday October 21th, (2 Hours) 7:00 PM

1. Read Homer’s Odyssey, Books 6

2. How does Nausicaa compare to Calypso and Penelope?

Nausicaa compares to both mortal women because all three of them became emotionally attached to Odysseus. She connects with Penelope because she falls in love with him in an emotional way, contrasting how Calypso loved him as her sexual captive. Nausicaa is so impressed by Odysseus, he gives him her clothes to wear after he cleaned himself and guided him towards the Phaecian Palace to seek comfort and also advisement on how to get home. All three of these women showed a value of care to Odysseus and a sense of “attachment” to his spirit. I would have to say though, that I believe that Nausicaa’s attachment to Odysseus is the weakest in comparison to Calypso and Penelope.

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

Yes, I believe they are heroic in their own way. What surprised me about the Phaeacians, is that although they shows signs of xenophobia, they are very open to Odysseus and King Alcinous gives Odysseus(who he thinks is a mortal man) multiple chances of communicating who he actually is and asking him to share his journey( which he eventually does). I believe that they are heroic because so far, they are leading Odysseus back down the right track in order to return home or have the option to.

Friday October 23rd, (3 Hours) 4:00 PM

1. Read Homer’s Odyssey, Book 7–10

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

Well first of all, King Alcinous is coming on to him and questioning his real identity after crying out to two songs played by Demodocus that almost reveals his true identity as Odysseus. I also believe he agreed to tell his story because the Phaecians were so helpful to his progress toward getting back home and he developed some loyalty towards them. Odysseus is also a good storyteller, after reading Book 9 it is evident that he enjoys remembering most of every detail of his journey, this also helps me ad the reader understand more of the backstory before his journey began.

3. What does it mean to be “civilized”? Are the people that Odysseus encounters in his wanderings civilized? Why or why not?

“Civilized” means to be involved in a society that is well kept and works off of certain morals that creates a meaningful civilization. Yes, I think most people that Odysseus encounters are civilized because they belong to a certain type of society. Even the xenophobe Phaecians that he encounters belong to a civilization and are therefore, civilized. However, those like Calypso are not civilized. She lived in no society with with others who could uphold a certain value that they would all share, she was specifically interested in holding Odysseus captive as her sex slave. The only reasoning she had in speaking with Zeus, is that the male gods carry a double standard because it goes unnoticed when they have women as sex slaves. Yes she is right, but she is not civilized because she is not involved in a society.

Saturday October 24rd, (0 Hours) All-Day

I came home today to see the burial of my uncle, Marion Gibbs. I did think of The Illiad sometimes during the day. Noting the way that people mourn for the dead.

Monday, October 26th (1 Hour) 4:15 PM

I sat down in Health Sciences Library and read over my Reading Logs from the beginning of The Odyssey to see my progress in my thoughts about the novel. I think that the story told by Odysseus and his journey helped me understand his character more in both The Illiad and The Odyssey. He is the only character so far that has explained his journey or that I know of. After reading my reading log, I reviewed my chart of characters and their significant event so far. I hope to fill up the entire paper with more events and characters! I know there has to be more J