Day Eighteen (October 19)

  1. Read Homer’s Odyssey, Book 9–12
  2. Why does Odysseus agree to tell his story to the Phaeacians?

Odysseus finally agrees because the Phaeacians asks him why he was grieving every time the war was mentioned. Plus they were really interested in who he was and they had treated him with such hospitality that it was only right Odysseus told him who he was. Plus if I was a Phaeacian and you came into my house and I am feeding you and bathing you eventually I will need you to tell me who you are. To be honest you would have to tell me up front but since he was respectful to the King and Queen he had got an automatic pass. You won’t be on my Island, talking to my daughter without me knowing exactly who you are though.

Day Nineteen (October 24)

Read Homer’s Odyssey, Books 13–14

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

To be civilized means to be polite and well mannered. Odysseus encountered a great deal of different people some who were civilized and some who weren’t for example Calypso, not civilized. Trapping someone into being a sex slave is not polite or well mannered, however she was civilized to Hermes when he came in to deliver a message. Circe was not civilized because Circe turned all of his men into pigs however, Circe became civilized once Circe offered Odysseus and his men a place to stay. The Phaeacians were very civilized. They provided a feast for Odysseus, washed him up and showered him with gifts.They were very polite and well mannered to their guest. The Cyclops were not civilized, Polyphemos ate Odysseus men and trapped him in his cave. The God of the dead was rather civilized once he drank the blood of the Sacrificial lamb. The giants/ogres on the land Lamos were not civilized, they drank one of the me’s blood for crying out loud. That was more scary than civilized.The swineheard was very civilized, he didn’t know who Odysseus was but still gave him food to eat and a cloak to wear. I feel as though swineheard comes very close to the essence of hospitable that Zeus instills in everyone.

  1. Odysseus goes to the underworld to find out how to get home. But what else does he learn in the process, about himself, about how the world works, or about what’s important in life?

Odysseus finds many people he knew in the Under world. He found his crew member Elpenor who he didn’t even knew died which was rude. He saw his mother which was a terrible way to find out his mother died especially when she died of loneliness. He learned about the suitors at his house, his son growing up and that his wife was loyal. He ran into Agamemnon who told him about the affair his wife had and how he was killed by her and her lover. He found Achilles who admitted it’s better to bel alive then sitting their in the underworld. I believe Odysseus realized his strength and his value for his men on the ship with him grew. When he realized all his men could be killed he really wanted to protect his men and keep them from becoming more bodies in the underworld. He learned how to follow rules and stop acting crazy like he did when he was taunting Polyphemos.I feel like seeing your friends and family dead and not being able to embrace them really changes how anybody would think. You start valuing lives more, whether it be your life or your families life, or your crews life.

Hour 1 and 2:

As I read book 9, I just love how Odysseus is so loyal when he talks about being trapped in Calypso’s island and after all those years , she could not persuade his heart to love her. Odysseus has the type of loyalty that women want in their man. He was all alone on an Island and had been at war for years, surrounded by a bunch of men. Then he gets stuck on an island with a woman for years and it doesn’t even affect his heart not one bit. Most guys would jump at the chance to get with the first woman they saw after being gone so long. I mean the woman were having affairs themselves like Agamemnon’s wife. I didn’t like how he killed all the people on the kikonian island and enslaved their women it sounded like genocide to me. Something I found funny was when Odysseus was talking about how his men were hungry so they got crazy. That sounds just like the commercial with the snickers bars, the slogan is “ Here eat a snickers, you’re not yourself when your hungry.” Before the people eat the snickers they are monsters and terrible and once they eat they feel more like themselves. I also think it’s crazy how a perfectly beautiful flower can be a drug. I feel as though that’s a metaphor for something or some type of symbolism. When he tried to get them back on the ship and the men were upset because they just wanted to stay and be high made me chuckle a little. Now as they entered the cyclopes’ cave I feel that Odysseus did the right thing by trying to be hospitable. However, if he walked on the land and saw the unfortunate appearance of it, he should’ve known that the cyclopes’ weren’t gonna be respectable people. I mean for crying out loud he just ate his comrades, that was completely unnecessary I am so glad that Odysseus had some common sense not to kill the Cyclops before it woke up or they would’ve really been in trouble. If the cyclops is the only one that can open the door its better to use the cyclops for their advantage. Although on the other hand the Cyclops keeps eating people so I’m just not sure at this point. It was also very clever for Odysseus to call himself “Nobody” keeping his name from being aired out and it was a good idea to hide under the rams so all the Cyclops would see is the top of the rams and he fell for it too. Side Note, how does Zeus and Hera and Athena have these immortal and mortal human children but Poseidon produces a Cyclops? Either way Odysseus messed with the wrong Cyclops and now he’s about to be in for a worlds of trouble.

Hour 3: Now branching into book 10, I’m reviewing the trip. Odysseus and his comrades have been to the kikonian island and created a mass genocide, then they moved to the Cyclops Island and blinded a Cyclops who happen to be Poseidon’s son and now they are on the island of Aiolia which is ruled by Aiolos the wind God. I don’t understand while Odysseus and his crew stayed on the Island for a month. I mean a few days is understandable to rest up but a whole month, that’s excessive. I was so upset when Odysseus’ men opened up the bag of winds and undid all the sailing they had done. They sailed for 9 whole days and they had to start back at square one?! I would’ve personally threw each one of my men over board. That’s insane and the wind God was correct, he was cursed because that was the most unlucky thing that could happen to him. Now he rows 6 more days and ends up at another Island called Lamos. Then the king of the laistygones, Antiphates greets them by drinking their blood?! I would’ve been like Oh no, wrong Island! Now they are at another Island called Aiaia which belongs to the goddess Circe and she isn’t any better because she turns them all into pigs! However, I give Odysseus props for going back for his men and not just leaving them there. It’s funny that Hermes gives him a drug called moly because there’s a drug in real life called moly and it’s something people should stay away from. I think it was excessive to stay a year on an island that turned your men into pigs. I thought Odysseus was trying to get home fast and not checking to see what Island is more livable. Getting to the end of the book, I’m disappointed Odysseus has to go to another Island and this time the land of the dead and why has no one checked for Elpenor, the guy who jumped ofd the roof.

Hour 4 and 5:

Going into Book 11, I am creeped out that they are watching ghosts drink blood and it is even more sad when we see Elpenor’s Ghost. That’s terrible that Odysseus didn’t even realize, if I was Elpenor I wouldn’t help a single person get back home. The least Odysseus can do is give Elpenor a proper burial!Then he see’s his mother’s ghost?! What a terrible way to find out his mother has passed! In other news I think it’s nice that Odysseus has been told he will make it home after what happened with the bag of winds and all. However, his men not making it, is not a good thing and if I was hi comrade I would leave him immediately. His mother died from loneliness?!!!That’s even worst then dying from a heartbreak! I was so into the story I forgot Odysseus was telling a story until he paused from his narrative. It must’ve been terrible to see many of his friends from the war there especially Achilles. Now Achilles rather be alive and un-glorified but he wasn’t thinking like that in his rage to kill Hector. Why does all the ghost want to drink the blood are they not being fed down there or something? Now going into Book 12 I see he goes back and encounters Circe again but it was a good thing that he gave Elpenor a proper funeral. Now Circe’s description of the two paths Odysseus can take is terrible. Each option is worst than the other. The path where Odysseus has to go through all these monsters and loose his men is terrible. I really would be upset if I was on Odysseus’ ship because I could’ve been on Agamemnon’s ship, he seemed to make it home quickly. I’m glad going through the Sirens worked out and everyone followed Instructions but Skylla taking those men were terrible. I’m glad that Odysseus remembered not to fight her though and just sail on. As I continued to read something told me that his crew was going to eat Helios’ cattle when they weren’t supposed to and look what happened they literally all died. It was nice to know the name of Calypso’s island was Ogygia.

Hour 6 and 7:

Moving on to Book 13 it appears as if the Phaeacians are really loving Odysseus story. I mean when you think about it, it has mystery, climax, plot twists, suspense and everything. What really shocked me is that after all Odysseus has been through, he got to sleep while someone else got him to Ithaca. That is so Ironic because just a book ago he was rowing passed monsters using his hands as oars. I can’t believe he actually made it home, I was for sure another unlucky thing would happen to him. The Phaeacians are such nice people but I’m so upset that Poseidon turned their ship into stone. Odysseus is almost as bad as Achilles with making everyone’s life terrible around him. It was nice that Athene came and showed hime he was in Ithaca though, that he finally made it home. Side Note: I thought Telemachus would’ve been home already. Moving to Book 14, I’m not sure what the swinheard has to do with anything yet but I feel like as I keep reading the swineheard will play a significant role.

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