Weekly Journal 10/19

Thursday, October 12th

Today in class we had a discussion about leadership roles in relation to the Odyssey. We mostly talked about the qualities of a hero in regards to Telemachus. Qualities such as bravery, strength, and intelligence. I think that Telemachus is not quite a leader yet, but I believe that by the end of the book he will have grown and matured into a great leader just like his father.

Friday, October 13th

Today I will be reading books 3 and 4 of Homer’s “The Odyssey”. Book three consists of Telemachus and Athena disguised as Mentor going to Pylos to speak with Nestor. There Nestor tells them a story about Agamemnon and his wife Clytemnestra who remarried while he was away, then with the help of her new husband, Aigisthus, kill Agamemnon when he returns home. Even though I didn’t like Agamemnon at all while we were reading the Iliad, this kind of made me feel bad for him. Our question this week is to describe the components of Telemachus’ maturity. The first way he matured in when he gathered all of the suitors and told them to leave his home, that took immense bravery, especially when thinking about how many suitors there are and there is only one of him. Another way he has matured is by getting over his nervousness of greeting Nestor and making a speech when he gets to Pylos. In book 4 Telemachus makes his trip to Sparta to speak with king Menelaus. When he gets there Menelaus and his wife Helen take turns telling stories about Odysseus to Telemachus and Menelaus reveals to him that Odysseus is still alive but trapped on the island of the goddess Calypso. Also in book four, the suitors in Ithica plan to ambush Telemachus and kill him. When Penelope hears this she begins to sob because she has already lost her husband and does not want to also lose her son. But, Athena sends her reassurance in the form of her sister. Our next question for today is

“How would you describe the relationship between Menelaus and Helen after returning from the Trojan War? Are they in love? Are they close to one another?

After returning from the Trojan War I would describe the relationship between Menelaus and Helen as slightly tense. While they are telling stories about Odysseus they are complimenting themselves while also insulting the other. I’m not sure if they are still in love, I think the events of the war caused distance to grow between them as well as distrust.

Sunday, October 15th

Today I will be reading books 5 and 6 of the Odyssey. In book five, we finally meet Odysseus, the main character of this story. When we meet him he is crying because he has been held prisoner on the island with the goddess Calypso for so long and only wants to go home. The gods, however, finally decide to intervene and tell Calypso that she needs to let Odysseus go. The second part of our question is

How does Calypso compare to the other goddesses in the Iliad or Athena in the Odyssey? What are her motives? How does she influence the plot of the Odyssey?”

Calypso compares to the other goddesses in the Iliad because she is only concerned about things going her way and does not care for others. Her motives are to just have a companion with her on her island. She influences the plot of the Odyssey because she keeps Odysseus away for much longer than he would have, allowing the suitors to take up his house and home. In book six we meet a princess named Nausicaa who Athena visits to make her wash her wedding clothes in the streams where she encounters Odysseus who she cleans up and invites back to her house.

Tuesday, October 17th

Today in class we began by talking about the readings we were supposed to do. My memory of class gets little blurry after that (I know I got an 87 on my midterm which I’m happy about) because members of my class were receiving news about an active shooter on campus and none of us really knew what was going on. My group chats and people on twitter were providing most of my information on what was going on while we all waited for an official HU alert. When the alert did come, I was very scared. I decided to wait in our Greek Literature classroom until we got the all clear. Events like this one solidify my thoughts that we should have stricter gun laws and more gun control in the United States. Thankfully no one got hurt, I still don’t know if there even was a shooter, but events like this need to stop happening altogether and that won’t happen until change is actively made.

Wednesday, October 18th

Today I am going to read books 7 and 8 of the Odyssey. In book 7 Odysseus gets to the home of the Phaeacian king and is treated with amazing hospitality. One of our questions for today is

How strongly does Odysseus want to go home at this point in the story? What to you explains his desire to go home?

Odysseus wants to go home extremely bad at this point. When he pleads with the Queen Arete to help him get home, that relaly explained to me his desire to go home. It takes a lot of pride and courage to get in your knees and beg for something. We are also asked how Nausicaa compares to Calypso and Penelope. Firstly she is similar to them both because they all want to have a relationship with Odysseus. But she is different than Calypso because she understands that she can not keep him for herself forever, she understands that he has a life to attend to. But unlike Penelope, she is not appealing to Odysseus because his heart belongs to his wife.

We are also asked if the Phaecians are heroic and if their king is a good leader. I think the Phaecians are heroic because they have offered to accompany Odysseus, a stranger to them, on a long and possibly dangerous journey. I also think that their king is a good leader too because he is hospitable and cares about all of his people.