Test Review for Part I The Epic 1. The writer of the Odyssey and the Iliad is ___Homer______. He is believed to have been a blind minstrel 2. The Iliad focuses on the _____Trojan__________War; the Odyssey focuses on one Greek soldier’s attempt to return to his home in Ithaca_______, to his wife _______Penelope_________, and to his son _____Telemachus________________. 3. The Odyssey is an epic poem. An epic is a long narrative (story) that has the many characteristics: A. a larger than life legendary or historical ___hero_____________ is on a __journey or quest; B. supernatural (gods and goddesses)_forces work both for and against the hero C. the poem reflects the values of society. 4. The Odyssey and Iliad are a blend of the historical and mythical. Historical:There was a war between Greece and Troy for control of waterway. Mythical: Homer’s legend tells a different reason for the war: Helen, wife of the Greek king Menelaus, runs off with Paris, the Prince of Troy. 5. Since most people could not read or write, these poems were told aloud by____rhapsodes____, or “singers of tales.” 6. Homer is famous for his Homeric simile, which is the comparison of a heroic or epic event to an everyday, familiar event. By doing this, the people were better able to understand the action. Example: “So wand in hand, he [Hermes] paced into the air shot from Pieria down, down to sea level and veered to skim the swell. A gull patrolling between the wave crests of the desolate sea will dip to catch a fish, and douse his wings no higher above the whitecaps: In this Homeric simile, _Hermes’ flight is compared to a seagull’s flight skimming the water for fish. The Odyssey 1. The story opens with an invocation to a muse = a prayer for inspiration and guidance to a goddess 2. We learn that Telemachus is searching for his father Odysseus because men have been abusing the rules of hospitality by “swarming around his home, pressuring his mother to marry one of them…bent on robbing Telemachus of his inheritance.” Only Odysseus can put an end to this. 3. CALYPSO, THE SWEET NYMPH : Odysseus has fought in the Trojan War for 10 and will try to get home for 10 more years. Calypso has used her seductive powers to keep him captive for seven years. Athens, the goddess of wisdom_ and Odysseus’ guardian, , appeals to her father Zeus for Odysseus’ release. He sends a message via Hermes that Calypso must let Odysseus go. She offers him immortality if he will stay with her, but he refuses. He longs for his wife and son and Ithaca. She provides him with a raft and provisions, but the sea god Poseidon raises a storm and destroys the raft. 4. I AM LAERTES SON: Odysseus washes ashore on the Phaeacian shore and is found by King Alcinous’ daughter. Here we see the cultural rule of hospitality to strangers. In ancient Greek culture, guests were considered protected by the gods, and they had to be treated with courtesy. At the king’s feast, Odysseus tells his story. (Please notice that Odysseus is alone when he washes up on the shore; what he tells is a flashback – he relates his adventures up to this point.) He tells how his men plundered the Cicones and how many of his men died after they disobeyed him by not returning to the ship and setting sail. In this excerpt, we also learn about the cultural custom of honoring the dead: before setting sail, the names of the dead were called out three times. 5. THE LOTUS EATERS: The current takes the men out to sea again, and they land on the shore of the lotus eaters. Odysseus has to drag his men back to the ship because when they ate the lotus plant, the men forgot their homeland and did not want to leave. 6. THE CYCLOPS: The Cyclops is named Polyphemus and is the son of Poseidon. The Cyclops, a one-eyed monster, disregards the rules of hospitality. He imprisons the men and eats two men each morning. Odysseus, who is known for his cunning, devises a plan. Odysseus tells the Cyclops that his name is Nohbody. He gets the Cyclops drunk with wine and the men gouge his eye while he is sleeping. When the other Cyclops come to help him, Polyphemus keeps shouting that nobody hurt him. ; when the Cyclops lets his sheep out of the cave, the men hide underneath the sheep so the Cyclops cannot feel them. Odysseus shows his arrogance by and foolhardiness by_ telling the Cyclops his name. As a result, Polyphemus is able to call on Poseidon for revenge. 7. THE WITCH CIRCE: 1)The men landed on the island of Aeolia,where the wind king Aeolus, puts all the stormy winds in a bag. Odysseus places the bag under his head as he sleeps. The men are near Itahca when the men show their distrust of Odysseus. Thinking that the bag that Odysseus sleeps upon is gold, they take the bag and open it. When they do, they release violent winds, which blow them back to the island they had just visited.. 2) They then land on an island with giant cannibals, the Laestryogians, where they lose all ships but one. 3) On the next island, the men show a lack of hospitality by sneaking around Circe’s home instead of showing respect for her home. When they come upon her, she is at her loom, singing beautifully and weaving a fine cloth. Thinking she is a harmless weaver, the men show themselves. She greets them, feeds them royally, and then turns them into swine. Only Eurylochus, fearing a trap, escapes and tells Odysseus. When Odysseus goes to rescue his men, he does not succumb to her power because Hermes gives him moly (a magical plant) so her spell will not work on him.. She releases the spell on all the men, and they stay with her for several seasons After many pleas she finally releases them to go home, but Odysseus must first descend into the underworld and seek the wisdom of Teiresias. 8. THE LAND OF THE DEAD: Cultural context: The ancient Greeks believed that a person’s soul crosses the river Styx to Erebus ( the underworld), a cold, joyless place ruled by Hades. They also believed that Hades fell in love with Persophone, kidnapped her and took her to be queen of the Underworld. Persophone’s mother, who was the goddess of the harvest, caused a famine on the world until a compromise could be reached. Part of the time Persophone would live in the underworld, during which nothing would grow. Part of the time, she would live on the earth with her mother, during which growth would occur. This myth helps explain the changing of the seasons. Odysseus, wanting to know his destiny, enters the underworld and seeks the prophet Teiresias. Teiresias tells Odysseus that (1). Poseidon will avenge the harm Odysseus caused his son (2). that he and his men must not harm the Helios’ cattle (3) that only one person will survive if they do (4) that his house is filled with inhospitable men who court his wife, and (5) that he will kill his wife’s suitors. After this, he must go to sea again and make a sacrifice to Poseidon. 9. THE SIRENS; SCYLLA AND CHARYBDIS Odysseus returns to the witch Circe, who tells him more of his destiny: they will encounter the Sirens, who woo men to their death by their song. He is to put wax in his men’s ears so they cannot hear, but if Odysseus wants to hear the song, his men must tie him to the mast; he will sail between two high juts of rock, where the six-headed monster called the Scylla lives. She will devour 6 men. Then, he will come upon the Charybdis, which sucks down the tide and then spews it up again, creating a gigantic whirlpool. Last the men will land on the island of Helios. He is warned once again not to eat the cattle. Odysseus does not tell his men about the Scylla and that he will be the only survivor. 10. THE CATTLE OF THE SUN GOD Though Odysseus urges his men not to land at Thinakia, the island of the sun god, the men are exhausted and stop at the island. Odysseus warns the men not to touch the cattle, but after a month of storms, they are hungry. They disobey Odysseus and eat the cattle. Angry, Helios tells Zeus that if he does not punish the men for the death of his cattle, the sun will never rise again. Zeus destroys Odysseus ship with his thunderbolt and only Odysseus survives. Odysseus ends up on Calypso’s island, where we met him originally. . Matching: Athena, Helios, Hermes, Poseidon, Zeus, Plolyphemus, Aeolus, Alcinous, Circe, Calypso, Lotus Eaters, Scylla, Charybdis, Telemachus, Penelope, Homer, Ithaca, Menelaus, Paris, Helen . HOSPITALITY– It was a Greek’s religious duty to treat strangers with respect and to show respect to their hosts. (p. 910 gives information about the host-guest relationship.) The Cyclops was uncivilized and inhospitable; his blinding was thus justified. Odysseus’ men were inhospitable to Circe, and she turned them to swine. King Alcinous gave the srtranger gifts and had a feast for him. (Later, in Part II, the king gives Odysseus a ship and men to take him home to Ithaca) LOYALTY – A Greek valued loyalty to king, society, friends, and family. Generosity was shown for loyalty, but insults were avenged, often ruthlessly. Part I – Odysseus’ men are sometimes disobedient and distrustful of Odysseus They do not set sail after battling the Cicones, as Odysseus had ordered, and many men die. They open the bag of winds when they are near Ithaca, and they are blown away from Ithaca. They eat the sun-god’scattle, and Zeus destroys all but Odysseus. HOME AND FAMILY - Odysseus’ entire journey centers around his desire to get home to Ithaca. LESSONS Flattery – The idea that flattery is deceptive and can lure a person to destruction is seen in the Sirens. They lured the sailors to their deaths with their beautiful voice. Honoring the Dead – It was customary for the Greeks to call out three times the names of those who died in battle. Laziness – the Lotus Eaters This episode hows the dangers of those things which draw a person away from his or her purpose Role of Gods and Goddesses – Odysseus learns that his boastfulness and pride have angered the gods. He must show respect to the gods and goddesses and know that they play a role in his destiny. Poseidon stirs up storms and fierce winds, and Zeus administers judgment (the thunderbolt) after the men eat the sacred cattle of Helios, the sun god. Zeus sends Hermes to tell Calypso to release Odysseus, and Hermes gives Odysseus a plant to protect him from Circe’s spell HOMERIC SIMILES – P. 925 Part II Athena disguises Odysseus in Part II and restores his “beauty. She warns Telemachus that the suitors plan to ambush him. Part II: The old swineherd (Eumaeus) welcomed the beggar (he did not know until later that the beggar was Odysseus in disguise); Penelope welcomes the beggar (the disguised Odysseus) and even has her servant wash his feet The suitors violated this religious law while Odysseus was gone, squandering Telemachus’ inheritance by eating and drinking and insisting that Penelope marry one of them; Odysseus, aided by Athena. took retribution and they all died Part II Ex. Though Odysseus has been gone for 20 years, Penelope remains loyal to him and refuses to marry. Odysseus’ old dog Argos lay near the entrance to Odysseus’ home, waiting for his return. Two of Odysseus’ servants are rewarded for their loyalty.
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