Odyssey Study Guide Book 9 and 10; Book 11 by Sophocles pp. 899-909 Answer your study questions in complete sentences, practicing the TS+CD+CM method (essay style) whenever possible. Be sure to cite your pages (a-la MLA) as well. If you use outside sources, YOU MUST CITE THEM! DO NOT FORGET to do the Book 10 Highlighting Summary Read the pages assigned and take Cornell Notes. (Yes, you must do Cornell, so do not whine and just do it!). Describe the Cyclops, including his intelligence, or lack thereof. What is the mistake (or mistakes) Odysseus makes while on this island? How does this show hubris? How does Odysseus remedy this situation? How does he make it worse? Describe the Cyclopians in general. What motivates Odysseus to explore the island? Who does he take with him? What do they find? What one scene appeals to the reader’s sympathy and make Polyphemus more than just a brute? What action at the end of the book could be considered foreshadowing? What do you know will happen to Odysseus? Book X Highlighting Summary: Instructions: Read the following summaries and highlight critical elements. Since we are only reading excerpts from the book, it is important to look at what has transpired before or during the readings. Odysseus continues his story for Alkinoos. After the encounter with Polyphemos, Odysseus and his crew reach the island of the wind god Aiolos. Aiolos hosts them for a month, and then provides Odysseus with a bag containing storm winds to help them sail. They sail off with his westerly wind at their backs, and after ten days come within sight of Ithaka. But while Odysseus sleeps, his crew, mistakenly believing Aiolos' bag is full of silver and gold, greedily open it. All the winds rush out and the ship is sent off course in a hurricane. They are sent back to Aiolos' island, and Odysseus explains to him what happened. Aiolos believes Odysseus' journey is cursed by the gods and refuses to help him further. Odysseus and his crew sail on without any wind and reach Lamos, land of the giant Laistrygonians. The king, Antiphates, and the queen eat one of Odysseus' envoys, and the crew barely escapes as the other Laistrygonians shoot boulders at the retreating ship. The men arrive at the island of the goddess Kirke. Odysseus kills a buck and boosts his crew's morale with a great feast. He tells his crew that he saw smoke rising from the forest, but his men, thinking back on the their last few encounters with strangers, are afraid to meet any new ones. But Odysseus, after a random selection, sends half of the weeping men under command of Eurylokhos off to investigate. Outside Kirke's house lie subdued and spellbound wolves and mountain lions. Inside, Kirke sings while weaving on her loom. All the men - except for Eurylokhos, who suspects deceit - are reassured by this gentle behavior and enter. Kirke fixes them a feast and adds something to their drinks; once they drink it, they are turned into pigs. She shuts them in a pigsty while Eurylokhos runs back to alert the crew. Odysseus goes alone to her house despite Eurylokhos' protestations. The god Hermes stops him on his way and gives him a plant that will preserve him against Kirke's own pig-poison. Then Odysseus should threaten her with death, at which point Kirke will offer to sleep with him. Odysseus must accept, as it will break her spell over his crew. Odysseus visits Kirke, and the plant works its magic against her poison. He goes through with Hermes' plan, and by his fortitude she takes him to be the great Odysseus. As Hermes predicted, she asks him to sleep with her; he first makes her promise not to use any more enchantments. They retire to her opulent bedchamber, but Odysseus is concerned about his companions. Kirke turns them back into men, now looking better than ever. She tells Odysseus to have his men bring their ships and gear ashore and come back with everyone. He does, and they all return but the still suspicious Eurylokhos. The men are bathed by Kirke's maids and given a dinner. Kirke invites Odysseus to stay with her on her island. The men end up staying for a year in the paradise until they finally remind Odysseus of their mission. Odysseus asks Kirke to help them sail home, but she says he must go to Hades, the land of Death, and speak to the blind seer Teiresias. She gives the dejected Odysseus detailed instructions for sailing to Hades and preparing rites to summon Teiresias. Odysseus tells his crew it is time to leave, but the youngest, Elpenor, having drunkenly slept on the roof, falls and kills himself. Analysis: Temptation hurts the men three times in this book. First, the crew greedily opens the bag of winds, even disloyally suspecting Odysseus of keeping his treasure from them. Next, the men foolhardily accept Kirke's hospitality and drinks. Finally, everyone, Odysseus most of all, gladly spends a year basking in the luxury of Kirke's domain, thoughts of home far from their minds. Indeed, despite his usual levelheaded decision-making, Odysseus' great character flaw is his occasional rash, emotional behavior - witness his unwise taunting of Polyphemos in Book IX, or, as Eurylokhos notes, his choice merely to see Polyphemos. Kirke, in some ways, is a double of the goddess Kalypso. Whereas Kalypso critiqued the gender double standard among gods, arguing against the unfairness of a system in which male gods can take mortal lovers as they please while goddesses cannot - and, by extension, it seems, applying this critique to Greek society - Kirke turns the tables on the usual male/female power dynamic. She exploits the weakness and desperation of the men, turning them into the pigs she most likely thinks they resemble in behavior. Interestingly, Kirke is first paired up with another woman in the poem - Penelope. She is first shown weaving at her loom, the activity Penelope uses to ward off her suitors. Since Kirke is another of the poem's examples of a symbolically castrating woman, and since Penelope has raised some doubts about the sincerity of her fidelity, further parallels are drawn with Penelope emerging as the lesser woman. Penelope, too, has a household of men who have turned her place into a sty, but she is not strong enough to shoo them away as Kirke can do. Perhaps it is Kirke's strength, not to mention her divine beauty, which attracts Odysseus. As with Kalypso, he does not seem to have any misgivings about committing an act of infidelity with her. Rather than think guiltily about his wife at home, he instead worries about the well-being of his shipmates. Odyssey Study Guide Book 11 Study Questions 1) You are to read, highlight and annotate the copy of Book 11. For paper conservation purposes, only 40 copies will be made available in class; a copy will also be placed on Snapgrades and sent via e-mail from which you may download and read. It is seven pages long. 2) After reading Book 11 (please read it first!), read the handout that I will provide for you on the critical elements of Book 11. Write two paragraphs discussing what you have learned about Book 11 based on the reading, the lectures and information up to this point, and the critical elements handout. You may the following questions as guides: Why do you think Odysseus must go to the Underworld? Do you think the reasons that Homer and Circe give are good ones (pp. 155-57, 161)? Why do the souls in the underworld want to drink blood? In what ways are they like the men, the suitors, beggars? Vase painting: Odysseus consults the shade of Tiresias (Perseus). What points do you think Homer is making about life, fame, glory, fate, and death through Achilles’ speech What do you think Odysseus learns about the life of a man and the afterlife from Elpenor (pp. 159-60), Anticleia (162-164), and Achilles (172-174)? What do you think of the Greek version of the afterlife? What values seem most important to the Greeks? What seems to be the overriding theme of Book XI?
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