Saturday, November 18, 2006

The Odyssey - post I

Bearing in mind the influences that Homer’s work has on Ulysses it seems like a good idea before I miss all of the connecting points to catch up and read this before I get further into the Joyce next week.

Bullet points from the first four chapters

Odysseus has fought in the wards against Troy but is marooned on an island and lost from his family and people

Athena, daughter of Zeus asks for him to be released and then visits his son Telemakhos to tell him to sail to find news of his father

Suitors surround Penelope the wife of Odysseus but the son tells them to go away and leave his mother alone.

Athena keeps appearing in different guises and gives Telemakhos the courage to tell the suitors to leave, that he is going after his father and will not give up hope for another year

As some in the crowd laugh at his speech Zeus sends eagles that scratch at the faces of those who disbelieve him

Athena organises a ship and crew and they head off in search of news of Odysseus

They meet Nestor the master charioteer and tell him of their quest but all he can tell them is that after the war the leaders argued and some stayed but he fled home and that was the last he saw of Odysseus

He rumbles that Athena is with the ship and tells Telemakhos that a God is favouring him

Next on the list to be visited is Menalous who tells a tale of how after the war he was stuck on an island and had to appease a sea god who told him that he was being punished for not giving praise to Zeus before they set sail for home

He asks after the other leaders and is told that one has been cast a drift and the other was killed by Poseidon after boasting of his power over the sea god

Meanwhile the suitors discover Telemakhos has sailed and plan to set sail intercept his boat and kill him

Penelope finds out and is crestfallen but Athena visits her and calms her

More tomorrow…

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