[Odysseus] 9.497 powerful Polyphemus [Odysseus]
The Cyclops, whom the wanderers visit next, contrast most vividly with the Phaeacians. Phemius, the renowned Ithacan bard, outlines the tale early in The Odyssey (1.375-76) when he performs "The Achaeans' Journey Home from Troy." Ultimately, Odysseus’ journey is epic, not only in genre, but also in the way that it embraces such a multitude of perspectives and themes. An succinct discussion of the debate can be found in: Peter Jones, Homer’s Odyssey: A Companion to the English Translation of Richard Lattimore, Bristol Classical Press 1988, pp. The first test is against the Cicones. Coupled with her auspicious dream, in which the eagle breaks the necks of the geese, the poet prepares us for the climax of the story. This is the woman whom he holds above Calypso, the woman he has not seen for twenty years, and yet he is as unmoving as ‘iron’. Homer alludes multiple times to characters and events from his other epic, The Iliad. Others conclude that he sacks the city simply because it is there. The most notable instance of this is the astonishing simile of Odysseus as the wailing woman in Book 8 (l.565), in which images of warrior and widow are simultaneously juxtaposed and unified. Discovering abundant food in the cave, the men want to raid it and sail off, but Odysseus insists on staying to try the hospitality of the owner, who proves to be no charming host. Thus, the simile transforms the grief of Penelope into an act that portends the triumph of the hero. The alliteration that exists in this poem is the result of translation. dam the female parent of any four-legged animal. The murder of Agamemnon, presented by Zeus in Book 1, Menelaus in Book 4, and finally the shade of Agamemnon himself in Book 11, is a particularly strong example of this narrative technique. As Agatha Thornton notes, in previous omens, the raptor has caught its prey (15.174-176), and plucked it (.15.573-576), but, until now, has not actually killed it.5 Homer uses similes throughout the Odyssey to focus the reader’s attention on particular aspects, or nuances, of the story. Odysseus escapes, but storms and a strong north wind drive his ships off course. The first of these, Book 9, involves Odysseus’ encounter with Polyphemus, the man-eating Cyclops, while in the second, Book 19, the hero, now in the guise of an old beggar, meets with his wife, Penelope. Yet, Odysseus’ self-label here also reflects the functional use of epithets within the narrative. Students familiar with some of the legends of The Odyssey but new to the epic itself might be surprised to see that the section on the Lotus-eaters is only about twenty-five lines long (9.92-107). Odysseus does not discuss, at this point, why he was blown off course and unable to return directly to Ithaca. The Phaeacians once lived near the Cyclops but moved to Scheria to avoid the lawless brutes.
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Alliteration typically helps readers and listeners remember phrases and enjoy a poetic or rhythmic feeling in the language. However, this shift in perspective is important. More important, the variation of 158-161 ~ 300-306 in Book 9 of the Iliad is essential to the master plot of the whole composition.
Rather, they were able recognize the importance of non-rational processes in […], Texts continue to be valued long after their composition by virtue of their exploration of contextually pertinent universal concerns. The next stop is the land of the Cyclops, lawless one-eyed giants. The world of the Odyssey is a world of antitheses such as justice and injustice, and, like the weeping woman of Book 8, the divide between two contraries is sometimes only oblique. Thornton points out that ‘testing a person is well established compositional theme in the Odyssey’.7 Odysseus tests Laertes in Book 24 and Eumaeus in Book 15, while in return, he himself is tested by his father (24.336-338) and twice by his wife (19.232, 23.179-186). Homer creates a rich tapestry of human thought and emotion; one that asks many more questions than it solves. It is the lair of Polyphemus, a Cyclops. 172-1747 Agathe Thornton, People and Themes in Homer’s Odyssey, Methuen 1970, p.508 M. I. Finley, The World of Odysseus, Chatto & Windus 1977, p.113, In Naguib Mahfouz’s The Thief and the Dogs Albert Camus’ The Stranger, we are exposed to two very different characters, Said Mahran and Meursault. bookmarked pages associated with this title. Only the Greek hero's wily plan allows escape.
| But his pride in his name foreshadows Odysseus' questionable judgment in identifying himself during the escape from Polyphemus. The details are not articulated there either, but the story of Ajax's attempted rape of Cassandra in Athena's temple and the lack of punishment meted out to him by the Greeks would have been well known by Homer's audience. Equally questionable is his blinding of Polyphemus and the particularly gruesome manner in which it is achieved. Readers should not confuse Odysseus' pride in identifying himself to the Phaeacian hosts with vanity. "boiling blood bubbled..."
Throughout the poem the reader sees the protagonist grow the Odyssey is a journey towards self-discovery, as much as it is a journey home.
The inhabitants are not hostile; however, eating the lotus plant causes Odysseus' men to lose memory and all desire to return home.
Read expert analysis on allusion in The Odyssey. Stanley Lombardo, Hackett 2000 (see bibliography)2 Introduction to Lombardo, pp xviii3 References to Odysseus’ ‘teeming mind’ in Bk. (9.13-14) These are the words of a war veteran and they encapsulate the struggle to contain and understand the painful nature of the past in the poem.
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One's name and reputation are crucial in the Homeric world. Even when he is not occupying the foreground of the narrative, as in the Telemachy, Odysseus provides a centre for the actions and words of those on whom Homer does choose to focus. When Cyclops returns that night, he downs two more men for supper, and Odysseus offers him the skin's contents. (Homeric geography is suspect, but some scholars place this at or near Libya.). When Odysseus states that his "fame has reached the skies" (9.22), he is merely stating fact, identifying himself. Get tips and ideas in OUTLINE. ‘Rosy-fingered dawn’ is perhaps the most obvious of these, while in Book 19 alone, the phrase Odysseus’ ‘teeming mind’ occurs no less than eleven times.3 What can be seen then, is that epithets and repeated lines act as narrative bricks that both punctuate the story and allow it a fluid progression.
The poet frequently applies the term polumêtis to the hero, meaning ‘mêtis in abundance’, and Books 9 and 19 illustrate the repeated application of a variety of epithets, including ‘cunning’ (9.22, 19.640), ‘Son of Laertes’ (9.21, 503, 524 & 19.179, 268, 371), ‘god-like’ (19.234, 293), and ‘flawless’ (19.355, 499). He is as precise in preparation as he is forceful in action.However, one might question the moral certitude of the test in Book 19. The narrative then jumps back an entire decade as he proceeds to tell of his encounters with the Cicones, the Lotus-Eaters, and Polyphemus.
Importantly, Polyphemus’ bastardisation of guest-friendship resonates with the later transgressions of the Suitors, who devour the wealth of their host’s household and react with aggression towards anyone they consider to be a beggar. Narrative techniques such as irony, viewpoints, epithets and similes serve to augment a whole spectrum of issues from hospitality and identity, to morality and loyalty. For instance, Book 9 explores the conventions of hospitality and civility through a contrast between the Phaeacians and the Cyclopes.
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When the giant passes out, the Greeks immediately seize their opportunity and grind the lance into the Cyclops' single eye, blinding him. This is not to say that Odysseus and his men are free of blame they enter the cave uninvited, quite happily feast on his stocks, then blind their host and make off with his flock. |
The retelling of the story in Book 19 is more than simply narrative repetition. Using the Greek's voice to direct his aim, Polyphemus hurls giant boulders after the ship, barely missing. It is during this episode that Odysseus' judgment comes into question. He thinks the Cyclops ‘a savage with no sense of right and wrong’ (9.206), but the paradox here is that right and wrong are themselves equivocal. Many critics see Odysseus' wanderings as a series of trials or tests through which the hero attains a certain wisdom and prepares to be a great king as well as a great warrior. If Odysseus is to survive, he must ultimately become wise as well as courageous and shrewd. © 2020 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.