Posts Tagged by Odyssey
|July 21, 2017||By Gregory Nagy listed under Homer commentary|
2017.07.19 | By Gregory Nagy
In Rhapsody 18, Odysseus as a make-believe beggar is challenged by a most questionable character named Iros, who figures as a real beggar. What makes Iros so questionable is his similarity to characters who figure in a poetic form that can best be described as mock epic.
|July 14, 2017||By Gregory Nagy listed under Homer commentary|
2017.07.14 | By Gregory Nagy
Back in Rhapsody 16, Eumaios the swineherd had left behind in his shelter an unrecognized Odysseus and had gone off to the palace in order to contact Penelope; in the swineherd’s absence, Telemachus, left alone with Odysseus, could now get to see his father transformed into an idealized godlike hero, made visible through a luminous epiphany produced by the sacred wand of the goddess Athena. This way, Telemachus could recognize the true Odysseus. But this true hero must not yet be recognized by the returning Eumaios. So, before the swineherd had ever made his return from the palace to the shelter, Athena had already produced a reverse transformation of Odysseus, and the hero could thus revert to his disguise as a lowly beggar. Now, at the beginning of Rhapsody 17, Odysseus can ready himself to go off to the palace in order to engage the suitors as a beggar, thus testing them. The testing will clearly reveal that all the suitors, down to the last man, are morally debased on the inside while seeming to be noble on the outside. Odysseus, in his degraded state as an elderly beggar, is matched by the degradation of his beloved hunting dog Argos, who at least lives long enough to recognize the hero.
|July 7, 2017||By Gregory Nagy listed under Homer commentary|
2017.07.06 | By Gregory Nagy
Odysseus, because of his external appearance as an old beggar, cannot be recognized by his own son Telemachus. To make the recognition happen, the goddess Athena temporarily transforms the father into a young aristocrat. For Telemachus, however, the transformation itself can be read as the epiphany of a god.
|July 4, 2017||By Gregory Nagy listed under Homer commentary|
2017.07.03 | By Gregory Nagy
Now that Odysseus is back home in Ithaca, it is time for his son Telemachus to return home as well. The goddess Athena now travels to Sparta, where she will initiate the return of Telemachus back home to Ithaca.
|June 29, 2017||By Gregory Nagy listed under Homer commentary|
2017.06.29 | By Gregory Nagy
Now that he has finally returned to his homeland of Ithaca, Odysseus must accomplish another kind of return: he must be restored to kingship. Such a restoration, however, must start from the bottom up. The goddess Athena, his ultimate benefactor but occasional antagonist, has made Odysseus seem to be base on the outside, hiding his inner moral nobility. Only those who are likewise morally noble will be able to read, as it were, the hero’s true nature. Meanwhile, the coded tales told by Odysseus point toward the truth of his kingship—without revealing it outright. A telling example here in Rhapsody 14 is the second Cretan tale told by Odysseus: it is about a Cretan princeling, not unlike the dapper figure we see in the romanticized restoration of a Minoan fresco as featured in the cover-illustration for Rhapsody 14.
|June 23, 2017||By Gregory Nagy listed under Homer commentary|
2017.06.22 | By Gregory Nagy
The storytelling of Odysseus has come to an end, and he will now be sent home to Ithaca by his hosts, Alkinoos and the Phaeacians. Sailing through the night in a ship provided by king Alkinoos, Odysseus is in a deep sleep, which is compared to death itself. At the precise moment when the ship reaches the shores of his homeland, Ithaca, Odysseus will ‘come to’, experiencing a mystical return to light and life.