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Presentation on theme: "Homer."— Presentation transcript:

1 Homer

2 The Man Lived in Pre-Classical Period of Greek History and Culture
Wrote of myth and folklore passed down through the oral tradition, beginning eight to ten centuries before his own birth. Herodotus estimated that he lived around 850 B.C.E. Thought to be blind, but describes events as a man of sight

3 The Greek World of Homer

4 Greek Society of Homer’s World
The political and economic systems of Homeric Greece were far less developed than in the later well-known Classical period of ancient Greece. Greece was not Greece. No one nation of Greeks. They did not refer to themselves as Greeks. InThe Iliad and in The Odyssey Homer denominates this group of distinct people as Achaeans, Argives, and Danaans. These people were only linked to each other by the relationships of the city- states that shared the same language--with varying dialects. Homeric Greece was a tribal society controlled by a ruling class known as basileis, whose responsibilities constituted those of a king, general, and judge, with certain religious duties as well.

5 Oral Tradition to Written Tradition
Epic Poetry was sung by Rhapsodes in oral form in more complete versions up until 725 B.C.E. In 750 B.C.E., the Greek alphabet is established and epic poems are written down. -Epic Poetry and the Cycle of Ethics (later lost) are written under the umbrella of the Trojan War. -Nine Epics or the “Epic Cycle” describe heroes, Greek tradition, and the history of the Trojan War. Seven are lost. -Historian / Philosopher Proclus summarized the lost epics. The Odyssey and The Oresteia are both the most important. They are Nostoi Myths – returns

6 Characteristics of the Hero
The hero is introduced in the midst of turmoil The hero was a warrior, leader, and/or speaker Must undertake a long, perilous journey Journey usually takes the hero into the Neukeia or the Greek Underworld. Test of courage, cunning, endurance

7 Characteristics of the Hero Continued
Often has group of followers, commitatus He alone among them will attempt a task none other will undertake. Three key heroes were Achilles, Odysseus, and the Trojan Aeneis

8 Epic Hero – Moral Exemplar
Possesses qualities most valued by his race In epic poetry, hero has stock phrases that exemplify his best qualities: -Resourceful Odysseus -Swift-footed Achilles -Pious Aeneas

9 The Iliad Comprised of 53 Days Unifying Theme – Code of the Warrior
Homer writes it as a negative reaction to Warrior Culture When a warrior is wounded a story is then given on them and their exploits Honor - how does one achieve it? Achilles gets angry because he loses honor, fights to achieve it, and be rewarded in this lifetime. Killing Priam’s son, avenges best friend’s death; gets nothing and then realizes he did it for honor. Realizes by Priam’s entreaty over his dead son that he is closer to humanity than divine. What is honor (external) to something you feel inside (internal) – end of The Iliad

10 The Odyssey Starts out with religious reference, cementing place of Greek Pantheon of Gods, place in Greek life Gods mirror mortals (in appearance, values, emotions) All life is suffering, then you gain knowledge Shame Culture shown through Odysseus’ return and the sins that are committed by mortals against the Gods.

11 The Odyssey Religious in tone, sins committed by mortals show irreverence toward the Gods Fame / Glory is what all Heroes seek, Odysseus is primary in example Patriarchical society, on every level always a reference to the father

12 Important Themes of The Odyssey
Religion – Pantheon of Olympian Gods rules over the world; everything comes from the Gods. All peoples worshiped the Pantheon. Hospitality – throughout Greek world any guest in your home you are bound by tradition and convention to feed, clothe, and house them Dike -“expresses a fundamental, natural principle, enforced by necessity, on the grandest possible scale. The principle is balance, and its enforcement takes the form of retribution to redress imbalance.” Glory – all Greek heroes and people in general sought to achieve glory in a mortal life. Win fame by achievement in war CULTURAL MAXIM Honor - internal/external concept; expected externally usually through battle, discovered internally through victory, moral action Fates/Furies - Chthonic forces coming from the earth seeking kindred blood; Knowledge through Suffering

13 Chthonic / Olympian Chthonic Forces are embodied in
The Odyssey through the Furies like the Cyclops (and perhaps the Lotus Eaters). They are the spirits of the underworld left over from the Pre-Olympian World ruled by the Titans. Zeus and his brother Poseidon ( Odysseus‘ chief nemesis) wrested control of the world from them, thus sit atop of the Olympian order of Gods and the Greek World

14 Homer – The Narrator Simile characterizes Homeric Art
Never takes sides A reluctant narrator, uses myth and folklore and has characters drive the narrative

15 Odysseus Fought in the Trojan War Tests People, uses Trickery
Invented the idea of the Trojan Horse A large horse that he and his men built and use to infiltrate and take Troy, hiding themselves inside of it The Greek Fleet left the beaches in front of Troy, the Trojans believed it was an offering from the Gods and brought inside the city After a day and night of feasting, believing they had won the 10 year war; the Greeks snuck out of the large wooden horse, opened the gates to the city letting in the Greek army, which subsequently destroyed the city, and enslaved the Trojan people.

16 Odysseus Polytropos – Man of Many Ways
Gods (both Zeus and Poseidon) are angry with the Greeks “’Oh for shame, how the mortals put the blame upon us/ gods, for they say evils come from us, but it is they, rather,/ who by their own recklessness win sorrow beyond what is given” (32-35) [Fallibility of Humankind / Role of Fate] Specifics Zeus Speaks of follow: Sacking of Troy Death of his Companions Death of Helio’s Cattle “But when in the circling of the years that very year came/ in which the gods had spun for him in his time of homecoming/ to Ithaka

17 Nostoi – The Odyssey The Return of Odysseus Book I
Poseidon The Dispersion establishes the link between the gods and mortals. Establishes the religious tone of the poem. Shows the mirror that exists between the Pantheon of Gods and humankind. Gods have human emotions / motivations [Anger-Revenge] Briefly summarizes Odysseus is in the middle of his return home from the war. Currently, imprisoned for years on the island of Calypso. Poseidon is the god most angry therefore making him his principal enemy preventing him from returning to Ithaca. Athena intervenes on Odysseus’ behalf

18 Nostoi – The Odyssey The Return of Odysseus Book I
Athena is sympathetic to his trials and tribulations, “’Son of Kronos, our father, On Ithaca, suitors for the hand of Penelope, Odysseus’ wife, have taken over his household. They seek to win her hand in marriage after she accepts that he has died/is not coming home. Son Telemachos tries to assert his place as head of household. Gods feel what suitors are doing in wrong. First six books of The Odyssey are often called the Telemahia

19 Identity Statements – Book 1
“far and near / friends knew this house; for he whose home it was / had much acquaintance in the world.” ( ) “Well, I forecast for you, as the gods / put the strong feeling in me – I see it all, / and I’m no prophet, no adept in bird– signs./ He will not, now, be long away from Ithaka,/ his father’s dear land; though he be in chains/ he’ll scheme a way to come; he can do anything.” ( ) “Were his death known, I could not feel such pain-- / if he had died of wounds in Trojan country / or in the arms of friends, after the war./ They would have made a tomb for him, the Akhaians,/ and I should have all honor as his son./ Instead, the whirlwinds got him, and no glory/ He’s gone, no sign, no word for him; and I inherit/ trouble and tears - - and not for him alone,/ the gods have laid such other burdens on me. ( )

20 Book II Athena speaks to Telemachos. Prophesizes Odysseus’ return.
“Hear me, Ithakans! Hear what I have to say,/ and may I hope to open the suitors’ eyes / to the black towering above them. Odysseus / will not be absent from his family long:/ he is already near, carrying in him/ a bloody doom for all these men, and sorrow/ for many more on our high seamark, Ithaka. ( ) Telemachos develops plan to venture to Pylos to find word of his father, Odysseus from Nestor. Suitors develop a plan to kill Telemachos but fail. Athena intervenes disguising herself as Telemachos, gathers sailors to crew a ship for his voyage. Athena puts the suitors to sleep so Telemachos and his crew can make their escape by his “black ship.” “Now they made all secure in the fast ship,/ and, setting out the winebowls all a-brim,/ they made libation to the gods,’/ The udying, the ever-new,/ most of all to the grey-eyed daughter of Zeus.” ( ) Throughout the poem, Odysseus and Telemakhos are compared. This is the basis of the father/son archetype. “You’ll never be fainthearted or a fool,/ Telemakhos, if you have your father’s spirit;” ( ) “The son is rare who measures with his father,/ and one in a thousand is a better man,/ but you will have the sap and wit/ and prudence– for you get that from Odysseus–” ( )

21 Book III Nestor tells of the aftermath of the Trojan War
Half want to stay, half want to go. Agamemnon as “shepherd of the people” keeps half, Odysseus and Menelaos depart with the other half. Odysseus disagrees with Menelaos and returns to Agamemnon. Nestor with the other half of Agamemnon’s men and Menelaos made their safe return home. Nestor tells Telemakhos avenging his father against suitors for Penelope is the proper course of action. Sequence at the end of the book emphasizes the proper method of making sacrifice to the gods, but shows Odysseus made this sacrifice and Agamemnon did not Nestor’s son Peisistratos departs with Telemachos They set out for Menelaos’ palace in Sparta.

22 Book III – Nestor Speaks
“Think: we were there nine years, and we tried everything,/ all stratagems against them,/ up to the bitter end that Zeus begrudged us./ And as to stratagems, no man would claim/ Odysseus’ gift for those. He had no rivals,/ your father, at the tricks of war./ Your father?/ Well, I must say I marvel at the sight of you:/ your manner of speech couldn’t be more like his;/ one would say No; no boy could speak so well./ And all that time at Ilion, he and I/ were never at odds in council or assembly-- ” ( )

23 Book III – Nestor Speaks
“my dear friend, now that you speak of it,/ I hear a crowd of suitors for your mother/ lives with you, uninvited, making trouble./ Now tell me how you take this. Do the people/ side against you, hearkening to some oracle?/…If grey-eyed Athena loved you/ the way she did Odysseus in the old days,/ in Troy country,/ where we all went through so much– / never have I seen the gods help any man/ as openly as Athena did your father–/ well, as I say, if she cared for you that way,/ there would be those to quit this marriage game.” ( )

24 Book III – Nestor Speaks
“That day Lord Menelaos of the great war cry/ made port with all the gold his ships could carry./ And this should give you pause, my son:/ don’t stay too long away from home, leaving/ your treasure there, and brazen suitors near;/ they’ll squander all you have or take it from you,/ and then how will your journey serve?/ I urge you though, to call on Menelaos,/ he being but lately home from distant parts/ in the wide world./ A man could well despair/ of getting home at all, if the winds blew him/ over the Great South Sea– the weary waste, even the wintering birds delay” ( )

25 Book IV Stops the flow of the narrative to make it more interesting.
Menelaos has sent his daughter Hermione to be married to Achilles. Menelaos recognizes Peisistratos and Telemachos as the “breed of Zeus.” Their physical stature reveals their inner quality. Menelaos tells of his own wanderings during his return (Nostoi). Menelaos weeps for Odysseus, his father Laertes and wife Penelope. Menelaos’ wife Helen joins the feast putting heartsease into everyone’s wine to make them forget sorrow. She then relates how Odysseus snuck into Troy as a beggar in disguise and he disclosed to her the Argives purpose. Myth #1 Helen switches sides. Myth #2 Helen walked around the Trojan horse and called out. Menelaos and the son of Tydeus almost went out but Odysseus held both back and the Trojan Horse was a success; it won the war for the Argives.

26 Book IV Telemachos tells Menelaos of the suitors and his dilemma on Ithaca. Menelaos tells Telemachos all he knows from his Nostoi and his own odyssey. Proteus, a shape-shifter , Poseidon’s underling (reflection of the audience), is captured by Menelaos and his men with the aid of Eidothea, his daughter. Proteus tells Menelaos: to return to Egypt and make hecatombs (sacrifices) for the gods and then he may return home. that Aias cursed Athena and was killed by Poseidon. that Odysseus is being held by Kalypso. The suitors learn of Telemachos’ voyage. Medon the herald tells Penelope of the suitors’ plans to kill Telemachos upon his return. Athene appears in a dark dream to Penelope and gives her confidence that Odysseus will return. Book ends with Suitors waiting in ambush. Action is continued in Book 13

27 Book IV – Menelaos Speaks
“young friends, no mortal man can vie with Zeus./ His home and all his treasures are foe ever./ But as for me, it may be the few/ have more than I. How painfully I wandered/ before I brought it home! Seven years at sea,/ Kypros, Phoinikia, Egypt, and still farther” (84-89) “My dear, I see the likeness as well as you do./ Odysseus’ hands and feet were like this boy’s;/ his head, and hair, and the glinting of his eyes./ Not only that, but when I spoke, just now,/ of Odysseus’ years of toil on my behalf/ and all he had to endure– the boy broke down/ and wept in his cloak.” ( )

28 Book IV – Menelaos Speaks
“But now it entered Helen’s mind/ to drop in the wine that they were drinking/ an anodyne, mild magic of forgetfulness./ Whoever drank this mixture in the wine bowl/ would be incapable of tears that day/…The opiate of Zeus’s daughter bore/ this uncanny power.” ( ) “During my first try at a passage homeward/ for the gods detained me, tied me down to Egypt--/ for I have been too scant in hekatombs,/ and gods will have the rules each time remembered.” ( )

29 Book IV – Menelaos Speaks
“Now not much time went by before Penelope/ learned what was afoot among the suitors./ Medon the crier told her. He had been/ outside the wall, and heard them in the court/ conspiring. Into the house and up the stairs/ he ran to her with the news upon his tongue-- / but at the door Penelope met him, crying” ( ) “Meanwhile the suitors had got under way,/ planning the death plunge for Telemakhos./ Between the Isles of Ithaka and Same/ the sea is broken by an islet, Asteris,/ with access to both channels from a cove./ In ambush here that night the Akhaians lay.” ( )

30 Book V Olympian Assembly Athene speaks to Zeus to intervene to bring
Odysseus home, and thwart the ambush the suitors have set for Telemachos. Zeus decrees that it is fate that these things will happen. Hermes is sent to Ogygia and tells Kalypso to let Odysseus go. Kalypso tells Odysseus of his fate (V ) offers him immortal life. He refuses. Odysseus builds a broad raft with ax and auger that Kalypso gives him in five days. Poseidon has been away in the Aithiopians’ land. When he returns he sees Zeus’ plan, and Kallypso has released and aided Odysseus. He stirs the seas and crushes Odysseus’ raft. Odysseus is first rescued by Leukothea. Then, guided by Athena he swims and is delivered to island of Phaiakians.

31 Book V – Kalypso and the Open sea
“Hermes, you have much practice on our missions,/ go make it known to the softly-braided nymph/ that we, whose will is not subject to error,/ order Odysseus home; let him depart./ But let him have no company, gods or men,/ only a raft that he must lash together,/ and after twenty days, worn out at sea,/ he shall make land upon the garden isle,/ Skheria, of our kinsmen, the Phaiakians./ Let these men take him to their hearts in honor/ and berth him in a ship, and send him home,/ with gifts of garments, gold, and bronze– / so much he had not counted on from Troy/ could he have carried home his share of plunder./ His destiny is to see his friends again/ under his roof, in his father’s country.” (32-47)

32 Book V - Kalypso and the Open sea
“Son of Laertes, versatile Odysseus,/ after these years with me, you still desire/ your old home? Even so, I wish you well./ If you could see it all, before you go– / all the adversity you face at sea– / you would stay here, and guard this house, and be/ immortal– though you wanted her forever,/ that bride for whom you pine each day./ Can I be less desirable than she is?/ Less interesting? Less beautiful? Can mortals/ compare with goddesses in grace and form?” ( )

33 Book VI Stays a few weeks on the island of the Phaiakians
Meets second female Nausikaa daughter of Alkinoos on island. Establishes Patriarchical framework of Greek World [Men - Polis / Women – Okaos] Juxtaposes the place of power of women with that of men. Reemphasizes hospitality Fortifies Odysseus despite the embarrassment and fear he holds due to nakedness in front of Nausikaa and her attendants. Bid to go to a grove of poplars and pray to Zeus. Then go to the house of Alkinoos where his course of action will be laid out to him.

34 Book VII Athena appears to Odysseus as a young girl and guides him to
Alkinoos’ palace Odysseus doesn’t reveal himself to Alkinoos and his queen Arete. Eats dinner with them, and tells them of his trials and tribulations but not who he is. Alkinoos expresses adage “always moderation is better.” Tries, as everyone else does, to get Odysseus to stay and marry Nausikaa. He refuses. Given a bed and goes to sleep.

35 Book VIII Reinforces the idea of the Herald /prophet as blind –
internal sight exterior blindness Odysseus is compelled to compete in the games and excels. Upon completion of games, Odysseus asks the herald to tell the tale of the Argives in the Trojan War. He cries as the tale is told. Episode is characterization of Odysseus. Audience is compelled to ask, “why does he cry?” Also, “what did the Trojan War achieve? What does the Warrior society of the age accomplish?” May be an attack on warrior culture

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