Book Review of the Odyssey by Homer

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 118
  • Published : February 5, 2007
Open Document
Text Preview
Book Review: The Odyssey by Homer
Written by a blind man, Melesigenes better known as Homer, and translated by Alexander Pope, the Odyssey of Homer is a poem about the life of the king of Ithaca, Ulysses, who leaves to fight in the Trojan War, but he doesn't return until 20 years. According to Professor P. Landow, Ulysses is a great athlete and great warrior, heroic, courageous, eloquent, and masterful, and at the same time, he I pious (Landow). In those twenty years trying to get back home, he goes through many adventures including "the angry god Poseidon and the one-eyed Cyclops who try to destroy him, the seduced Sirens with their sweet song who tempt him away from his quest, and the intoxication with Circe captures him through her exotic magic."(Ostrow: B21) During his absent, Penelope, his loving wife, is faithful to Ulysses, but the suitors of Ithaca try to force her to marry one of them. Ulysses's son Telemachus wants to protect his mother by throwing the suitors out, but he's too young. Pallas , daughter of Zeus, tries to help Telemachus by disguising herself as Mentor, a old friend of Ulysses, and tells Telemachus to have a meeting to get the suitors to leave, but it fails. Pallas then tells Telemachus to set sail to see Nestor, King of Pylos, and Menelaus, King of Sparto. At Pylos, Nestor didn't have much to say about Ulysses. He just said that he last saw Ulysses after the war. He advises them to sail to Sparta for more information with Nestors's son Pisistratus to talk to Menelaus, King of Sparta and Ulysses's friend. They arrived at Sparta, and Menelaus tells Telemachus that Ulysses was alive and was being held by Calypso, a sea-nymph who holds Ulysses on her island for seven years. While Telemachus is gone, the suitors are having a little fun too. They plan to destroy his ship when he returns to Ithaca.The gods hold a meeting at Mount Olympus without Neptune, god of the sea. Pallas asks Zeus to send Hermes, messenger of the gods, to let Odysseus free of Calypso. Calypso obeys Zeus by letting him go. Ulysses builds a vessel and sets sail, but he runs into his first trouble, Neptune, who wrecks his ship and nearly kills Ulysses. Lencothea, a sea goddess, rescues him. He arrives at Phaeacia, where he meets Nausicaa, daughter of Alcinous, King of Phaeacia, while she is washing clothes. Pallas, disguised as a young virgin, meets him and shows him to the palace of King Alcinous and Queen Arete. Ulysses tells them about all of his adventures, which is what most of the book is about. After winning the war in Troy, Ulysses and his men sail to the land of the Cicons, where they destroy the Cicons, and vice versus. They sail through a terrible storm, and they reach the land of the Lotus, which is "divine nectareous juice" from plants, and when three of Ulysses's men drank it, they lose their memory (Homer: 152). Next, they land on the land of the Cyclops, one eyed giants who raise sheep. They reach a large cave, Polyphemus's home, and when he sees the men, he eats two of them and covers the doorway with an enormous rock that only he could move. The next morning, he eats two more men, and while her sleeps, the men stabs the one eyed monster in his eye during with a stick on fire. He awakens and asks the men who hurt him. Odysseus replies that it was nobody that stabbed him. The Cyclop then tells them that his father is Neptune, god of the sea, and he removes the rock. As the men leave, Ulysses yells out that his name is Odysseus not nobody. This incident with Polyphemus causes drama between Ulysses and Neptune. They leave there, and arrive at the island of AEolus, god of the winds. He gives Odysseus and his men a bag of winds that contained all the winds that would stop them from getting home, but the nosy men opens the bag when they were almost home, which sent them right back to Aeolus. He refused to help them any farther. After six days and nights they arrived at the land of the Laestrygonians, who sinks all the...
tracking img