Multilectual Daily Online Magazine focusing on World Architecture, Travel, Photography, Interior Design, Vintage and Contemporary Fiction, Political cartoons, Craft Beer, All things Espresso, International coffee/ cafe's, occasional centrist politics and San Diego's Historic North Park by award-winning journalist Tom Shess
Sunday, May 28, 2017
SUNDAY REVIEW / ODYSSEUS OUT TAKES
ODYSSEUS AND PENELOPE
Greek mythology is like a convoluted
dream with a cast of thousands.One such
story is that of Odysseus.We all know
Odysseus as the wandering hero of Homer’s Odyssey and Iliad epics.
know the back story and how life was for Odysseus outside of Homer’s
epics.It’s an exhausting story.Thanks to www.greekmythology.com for
bringing this literature to the public domain.
Odysseus was the son of Laertes and Anticlea, and is well known as an eloquent
speaker, ingenious and cunning. Before the Trojan War started, Odysseus was one
of the suitors that wanted to marry Helen, step-daughter of king Tyndareus of
Sparta. However, the suitors were many and there didn't seem to be a way to
solve who the husband would be. Odysseus told Tyndareus that he would provide a
solution if he helped him marry Tyndareus' niece, Penelope.
agreed and Odysseus proposed to draw straws. Before that, though, he made
everyone swear an oath that they would all support the husband and wife in any
ill fate that they might face in the future. As a result, Menelaus drew the
lucky straw, while Odysseus married Penelope.
Helen's abduction by Prince Paris of Troy, all suitors were summoned to help
Menelaus in his quest to bring her back. Odysseus did not want to join the
expedition, for an oracle had informed him that if he participated, it would
take him a long time to return home. So, he decided to feign madness by
harnessing a donkey and an ox to a plough and sowing salt on a field.
did not believe that Odysseus was actually mad, so he put Odysseus' baby boy
Telemachus in front of the plough; Odysseus immediately changed course, thus
exposing his plan. For this reason, Odysseus always had a grudge against
Palamedes since then.
Odysseus' plan was foiled, they all tried to recruit the hero Achilles, as an
oracle said that the Trojan War would be won only if Achilles joined. Before
they reached the island of Scyros where Achilles lived, his mother Thetis
disguised him as a woman, because of another prophecy that said Achilles would
either live a long, peaceful life, or have a glorious death while young.
made a plan to find out who Achilles was, among the women; he laid various
weapons on a table, and Achilles was the only one who showed real interest in
them. Odysseus then sounded a battle horn, and Achilles instinctively picked up
a weapon ready to fight. As a result, Achilles joined in.
Greeks reached Troy and the war started, Odysseus played a particularly
influential role as a strategist and advisor. He was the main character who
maintained the morale of the Greeks in a high level, and managed to prevent
Agamemnon from withdrawing from the war.
managed to appease Achilles' rage when Patroclus was slain. However, holding a
grudge against Palamedes, it seems that Odysseus played a role in his demise;
some versions say that Odysseus made a plan to expose Palamedes as a traitor
and was stoned to death.
another version, Odysseus and Diomedes told Palamedes to descend a well because
of a treasure that was supposedly hidden there; when Palamedes reached the
bottom of the well, the two men buried him inside.
most famous in the war for his contribution to create the Trojan Horse, a huge
wooden horse that was supposed to be a gift to the Trojans by the retreating
Greeks. The Trojans accepted the gift joyfully and started celebrating around
it. When the night fell and everyone was drunk, the Greek warriors, who had
hidden in the hollow body of the horse, revealed themselves and slew the
Trojans, winning the war.
Trojan War, Odysseus made a ten-year journey to reach his home, Ithaca; his
adventures were recounted in the epic Odyssey. On his way home, storms led
Odysseus' ships to the island of the Cyclops Polyphemus, who started eating the
crew of the ships.
managed to trick Polyphemus and along with his companions, blinded the Cyclops.
Before they left, though, he did the mistake of revealing his identity to
Polyphemus, who then told his father, the god Poseidon; this had a major impact
on the hero's travel, as the god sent rough seas throughout the journey.
then reached the island of the god of winds, Aeolus, who put all winds except
the west wind in a bag and gave the bag to Odysseus. As a result, the west wind
blew the ships all the way to Ithaca. However, just before they reached the
shore, Odysseus' companions took the bag of winds from Odysseus, and thinking
it contained gold, opened it and released all of the winds. The ships were
blown away from the island, back to where they had started. Aeolus did not accept to help them again, and
They went to
the island of the Laestrygonians, a cannibalistic tribe that ate all of the
crew, except that of Odysseus' ship. They quickly left the island and reached
that of the witch Circe. She turned Odysseus' companions into pigs, but
Odysseus, who had been given a magical herb by Hermes, resisted her witchcraft.
Circe fell in love with Odysseus and transformed the pigs back into men. After
they stayed on the island for one year, they left to continue their voyage.
the western edge of the world, where Odysseus took advice from the spirit of
the prophet Teiresias, and later encountered his mother's spirit, who told him
that back home, his wife Penelope was being surrounded by potential suitors.
returned to Circe's island, who advised them on how to continue; they managed
to avoid the Sirens, as well as the monsters Scylla and Charybdis.
island of Thrinacia, Odysseus disregarded the advice of Teiresias and Circe,
and caught the cattle of the sun god Helios. Helios, enraged, demanded that
Zeus punish them, or he would make the sun shine in the Underworld.
by causing a shipwreck in which only Odysseus survived. He reached the island
of Ogygia, where the witch Calypso kept him captive for seven years, before
Hermes intervened and released the hero.
then reached the island of the Phaeacians (the modern day island of Corfu), who
helped him reach his destination. He reached Ithaca late at night, and he was
disguised by Athena as a beggar in order to learn what had happened during his
absence. Penelope, his wife, had just announced that she would marry the person
who was able to string his husband's bow and then shoot an arrow through twelve
that this was impossible to do for everyone except her husband. None of the
suitors managed to do it, but Odysseus still in disguise completed the
challenge and revealed himself; helped by his son Telemachus, he slew the
not believe that it was her husband but instead a god in disguise. To believe
him, she asked him to move their bed to another room. Odysseus said that this
was impossible, as he had made the bed and knew that one of the legs was a
living olive tree.
the son of Odysseus and Circe, Telegonus, reached adulthood and wanted to meet
his father. He went to Ithaca, but as he reached the shore, he killed some
sheep as he was hungry. Odysseus went and fought with him, not knowing who the
other person was.
Odysseus was eventually killed by Telegonus.
Telegonus took Penelope and Telemachus to the island of Circe, where she made