“The wind that carried west from Ilium brought me to Ismarus, on the far shore, a strongpoint on the coast of the Cicones.”

Tonight, please read pp. 981-985 in your green Prentice Hall Literature textbook.

Then, respond.   Some questions to consider for your response are:

  • Who is the speaker and whom is he addressing?  What is the occasion?  What is the speaker’s purpose and what is his tone?
  • What lessons can be learned from the adventure with the Cicones and the Lotus Eaters?
  • What connections can you make between these events and central ideas or themes of The Odyssey overall?

As always follow the rules of standard English grammar, punctuation, and spelling in your writing.  Also, be sure to respond to at least one other comment in this thread.

Mythology blog #6

37 thoughts on ““The wind that carried west from Ilium brought me to Ismarus, on the far shore, a strongpoint on the coast of the Cicones.”

  1. After reading Part 1: The Adventures of Odysseus, in our green Prentice Hall Literature Textbook, we experience Odysseus go through two specific adventures on his journey home. First, the author, Homer (this version was translated by Robert Fitzgerald), starts of with an introduction. He states, “Sing in me, Muse, and through me tell the story/ of that man skilled in all ways of contending/the wanderer,” (page 981). In the introduction, the narrator seems to give a look into Odysseus as a character, as well as some background on his adventures in, and coming back from, Troy. The narrator in these first few paragraphs seems to be Homer himself. It looks as if he is talking directly to one of the Muses, or a goddess, about the adventures of our hero, Odysseus. His purpose, to me, is to inform his audience, and his audience could be as diverse as commoners, to a kings court in Ancient Greece. The tone, however, is certain. Homer’s tone seems to be one of remembrance. He is, after all, remembering the deeds of Odysseus, who went on a multitude of escapades on his journey home. He also seems to be, as I put it in class, somber. He highlights the tragedies of Odysseus’ journey, how all of his crew but him were killed on the journey back to Ithaca. Homer then tells two tales from from the Odyssey, the first being that of the land of Cicones. After sailing from Troy, we learn that Odysseus lands on the land of Cicones. After doing battle with a small force from the island, Odysseus urges his men back onto his boats, trying to get away as fast as possible. He knows that if they stay, his men may become overwhelmed by reinforcements. His men don’t listen, and unfortunately, “they came with dawn over the terrain like the leaves/ and blades of spring. So doom appeared to us,/ dark word of Zeus for us, our evil days.” (page 984). A message I received from this portion of the text was to always be alert and ready. Odysseus, because he was alert and ready, was able to escape with some of his other men, but because some of his men were unprepared, they were killed. The second story deals with the land of the Lotus-Eaters, and after once Odysseus lands on the island, he realizes that something is wrong. While some of his men try the Lotus lower to eat, they forget of their longing for home and want to stay on the island forever. Odysseus forces them back onto the boats and they depart once again. A moral from this tale would be one of staying focused. The men, because they ate the plant, lost their main focus of getting home. Yet, Odysseus once again comes to their aid, allowing the group to continue their long journey home. I found these two stories to be interesting and they gave me a deeper look into the character of Odysseus. Going into the next adventures, I hope to discover more of his character and how it will aid him in his quest home.

    • Very good analysis of Homer’s perspective and purpose for telling the story. I like how you described it as somber, and how it should have a tinge of nostalgia. I also liked the lessons you noticed from the stories, especially they were morals that I hadn’t come up with. Good work, Matt!

  2. The speaker in the story we read was the author of “The Odyssey,” Homer. He is addressing a muse, to tell him the epic of Odysseus. I think that the occasion could be that Homer wants to be enlightened, perhaps. I also assume that Homer is being told this story years after it had taken place. The purpose, as we discussed in class, is to inspire the listener. The idea of “The Odyssey” is returning home, and the journey and development the protagonist goes through. Odysseus made it his duty to bring his shipmates home as well. It was never his goal to be a hero, however, he planned to survive for his family, and for his friends. It wasn’t a selfish mission, where only Odysseus would benefit, because Odysseus traveled home with his family in mind, and his friend’s lives. This gives the lesson of moral- correctness, and how being generous, selfless, and brave are the greatest traits a human can have. The adventure with the lotus-eaters and Cicones has a lesson of being aware, and being a leader to help others is very important. Odysseus warned others to get on the ship to escape, but they were being careless and did not listen, therefore they barely escaped the island. The lotus-eaters appeared to be kind people, offering the crew flowers to eat. However, the plants became addictive to the men who ate them, and so they stayed on the island and they forgot about their homes and the mission. The lesson here is to not give into pressure, and that you cannot stray from the path that will get you where you want to go. Odysseus displays being ambition and stubborn to get what he wants, and he wants the best for him and his crew. The lessons from “The Odyssey” are one that are still very important today.

    • Great job! I like the way you interpreted their experience to show that you shouldn’t give in to pressure because it might get you stuck in a nasty situation. Keep up the great work! 🙂

    • I love how you added that Odeyessus didn’t mean to become “famous”. He wasn’t selfish at all which I think a lot of people were missing last night when talking about soilders dying a hero or surviving and not being remembered. Soilders don’t go to battle to become heroes, they do it because its what they think is right- which also ties into our overall theme of this year of the “moral universe”.

  3. In the first few pages of The Odyssey, Odysseus is telling Alcinous his adventures after he set sail home from Troy. Odysseus recalls his encounter with the Cicones and Lotus Eaters. With the Cicones, Odysseus told his men to do all of their business quickly so they could set sail for home faster. In the very beginning lines of the epic, Odysseus is described as a man who only wanted to get himself and his crew home. Odysseus wanted to leave as quickly as possible. His goal wasn’t to conquer other lands or enslave people. All he wanted was to go home. “My men were mutinous, fools, on stores of wine. Sheep after sheep they butchered by the surf, and shambling cattle, feasting,- while fugitives went inland, running to call to arms the main force of Cicones.”(983-984) Odysseus’ men didn’t listen to him, even though he was probably of higher rank than him. This gives us the lesson of listening to your elders and the rules that they make. Rules are there for a reason. They aren’t there so you can ignore them. That is what Odysseus’ crew did, and some of them lost their lives. Odysseus has more experience than his crew and more knowledge and wit. He thought of the Trojan Horse, and was the creator of many brilliant and genius plans. His crew members didn’t listen to his instructions, and look what their price of not listening was! Even though some might think that rules and commands are unfair and too strict, they are to be followed for your own good. Following rules is one of the most important lessons there is, and Odysseus’ crew learned it the hard way.

  4. Tonight we read our first reading of the Odyssey! So far the narrator is the author- Homer. He is telling the story of Odysseus’ return home. First he has an introduction of “Sing in me, Muse, and through me tell the story/ of that man skilled in all ways of contending/the wanderer,” (page 981). To me it seems as if he is saying that it isn’t him telling this story, it is the muse telling it through him. He also gives a bit of insight to Odysseus as a person. He called Odysseus a skilled man, as well as a wanderer. To me a wanderer would be someone lost or someone going around without reason. I don’t think that Homer thought of Odysseus that way, so I wonder why he chose to use the work wanderer. In the paragraphs following the introduction he goes on to explain about some adventures that Odysseus has. The part of the whole reading that interested me most was how Odysseus’ crew died, but Odysseus didn’t, on the way back home. Odysseus didn’t mean for his crew to die, he wanted them to all get back home. What I was thinking about is how in their religion and daily life, the gods control everything, and in the introduction Homer is asking the “Muse” to tell the story of Odysseus through him. If the gods control everything, then why does Odysseus’ crew die? I think this ties into what was being said last night about dying a hero or coming back unremembered. Odysseus didn’t die in battle, he made it back and he was remembered, yet the crew died and they weren’t. I don’t know what this has to do with the story-if it has any meaning, but I found it interesting so I thought I would share.

    • Nice job, Hailey. To answer your question: I agree that the gods control many things in their time period. However, they only took action when it concerned their interests. I think that the gods didn’t do anything simply because they didn’t care that Odysseus’s crew would die.

  5. Many general ideas about the full story of Odysseus are reflected in the first part which we read tonight. The story seems to start off being narrated by Homer, the blind poet who is credited with writing The Odyssey. Then, Homer goes on to start telling the tale of Odysseus, which is full of tragedies and hardship right from the start. After defeating a small force of men, Odysseus tells his men to escape before reinforcements come and kill them all off. Of course, his men do not listen, and when the reinforcements do come, they are overwhelmed and many of them are killed. Odysseus’s men not listening to his commands is a very frequent theme seen throughout the Odyssey. Odysseus cares about his men and want to get them home safely, but is not able to because of their foolishness and incompetence. There is another story told in this reading, which is about the Lotus-Eaters. The people on the island treat them well and welcome them to their home. Therefore, when the Lotus-Eaters offer them some Lotus flowers to eat, the men trust them and happily take the flowers. They taste good, but in the end, they brainwash the ones who ate them to stay on the island forever, instead of going home. Odysseus is forced to tie them down on the ships to get them home, and this is another example of Odysseus’s men getting themselves in trouble. A lesson that can be learned from this story is to never trust anybody that you have just met. Even if they are kind to you and take care of you, you can never be sure of their true intentions or motives.

  6. The Odyssey, by Homer and translated by Robert Fitzgerald, tells the story of Odysseus and his journey home from Troy. The speaker in this epic would be the narrator in the poem or the poet, which would be Homer. In the first lines, Homer asks Muse to help him tell the story of Odysseus. “In the opening verses, Homer addresses the muse of epic poetry. He asks her help in telling the tale of Odysseus.” The occasion could be Homer telling a tale to others or children. Perhaps it’s being told to be passed down to children. Like we discussed in class, the purpose of an author’s writing of epics is to teach meaningful lessons we can take away from or inspire us. In the Odyssey, the tone feels somber and solemn. The story of a hero stranded from home and who must go through recessant death and obstacles just has that feel to it. In the adventures with the Cicones and the Lotus Eaters, a recurring theme to consider would be friendship. When the Achaeans slaughter the sacred cattle and fall to Zeus’s wrath, the survivors mourn the death of their comrades. Throughout all the pain and suffering, everyone bears it together. They all experience the same feeling, but together keep the determination to remain home. At the coastline of the Lotus-Eaters, Odysseus sends his men to scout out. When they are discovered to be completely ignorant of their former goal to come home, Odysseus ties them to the ship and forces them to return. In this way, Odysseus and his men stick together and endure the hardships along the way.

    • I like what you said about how Odysseus’ crew sticks together. However, the cattle the crew destroys now isn’t sacred. At the point when the sacred cattle of the sun-god are destroyed, the sun-god’s wrath leaves no survivors except Odysseus to mourn for the dead.

  7. The reading of the Odyssey part 1 in our Literary textbook opens up some question. The story opens with Homer asking Calliope (The Muse of epic poetry) to tell through him the story of Odysseus. Homer then tells us, in a somber tone, a synopsis of the story before beginning to tell the full story. The Odyssey begins with Odysseus telling his story to a crowd. After leaving Troy in ruins, Odysseus sails toward the island of the Cicones. The Greeks invade the Cicones and steal loot. The crew doesn’t stop there; against Odysseus’ orders, the crew begins to kill livestock and destroy other things. While the livestock was being destroyed, Trojan fugitives were able to get the main army of Cicones to attack the Greeks. The Greeks barely escaped, but with many casualties. “Six benches were left empty in every ship that evening when we pulled away from death. And this new grief we bore with us to see: our precious lives we had, but not our friends.” Odysseus’ crew learned from this lesson that even in war there are some lines that shouldn’t be crossed. The victors get their reward but don’t destroy what you can’t take. Some men cannot be satisfied. After the Greeks sailed away, the next spot they landed on was the island of the Lotus-Eaters. At the island of the Lotus-Eaters Odysseus’ crews’ loyalty are tested. This lesson further shows the disloyalty of Odysseus’ men. Even if the lotus flower is enchanted, Odysseus’ crew clearly doesn’t want to go home as much as we would have originally thought. These events and later events show he disloyalty of Odysseus’ crew. Their disloyalty and inability to obey Odysseus ends up leading to their death. No matter how good of people, this part if the Odyssey shows us we are still tempted by greed and laziness.

    • Good response! No matter what we say or do, there will be greed. It is quite sad, really. They have worked with Odysseus for several years yet they don’t have the ability to obey his orders as they were overfilled with greed and hunger, and honestly, it’s not surprising, as it is just being human.

  8. In Part 1: The Adventures of Odysseus, in our green Prentice Hall Literature Textbook, Odysseus goes through two specific adventures on his journey home. First and foremost, the author is Homer, and he starts off with an introduction stating, “Sing in me, Muse, and through me tell the story/ of that man skilled in all ways of contending/the wanderer,” (page 981). This introduction suggests that the narrator is Homer, and he is talking directly to one of the Muses about the adventures of Odysseus.After defeating a small force or men. Odysseus orders his men to escape before reinforcements come and kill them. The men are ignorant and choose not to listen to Odysseus, resulting in many of their deaths. It is evident that you should always be alert and ready for everything, as well as listen to important advice from respected people. Odysseus managed to escape because he has those skills of being alert, meanwhile, his men died. The second story was about the land of the good old Lotus-Eaters. The Lotus-Eaters offer Odysseus and his men some Lotus flowers, and Odysseus’s men quickly accept. They taste good, but in the end, they brainwash the ones who ate them to stay on the island forever, instead of going home. All of the men lost their focus and were brain dead. The men ate the flowers and lost their desire to achieve their goal of reaching home. Odysseus is forced to tie them down on the ships to get them home, further displaying Odysseus’s men getting themselves in trouble, and Odysseus saving the day. These stories were very interesting and gave me a better perspective on the character of Odysseus. I hope to read more stories and learn more about Odysseus, and how he will continue his quest to return home.

  9. The Adventures of Odysseus tells the tale of Odysseus’s journey home from the Trojan War, and it is told by Homer. “Sing in me, Muse, and through me tell the story of that man skilled in all ways of contending, the wanderer, harried for years on end after he plundered the stronghold on the proud height of Troy,” (page 981 of the LIT textbook). Homer seems to be talking to a muse, or goddess, to help tell the story of Odysseus. The speaker, Homer’s, purpose is to tell the great story of Odysseus to inspire others. The text states, “… to bring his shipmates home,” (page 981 LIT textbook). Odysseus was a selfless and wise man, so this story is a great way to inspire others, and plus, it is a pretty entertaining and exciting story.
    First off, the story of Cicones. Odysseus tells his people that they must focus on their goal, to return home. They will need to act quickly and not get distracted by other things. However, some disobey Odysseus orders. “My men were mutinous, fools, on stores of wine. Sheep after sheep they butchered by the surf, and shambling cattle, feasting,- while fugitives went inland, running to call to arms the main force of Cicones,” (983-984 LIT textbook). They ended up getting killed. This story shows that you must obey the rules and focus on the task at hand. This is how you will get things done, and become successful. Odysseus seems very wise and always has an efficient answer for everything, however, his men don’t seem to respect his thoughts and rules.
    Next, the story of Lotus-Eaters. This is yet another story of the foolishness of Odysseus’s men. When Odysseus and his crew lands on the “coastline of the Lotus-Eaters,” (page 984 LIT textbook), they are greeted with friendly and kind-hearted people. The crewmen were foolish enough to trust them and take the Lotus that they offer. They are suddenly filled with only thoughts of staying on the island, and loses their longing to go home. Odysseus, determined to get his crewmen home, ties them up on the ship. Through this story, we can learn to always think before we act, and to not trust anyone we meet for the first time.

    • Ellie, you did a really good job of analyzing the text, and of providing good evidence to back it up. I agree with you that Odysseus’ men don’t respect him like they should, and they do often display characteristics of foolishness and of being distracted. Great work!

  10. The Odysseus is the story of a hero returning home with his men after a war. The overlying theme here is of victory and a feeling of triumph, well at least it should be. But for these men returning home and Odysseus himself, it reveals a theme of finding yourself and your way home. In part one, Odysseus and his men are stuck going against obstacles that cause him to keep his journey on longer. Homer talks about the muse singing this story to all those will listen because this story will teach others how to go on even when it gets hard. No matter how much the gods put against Odysseus and his men, they kept going on their way and trying what they could to get home to their families. This trait of persistence that comes from The Odyssey is something that for many years continued to be told because it taught the audience a lesson. The speaker of The Odyssey is Homer, and he has written this story with the intention that anyone who listens will learn from the mistakes and triumphs of Odysseus and his men, and the things that they have accomplished together and one their own. He went through hardship, but eventually twenty years later, Odysseus will make it home to where he truly belongs.

    • Good job, Ryan. I liked how you said there was an expected theme of victory, however that theme changes upon looking into the characters and plot of the Odyssey. Great post!

  11. In the first few pages that we read of the “Odyssey” by Homer, the author this epic poem seems to speak of Odysseus’ journey and how he just wanted to get himself and his crew safely home and how they did not listen to him ” But not by will not valor could he save them. For their own recklessness destroyed them all children and fools, they killed and feasted on the cattle of Lord Helios, the Sun.” ( P.981)
    The occasion was most likely a courtroom or banquet hall, maybe In a market of some type. Speakers purpose is to convey certain morals and ideals he has, veiling it In this heroically somber story in order to inspire us. His time is of one full of melancholy, regret and a somber feeling of hope and it’s opposite. The lesson that we can learn from the List Eaters and the Cicones can be from the relationship between the crew and Odysseus. Odysseus tries to get them to listen, not to get caught up in feasting off the butchered ship the crew didn’t have consent to eat off of. Always listen to your leader and be rational. This shows that the scouts Odysseus sent out never came back, and he ended up tying them to the ship while they went crazy from not being able to keep eating the “honey-sweet” flower. These events can be related to and connected to many themes seen throughout “The Odyssey” One of such themes is the theme of loyalty. The crew was not loyal at all, and the shipmates’ fate became horrible. “But on the spot I told them: ‘Back and quickly! Out to sea again!’ My men were mutinous,fools,” (p.983) Faithfulness also comes up. The sorceress Circe captured him, and Calipso did, too, but Odysseus never let go of the image of his family. That seems to be one of the first things introduced to us when starting this epic poem. Overall, analyzing this great text has been very interesting so far.

  12. We only have read a part of the Odyssey, and yet we can already feel the drama. The author, Homer, calls out a Muse to “tell the story of that man skilled in all ways of contending.” Most likely, the muse that he is talking about is the Muse Of Epic Poetry, Calliope, and the man he is talking about is obviously Odysseus. He met many people during his hard days and nights of fighting at sea to save the lives of not only himself but his crew. Alas, their foolishness got them killed when they had feasted on the cattle of Lord Helios. “He who moves all day through heaven took from their eyes the dawn of their return.” This is a sentence I take interest in. In a literate term, since he is the Sun, he could take away sunshine and leave them in the darkness, but I don’t think that is what they meant. Usually, when one dies, people may say that the light just went out of their eyes, saying they are dead. Well, Lord Helios is the sun god, so that just amuses me, pushing the fact that people died. He arrives shortly after Calypso’s island to Alcinous, who offers to give him a ship and asks him to tell his story. He accepts, and in the pages to 985 he talks about his home, the Cicones, and the Lotus- Eaters. Odysseus definitely seemed brave, but I am not sure of how I feel about him. He was idolized as a brave hero who saved or tried to save his comrades in the Trojan War that killed several. Yet, if you think about it, Odysseus played a part in the cause of the Trojan War. He did suggest the idea to protect Helen, so when she was kidnapped, many men including himself were forced to go into the war, even if they didn’t want to. Even if it did increase the number of soldiers in the Greek army, many of those men had been killed and would only have a small chance to reunite in the Underworld with his family. I am surprised that not one person seems to despise Odysseus, even if he was the only one in his crew had gotten back alive. Even Athena helped him when she was angry at the Greeks, as of she favored his life more than hundreds of others. He was helped by royalty, even if he has killed royalty. I am not exactly sure how I feel about Odysseus. Even if the Odyssey was a real event, his story was only spread by none other than himself so it would make sense that the Odyssey speaks of him highly. On my view of him, it is unsteady. Hopefully, it will change as we continue to read on.

  13. In this occasion the speaker is Homer. We can see this, as when he states, “Sing in me Muse, and through me of that Man Skilled in ways of contending…”(Pg 981), he means for the Muse to help him find the story of Odysseus. The Occasion for such a storytelling as this is often that of a king’s banquet, with many Influential people or guests to hear the story. These storytellings often happen wherever the storyteller, in this case, Homer, is at the present time. He, known as a storyteller would be invited to tell a story in the King’s hall for his guests. The tone is hopeful and melancholy. The lesson taught in the story of the Cicones is that of caution. One must be sure and thorough, as well as know the type of people that one deals with. If the men had made sure that the people were that of a warlike race and had made sure the Armies could not have been alerted, then there may not have even been a battle. Similarly, with the story of the Lotus Eaters, one must not deviate from their task. If one does, they will most likely stumble upon something, someone or someplace they care for so much, they forget their original goal. There some themes that connect directly to the Odyssey, such as that of Punishment, Greed, and Desire. In both, we see the gods punishing men, for misdeeds such as eating the cattle of the sun. We see the theme of desire in many places, the general overall theme of desire for a safe return home, men losing their desire at the lotus eaters and, in the Odyssey, the Isle of the Sirens.

  14. For tonight’s reading, we read a small part of the Odyssey by Homer. This epic is all about the soldier Odysseus’s journey home after fighting hard in the Trojan War. The speaker in the reading was the author Homer, and he was addressing one of the Muses. The Muses are a group of mythical ladies that are known for telling stories. The speaker s talking about how they want to know the story of Odysseus, revealing that the story being told is reflecting on the past. The tone is very somber because it is quite obvious the journey home for Odysseus was very hard and sad. “Six benches were left empty in every ship that evening when we pulled away from death. And this new grief we bore with us to see: our precious lives we had, but not our friends.” This quote from the text shows how many men died, and that is just something the men had to deal with. You can learn many lessons from this epic poem, but one thing that struck my mind was bravery. The Odyssey shares the life of brave soldiers who risked their lives for their country, and they had just as many struggles returning home. Homer wanted to share the story of the men who fought in the Trojan War to inform people about events that are happening in life. Even today soldiers are fighting in Afghanistan, and it is important that we try to understand what they go through. I think the theme of heroism is an overall theme in the Odyssey. A hero isn’t somebody who is strong and mighty, it is someone who cares for their men and fights for what they love. That is just what Odysseus does. He tries hard to keep his men safe no matter what, and to me, that is a true hero. I am excited to see what other adventures happen in future readings that could influence the character of Odysseus even more.

  15. In the first few pages, we read the “Odyssey” by Homer. We see many common themes here such as valor or loyalty or leadership. There are countless themes in these few number of pages. One theme that stood out for me was the dedication and persistence Odysseus took and the difference it made for those who didn’t possess this valuable power. “but those who ate this honeyed plant, the Lotus never cared to report, nor to return: they longed to stay forever, browsing on that native bloom, forgetful of their homeland.” Although, drunk on the pleasure of the Lotus, the sailors lost their persistence to go home. They had no desire or energy inside of them willing to go home. However, Odysseus, on the other hand, fought through and and against the wrath of the gods. He continuously goes though each and every delirious and blood thirsty monster only to get to the next step of beating more monsters. After 10 years of his persistence and dedication, he comes to his 20 year old son and his aging wife. Majority of his life he spent in war and struggling to get home. Was it really worth it to be that dedicated when all of his life just went away?

  16. In the first part of The Adventures of Odysseus in our green literature textbook, we are told about some of Odysseus’ adventures. In the story, the author and speaker is Homer. Homer wrote this epic to teach the reader about selflessness and how if you think about others, maybe they would do the same and good will happen to you. The text states, “And this new grief we bore with us to sea: our precious lives we had, but not our friends. No ship made sail next day until some shipmate had raised a cry, three times, for each poor ghost unfleshed by the Cicones on that field.” This shows the respect, selflessness, and how sorrowful the people who survived are. Instead of being only glad for their lives, they were also sad for the families and lives who were hurt. When I heard this I understood the true meaning to real friendships. As we move on to our next chapter in life, we will experience new journeys and meet new people but those who are true friends, we will never forget. I think this is the reason Homer wrote this, to teach not just young kids but everyone that there is still a long way on your journey and you will encounter many things. After Odysseus’ first part to his journey he met a girl who told her father about him and Odysseus became “famous”. In my mind, I never pictured Odysseus someone who did things for the fame, but instead someone who thought of others and then ended up with many people who want to thank him. I guess this just shows how good things happen to good people”. To conclude, there are many lessons we can learn from the Odyssey and we can still use those lessons today.

  17. Tonight we read a small excerpt from the beginning of the Odyssey. In this excerpt, the speaker, or narrator, is Homer, the author of the epic. He is addressing the Muses, which are a group of nine goddesses who represent different forms of literature, the arts, and sciences. He is speaking to them because he wants them to tell the tale of Odysseus’ journey as he looks for his way home. “Sing in me, Muse, and through me tell the story of that man skilled in all ways of contending, the wanderer, harried for years on end, after he plundered the stronghold on the proud height of Troy.” (pg 981 Lit. txtbk) The occasion for the telling of this epic is most likely many years after it takes place, perhaps being told to a court of interested people or even just to anyone who will listen. I think that Homer’s purpose is to teach lessons and to spread feelings of hope and inspiration. One of these lessons may be that not everything is as it seems, and there is often a “catch” to supposedly good things. This may become apparent in the adventure with the Cicones and the Lotus Eaters. During this, a few of Odysseus’ men go to find out who these people are after their ship lands there, and they are greeted by very kind and gentle natives. However, when they offer the travellers their sacred food, the Lotus flower, the sailors lose their longing to return home. This is the “catch” involved with the hospitality and kindness displayed by the Lotus Eaters, and it is a very dangerous one at that. By losing their longing to return home, they lose their sense of purpose and nostalgia. Nostalgia can be very powerful, because it influences people to do things that may not seem very desirable at first, like travelling across the seas and battling monsters. Homer’s overall tone is very sullen and ominous, by using phrases like, “But not by will nor valor could he save them, for their own recklessness destroyed them all — children and fools, they killed and feasted on the cattle of Lord Helios, the Sun, and he who moves all day through heaven took from their eyes the dawn of their return.” (pg 981 Lit. txtbk) The words he uses make the audience think about the great height of the shipmates’ foolishness and ignorance, and about how all that Odysseus wanted to do was save his men and bring them home.

  18. After reading the Odyssey, the reader learns about Odysseus’s journey. First of all, we find out that homer is the narrator of the epic. He starts off the poem with, “Sing in me, Muse, and through me tell the story of that man skilled in all ways of contending, the wanderer, harried for years on end after he plundered the stronghold on the proud height of Troy.” (p. 981). Homer is directly asking the goddess, Muse, to sing Odysseus’s story. One of the important events in the reading was when the main army of Cicones attacked. His crew could have easily gone to Greece, but instead, they decided to defy Odysseus’s orders. “My men were mutinous, fools, on stores of wine. Sheep after sheep they butchered by the surf, and shambling cattle, feasting,- while fugitives went inland, running to call to arms the main force of Cicones.” (pp.983-984). the Cicones attacked, the Greeks were greatly outnumbered and once they reached their ships, there were many casualties. Six benches were left empty in every ship that evening when we pulled away from death. And this new grief we bore with us to see: our precious lives we had, but not our friends.” This all shows how Odysseus had the common sense to leave whereas his crewmates just wanted a reward. They did not care at the time that people might actually attack for taking all of their things. Also, this shows that Odysseus did not care about enslaving people, or killing cattle, he just wanted to go home.

  19. The passages we read tonight were from the Odyssey and were translated by Robert Fitzgerlad. The speaker in the text is the supposed author of the Odyssey, Homer. In the opening paragraph he calls upon the muse of epic poetry- Clio. Through him the story is told. Anther important plot line was the Lotus eaters plot thread. So they stopped at the island of Cicones (Odysseyeus and his crew), and there some of his crew mates ingested the lotus flowers. The flowers made them infatuated with the island and made them want to stay. Odysseyeus whipped them back into shows and forced and strapped them down onto he boat. The moral here is to not lose sight of your goals. The crew mates should of been focused on getting home and not eating lotus flowers and hanging around. The crew mates in general don’t have the best thinking capabilities and should really listen to Odysseyeus more often, because more often than not, he’s right.

  20. In the reading of the Odyssey we read. The speaker seems to be Homer. A blind poet that supposedly came up with the Odyssey. In the first part he starts off by asking a muse the story of Odysseus.“Sing in me, Muse, and through me tell the story/ of that man skilled in all ways of contending/the wanderer,” It seems that Homer is portraying the muse’s story through his own words. When he gets to Odysseus return home it turns to a more irritating mood in the way that Odysseus wants to return home but his crew strays from that hope to do other unnecessary things. One of which is conquering even though their true job in Troy is done. However they do not conquer in an orderly manner and start being incompetent. This leads to most of their crew getting killed by letting people escape. Another example is when they wouldn’t stop eating lotus’s and Odysseus literally had to drag and call them back to the ships. Odysseus crew seems to be a liability towards him. One thing that strikes me however is that the gods had little to play in this. This was all due to themselves because of their incompetence.

  21. In the portion of the Odyssey written in our textbooks, we see more of Odysseus’ stories interpreted differently by Robert Fitzgerald. In the beginning, we have an introduction where the speaker, although not clear for sure, is probably Homer himself. He sets up almost a mysterious tone asking Muse to tell him about Odysseus, while reminiscing on all the general events in his life. The occasion, although very vague, would appear to be almost, as if Homer in this instance, is a traveler asking the god for a story. Because of the reminiscing to be, it could be said that Homer might be in some sort of inn or cafe, or another place where he might be resting for a while. The rest of the story has a melancholy nostalgia for the feats and falls of the great Odysseus, who fought only to survive and protect his men. This could mean that this is partly for entertainment, to kill the time reminiscing about fantasies that capture interest, partly for religious reinforcement, to keep the idea of gods going around, and partly for teaching lessons to any commoner. The morals are generally the same, usually revolving around some idea of resisting temptations.

  22. Last night we read the first part of Odysseus’ adventure home. This part specifically focused on him with the Lotus eaters and the cyclops.

    With the lotus eaters, Odysseus shows his smartness and keeps his men away from the eaters. A few of his men almost got stuck there, forever feasting on the plant. But luckiky, Odysseus saw this and left there immediately, tying those men to the benches.

    They then we’re brought to the home of the cyclopes. Here they go into one dwelling and are greater with a feast. Except their men are to be served. The cyclopes takes them as prisoner, trapping them in his dwelling, and eating them wen he feels the need. They come up with a plan, and blind the one eyed beast. They then escape with the sheep, riding on the underside so that the cyclops won’t feel them.

    Odysseus has many adventures awaiting them, and by the will of the gods, they are not pleasant.

  23. The first section of The Odyssey in the literature textbook was almost the same as the other versions we read, other than the fact that this is much easier to read. The narrator of The Odyssey is Homer, which makes sense because this was an oral story before it was a written piece of literature. Homer is addressing one of the Muses, the nine goddesses of the arts, literature, and sciences, and the spirit that is though to inspire a poet or other artist. In this way, he is claiming that it is not he from whom the story originated, but the gods. That gives the story more credibility and enhances its religious aspect. The audience of The Odyssey is whoever Homer is telling the story to. It could really be anyone. Homer’s purpose is to entertain. That’s why he became a bard. Unless he actually believed in the story, in which case he would be informing, too. Homer’s tone is melancholy and a bit depressing. After all, he is telling the story of a man who, after suffering ten years of war, suffered ten more years of hardships on his journey to return home.

    The Cicones teach us to think before our actions. After storming Cicones, Odysseus told his men to return immediately. However, they didn’t listen. Instead, they murdered sheep after sheep and shambling cattle, and feasted on them. While they were eating, fugitives ran for the main force of Cicones, and in the end, the men who ate the cattle were killed. The Lotus-Eaters teach us to resist temptation and to not lose sight of our goal. When Odysseus’s men eat the lotus flower on the island of the Lotus-Eaters, Odysseus has to drag them back to the ship, with his men crying and wailing about leaving the island.

    Overall, The Odyssey portrays ideas of determination and wisdom. Odysseus was the only one wise enough to warn his men about eating the cattle. Because Odysseus was wise, he (and a few other members of his men) managed to make it out unscathed. If his men had been wise enough to think their actions through, they would never died. At the Lotus-Eaters’ island, Odysseus is determined enough to resist the temptation of staying on the island forever.

  24. After reading the first part of The Odyssey, we receive a taste of Odysseus’ adventures on his journey back from Troy. Homer, the narrator, tells us some of the journeys that Odysseus experienced on his way home. “Sing in me, Muse, and through me tell the story of that man skilled in all ways of contending, the wanderer, harried for years on end, after he plundered the stronghold on the proud height of Troy,”(pg.981). Homer as the narrator is asking the gods for help so that he may be able to tell the story to us and tell it well, and that he does. Homer does an excellent job at setting the tone for a true hero’s journey, and how he succeeded with his tasks at hand. This version depicts . Odysseus as a hero, and not a selfish leader. As the story continues, we encounter the Lotus-Eaters. These are people that, well, eat the lotus flower. This flower causes them to forget about any responsibility they had prior to eating it and instead want to just relax and stay at the island. Once a portion of Odysseus’ men ate some of the Lotus flowers, they were so focused on staying on the island that they had to be tied down on the boat to keep them from leaving. This lesson shows two choices, the lifestyle of responsibility and the life of pleasure. The choice is whether or not to provide for yourself or provide for your family. The choice between being selfish and selfless. I believe that Odysseus is selfless, because he recognizes that he still has a responsibility of a family at his home in Ithica.

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