Saturday, 4 April 2020

The Odyssey 2. The opening and the Telemachy

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing these fascinating lectures! I've read the Odyssey many times, including parts of it in Greek, but your lectures are still worthwhile because they bring up interesting insights and observations about aspects of the poem that I previously hadn't paid much attention to.

    The part where you talked about how the Odyssey "plays with time" reminded me of how, when we were studying the Iliad in class, one of my professors, who is an Iliad specialist, made sure to emphasize how the Iliad plays with time in a similar manner.

    For instance, he pointed out to us that Nestor starts drinking in his tent towards the end of Book Eleven, but yet he is still drinking in his tent with Machaon at the beginning of Book Fourteen. He said that some people read this and think, "Wait, has Nestor just been sitting there drinking in his tent for hours? Is he a drunk or something?"

    In reality, he explained, this is done to show just how little time has passed from the end of Book Eleven to the beginning of Book Fourteen. He pointed out that, in this same passage, Nestor hears a great clamor from the battlefield, which is evidently the same clamor that is mentioned towards the end of Book Twelve.

    He also pointed out to us that, right after this, Nestor picks up his son Thrasymedes's shield. Why is Thrasymedes's shield in Nestor's shelter? Because Thrasymedes is fighting with Nestor's shield.

    Why does Thrasymedes have Nestor's shield instead of his own shield? Because he loaned his own shield to Diomedes back in Book Eleven and Diomedes evidently only returned the shield after Thrasymedes went into battle, meaning Thrasymedes had to take his father's shield.

    I'm sure you already know all this, but I'm mentioning it here because I find it very amusing how all these things connect and also because I imagine there are probably people visiting this page who haven't heard these things who may find them interesting.