Memory vs Forgetting in the Odyssey

1029 words 5 pages
There are many themes of forgetting and remembering in the Odyssey of Homer. When you have a great love for someone or something it shall never be forgotten. Both Penelope and Odysseus show the importance of memory throughout The Odyssey of homer over and over again. The theme of memory and forgetting does not show only love between Penelope and Odysseus but also an important principle in the upkeep of the correct social interactions.

Penelope tells the singer Phemios that she does not want to hear the song that she is singing. The song brings pain to Penelope’s heart and reminds her of her “unforgotten sorrow” (Homer, Odyssey I.342). Whenever Penelope is reminded of Odysseus she become very sad and starts to weep for the love she has
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While doing this Odysseus stands as the exemplary man and hero, separating himself from others for the better with his strength, cunning, and excellence in war. While his men continue to eat the fruit that make you forget about home, Odysseus must remain strong and remember the reason for his journey. "I myself took these men back weeping, by force, to where the ships were, and put them aboard under the rowing benches and tied them fast, then gave the order to the rest of my eager companions to embark on the ships in haste, for fear someone else might taste of the lotus and forget the way home" (Homer, Odyssey IX.97-102).

"...'What ails you now? It is time to think about our own country,

if truly it is ordained that you shall survive and come back

to your strong-founded house and to the land of your fathers.'

So they spoke to me, and the proud heart in me was persuaded." X.472-475.p164

Even though Odysseus and his men are able to live well with the sorceress, they are determined to return home. On Circe's island they are able to eat unlimited meat and drink unlimited sweet wine all day and night, without a care in the world. Despite being able to live a nice life with Circe, they have to remember about their homes and the journey they will have to continue. Once they remember about their homes, the men's spirits are fired up ready to set sail.

"...That man who...listens to


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