The Odyssey Books 1-4: Notes

1557 words 7 pages
The Odyssey Books 1-4: Notes due Friday 1/10 (3/5) and Monday 1/13 (2/4)
An Uncertain Identity
Prince Telemachus is the first human character whom the reader meets. He is the son of the long-missing Greek warrior Odysseus, King of Ithaca.
Telemachus is too young, too untested, too unsure to have a firmly established sense of identity.
Having grown up fatherless in a household full of insolent men who are besieging his mother and consuming his inheritance, he feels totally powerless.
The goddess Athena appears to him in the form of a family friend, a captain named Mentes.
Telemachus is naïve and ineffective! He is like the hero at the beginning of the epic cycle.
Making Personal Connections
How would you feel and what would you
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How does Homer’s word choice (L2) help to illustrate the importance of hospitality in Greek culture (L4)? The tone used to describe hospitality is a friendly voice. The repeated emphasis on stranger communicates the widespread hospitality for everyone not just those who are known or important. The use of the word feast gives an idea that nothing is taken lightly with guest, always to the extreme. These ideas present the notion that in Greek culture everyone is welcome and treated with utmost respect even if they are of no significant name.
The Belief in Omens and Prophecies
What are some of the omens or prophecies described in Books 1-4?
One of the first was that derived from the eagles sent down by Zeus, which says the Odysseus will return soon and remove the suitors from his home. A later prophecy came up when Menelaus in order to fulfill a prophecy and leave the island had to appease Zeus and boat up the Nile.
In which instances do the characters have trouble deciphering the omens and prophecies? In the instance of Menelaus’ journey home he had trouble deciphering the prophecy.
Telemachus’ Character:
What do others say to him when he visits? When Telemachus visits others they say to him that he is brave, he resembles his father, his father was god like and lion hearted, and he must protect his stake from the suitors.
What comparisons do they make between Telemachus and his


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