My friend, Katrina, and I are reading the Odyssey, by Homer. We are suitably
baffled by parts and you are cordially invited to both join us in our inquiry,
and resolve our confusion.
Questions we pursued:
· Why, out of all the misadventures Odysseus endures does Homer mention the slaughter of Apollo's cattle in the first paragraph? What is recklessness?
· Why is Zeus thinking about "blameless" Aigisthos (we're not totally clear on how Orestes failing to accept Aigisthos shows the need to tame a son's ambitions)?
· Why is Telemachus so hard on Penelope when she asks Phemios not to sing the song about Troy (do his words have a different meaning for the suitors than they do for Penelope, who lays his serious words deep away in her spirit?)?
Questions that remain:
· Why does an epic about homecoming have to have a polytropos hero?
· Does the companions' recklessness with the cattle have anything to do with the recklessness Zeus speaks of in line 34? Is Aigisthos reckless?
· How much of her plan does Athena articulate in the council?
· Why does Telemachus invite the suitors to eat and hear Phemios, then tell them that tomorrow at the assembly he will kick them out, then lie to them about Odysseus being alive? It seems a strange sequence of hospitality, boldness/truth, and lies.