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Odyssey Essay

  • Submitted by:
  • on April 3, 2014
  • Category: English
  • Length: 472 words

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Below is an essay on "Odyssey" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

“Let us flee then to the beloved Father­land”: this is the sound­est coun­sel. But what is this flight? How are we to gain the open sea? For Odysseus is surely a para­ble to us when he com­mands the flight from the sor­ceries of Circe or Calypso– not con­tent to linger for all the plea­sure offered to his eyes and all the delight of sense fill­ing his days.

The Father­land to us is There whence we have come, and There is The Father.

Plot­i­nus, Ennead I:6:8, trans. McKenna

Nos­tos

I can’t recall just what it was that made me leave,

To ven­ture into that dark world of Strife.

Some dream, some urge for glory to Odysseus alone.

Instead I got deceit and mere cleverness.

I found myself among those steal­ing armor from men still dying,

Con­fused, not yet hav­ing begun their trudge to Hell.  

If that be glory, god grant me shame.

Years later, I would wash up on the shores of Scheria,

Alone, naked, spent, name­less; mere flotsam.  

I was truly No One then, but at least I was not a beast.  

Still the mem­ory that had led me past the rocks, the sirens,

The con­ceal­ings, the enchant­ments, Hell itself, led me back to Ithaca.  

I had to slay those who wanted my throne; no nego­ti­at­ing there.  

So I have brought jus­tice again, but have lost my stories;

No mur­der and mad­ness now, no strug­gles.   A dull din­ner companion,

But that my heart is swollen with love.

Now I am no more the man of pain, of twists and turns,

I am Telemachus, I am Pene­lope, I am Laertes, I am Athena.

I am I again, unnamed and whole.  

    The Iliad and Odyssey of Homer con­tinue to be touch­stones of the West­ern canon, with new trans­la­tions appear­ing it seems every few years, and an ongo­ing cot­tage indus­try of crit­i­cism and inter­pre­ta­tions, to which of course this essay belongs.   That this is true should not be a sur­prise, given the remark­able nature of these works, which pro­vide the same kind of jolt as find­ing an...

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