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Sweet Nymph and Open Sea
Transcript of Sweet Nymph and Open Sea
Odyssey Book 5
All the gods gathered on Mount Olympus (without Poseidon who dislikes Odysseus) to talk about the trapped king, Odysseus of Ithaca. Athena asks Zeus to help Odysseus get back home. She emphasizes to him that Odysseus remains alone and helpless in the arms of Kalypso. Kalypso is psychotically in love with the king. Zeus tells Hermes to convince Kalypso she must free Odysseus.
In book five, Poseidon's role is to stop Odysseus from returning home. On his return from the land of the Ethiopians, Poseidon spots Odysseus and realizes what the other gods and goddesses have done in his absence. Poseidon stirs up a sea storm in attempts to kill Odysseus by dragging him under the sea.
"O Father Zeus and gods in bliss forever, let no man holding a scepter as a king think to be mild. or kind, or virtuous; let him be cruel, and practice evil ways, for those Odysseus ruled cannot remember the fatherhood and mercy of his reign." (Homer 81)
In book five, Odysseus serves as the protagonist. Being the main character, he is first held captive by Kalypso, his lover, but is later released to continue his journey home. Odysseus ultimately propels the novel forward, as he encounters countless strangers during the tale, and angers many.
In book five, Athena gives a speech in support of Odysseus and forces Zeus to intervene. She also comes to his rescue as he is tossed back and forth in the sea because of Poseidon's cursed storm.
Zeus is the God of Gods and Men, who was called upon to weigh Odysseus's fate. He then intervened, forcing Kalypso to release Odysseus back to his journey home.
Kalypso is the beautiful nymph who falls in love with Odysseus when he lands on her island-home of Ogygia. She holds him prisoner until Hermes is sent with the order to release him. She releases him with the complaint that "male gods are allowed to take mortal lovers with little trouble, while the affairs of female gods must always be frustrated."
Hermes is the messenger god, who is sent to Calypso's island to tell her that Odysseus must be released so he may continue his journey home.
Ino is a goddess who comes to Odysseus's rescue after Poseidon has unveiled his sea storm. Ino gives him a veil that keeps him safe when his ship is wrecked. When Odysseus reaches safety, he throws the veil back into the sea, as Ino directed him to.
Mount Olympus is the abode of the gods. The gods meet at Mount Olympus several times to discuss Odysseus.
The island of Kalypso where Odysseus was held by Kalypso for ten years.
The Island of Scheria, the land of the Phaeacians. Odysseus came to shore here with the help of Ino.
Odysseus journeyed through the ocean after leaving Kalypso's island. He was sailing on alone on a raft.
Values and Themes
The Greeks lived in a patriarchal society in which males had greater freedoms than females.
"Oh you vile gods, in jealousy supernal!
You hate it when we choose to lie with men-
immortal flesh by some dear mortal side.
So radiant Dawn once took to bed Orion
until you easeful gods grew peevish at it,
and holy Artemis, Artemis throned in gold,
hunted him down in Delos with her arrows."
Homer, and Robert Fitzgerald. The Odyssey. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1998. Print.
Anger can be overcome.
Kalypso overcomes her anger of having to let Odysseus go by delivering a thought out speech to the Gods.
Poseidon overcomes SOME of his anger by sending out a sea storm to knock Odysseus off his course.
Athena and Zeus defy Poseidon by freeing Odysseus from Kalypso's grasp and allowing him to return home, even when they knew he did not want them to.
Gods and Goddesses have a tendency to defy each other.
Poseidon defies Zeus's orders by creating a sea storm and not letting Odysseus return home.
Children- as is seen as Poseidon continuously tries to seek revenge on Odysseus for making his son look like a fool.
Family- as is seen when Zeus orders Kalypso to release Odysseus so that he can return home to his wife and father.
Fidelity- as while Odysseus is with kalypso, his wife tries her best not to be interested in the offers of the many suitors that come to visit.
Safety- both Athena and Ino ensure Odysseus safety after Poseidon releases his sea storm.
Power- as the Gods and Goddesses on Mount Olympus turn to the almighty Zeus when trouble occurs.
When Hermes arrived at the island of Kalypso's he seeks out the young titan and begs her to set Odysseus free so that he may return home. Kalypso then makes a speech about how male gods are allow to be with mortals without any consequences and she is not. She goes on further to say that she loves him. But in order to avoid the wrath of Zeus she reluctantly agrees. She sends Odysseus off after providing with a boat and provisions
" He notes that your friend, most ill- starred by the renowned of all the peers who fought for Priam town- nine years of war they had, before great Troy was down. Homing they wronged the goddess with grey eyes, who made a black wind blow and the seas rise, in which his troops were lost, and all his gear, while easterlies and current washed him here. Now the command is : send him back in haste. His life may not in exile go to waste. His destiny, his homecoming, is at hand, when he shall see his dearest, and walk on his own land." (Homer 84)
"A gull patrolling between the wave crests of the desolate sea, will dip to catch a fish, and douse his wings;
no higher above the whitecaps Hermes flew
until the distant island lay ahead." (Homer 82)
While Hermes is flying to the Island of Kalypso, he is compared to a bird flying over the ocean in search of fish. This depicts Hermes' mission to free Odysseus from Calypso's clutch. The bird is searching for fish, which represents Hermes searching for Odysseus. The fish are also a metaphor for the news he will bring Kalypso that she must release Odysseus.
"Son of Laertes, versatile Odysseus, after these years with me, you still desire your old home? Even so I wish you well. If you could it all, before you go- all the adversity you face it sea-you would stay here, and guard this house, and be immortal- though you wanted her forever, that bride for whom you pine for each day. Can I be less desirable than she is? Less interesting? Less beautiful? Can mortals compare with a goddess in grace and form?" Homer 87
This quote is a plea from Kalypso to Odysseus to stay with her. She offers him protection and immortality. Which is very tempting for Odysseus. But ultimately he says that he wants to return home. Which foreshadows a long journey but he will remain dedicated to.
Odysseus is sailing through the ocean and spots the shore of Scheria. However, Poseidon sees him and realizes that the otherr gods have freed Odysseus from Kalypso. In anger, Poseidon creates a massive storm. Odysseus fears he will drown, but is saved by the goddess Ino. She gives him her veil, which protects him. Though he is suspicious, he ends up taking it once his raft breaks. While he swims, Athena helps Odysseus by calming the storm. After two days, he reaches the shore, but it is surrounded by pointy rocks. Athena tells him to grab onto a rock ledge and is pulled underwater, but then finds a calm river and finally reaches dry land. He then, just as Ino instructed, throws the veil into the water and ventures up into the forest, where he goes to sleep.
"Here is a pretty cruise! While I was gone
the gods have changed their minds about Odysseus.
Look at him now, just offshore of that island
that frees him from the bondage of exile!
Still I can give him a rough ride in, and will." (Homer 89)
Heroism- Odysseus thinks he will die in the storm and is upset that he will die such an unheroic death. He wishes he would have died fighting the Trojans as the great Achilles.
"Rag of man that I am, is this the end of me?
... I am going down, that's sure.
How lucky those Danaans were who perished
on Troy's wide seaboard, serving the Atreidai!...
I should have had a soldier's burial
and praise from the Akhaians..." (Homer 90)
Elements of the Epic
Epithets- "the luminous Wayfinder"(Hermes)
-"the Earthshaker" (Poseidon)
Long, formal speeches-
".... So radiant Dawn once took to bed Orion
until you easeful god grew peevish at it,
and holy Artemis, Artemis throned in gold,
hunted him down in Delos with her arrows....
But now there's no eluding Zeus' will.
If this thing be ordained by him, I say
so be it, let the man strike out alone
on the vast water...My counsel he shall have, and nothing hidden,
to help him homeward without harm." (Homer 85)
Odysseus embodies the values of the society. He craves praise for his valor and honor. He also longs to be home with his family: his wife and son.