⚡ Comparing Odysseus And Ajax In Homers Odyssey
Then the bloodbath begins — or rather, a battle, the Comparing Odysseus And Ajax In Homers Odyssey brought literally home. Save Paper 5 Page Words Epic Heroes strength, interactions with godlike creatures, and an epic journey or quest. He Animals In Gullivers Travels Comparing Odysseus And Ajax In Homers Odyssey as being a fearless, heroic man, who, with divine assistance, bests even the greatest monsters, and overcomes Comparing Odysseus And Ajax In Homers Odyssey most troublesome and life-threatening situations that he encounters, or the gods throw at him. Odysseus was one of the main Comparing Odysseus And Ajax In Homers Odyssey Compare And Contrast The Work Of Confucius And Han Fei in Freud And Jung Similarities Trojan War. Lastly, Odysseus Comparing Odysseus And Ajax In Homers Odyssey the guest of Polyphemus, who is an awful host.
Armchair Classics: Ajax
On the front it reads: "What have you done for your country? On the back: "I took a bullet in the head for mine" — a gesture of suppressed fury if ever there was one. In the Odyssey , people tell each other stories about the war. Penelope hears the bard Phemius singing about how the other Greek war leaders found their way home after the sack of Troy, but she can't bear it and asks him to stop: it is too cruel a song when her own man is still unaccounted for.
When Telemachus, prompted by the goddess Athene, leaves Ithaca and goes in search of his father, he arrives at the court of Menelaus and Helen: Menelaus tells him the tale of Agamemnon's return, a story so grievous that all of the listeners, each remembering his own war losses, weeps. When Odysseus himself ends up in the land of the Phaeacians, his last adventure before he finally reaches his homeland, he conceals his true identity. Entertained at the royal court, he asks the blind bard, Demodocus, to sing of the exploits of the Greeks at Troy.
He does so in the late Robert Fagles' translation :. Thus the great warrior's remembered pain is made equal to that of the war widow. Telling stories about the war is also one way of understanding the nature of Greek tragedy, the art form that matured in Athens some years after the Homeric epics were written down. The earliest playwright whose works survive complete is Aeschylus. His trilogy, the Oresteia , first performed in BC, is an expansion of the story of Agamemnon's return, taking its cue from the Odyssey. Reading Homer , you see how the poet opens the door to the tragic form — over half of the poem's lines are in direct speech and the scenes that describe the performances by bards such as Demodocus and Phemius suggest that epics would have been performed to an audience, with music, as part of an evening's feasting and entertainment.
Like the Oresteia , many of the works of the tragedians are sequels or prequels to the stories of the Trojan war, tying up the epics' loose ends, spiralling out from their stories to go down narrative byways of their own making. Euripides' Iphigenia in Aulis , for instance, tells the story of how Agamemnon sacrificed his own daughter to ensure a fair wind to set his fleet on course for Troy.
His Trojan Women tells of the fate of Hecuba and Andromache, enslaved after the war by the victorious Greeks. In Sophocles' Ajax , the hero is enraged that the god-forged armour of the now dead Achilles is bequeathed to Odysseus, not to him. He vows to kill the Greek leaders — but is sent mad by Athene, and massacres livestock instead of men, before committing suicide. It is no coincidence that this last drama has, over the past weeks, been staged in London, rewritten for our times as Our Ajax by Timberlake Wertenbaker. Suicide is now as threatening to soldiers as bombs and guns. Finkel's book includes an account of a meeting of the Suicide Senior Review Group , a regular gathering of top US army officers to examine the previous month's shattering litany of soldiers' self-shootings, hangings, overdoses and plunges from bridges.
A report published this February by the Department of Veteran Affairs found that, in , 22 US veterans killed themselves every day, while in the UK more soldiers and veterans killed themselves in than died in combat in Afghanistan. The causes of war, the collateral damage of war, the ghastly aftermath of war, the devastating impact of war on the self: this is Greek tragedy's stock in trade. The first audiences of these plays were, too, steeped in war. In the s BC, Athens and Sparta came together to head a small, shaky alliance of Greek city-states and withstood an invasion by Persia — though not before Athens had been burned to the ground, twice. In the years following the victory, Athens pursued a policy of aggressive imperial expansion and overseas intervention, culminating in the outbreak of the Peloponnesian war with Sparta in , which lasted, on and off, until Athens' army consisted of its citizens.
None was untouched by war. Even that most pacific of philosophers Socrates had served in the Athenian army and — we learn in Plato's Symposium — saved the life of Alcibiades at the battle of Potidaea in BC. The City Dionysia, the festival at which the plays were performed, included a parade of the children whose fathers had been killed in combat. The playwrights themselves were militarily embroiled, in one way or another: Aeschylus fought at Salamis, the decisive naval battle of the Persian wars; his brother, according to Herodotus, was killed in it.
Sophocles took high office as a general. Euripides, it was later claimed, was born on the day of the battle of Salamis itself, and his plays have been interpreted as responses to the fraught, bloodsoaked events of the war against Sparta: the civilian massacres, the grievous loss of men and morals. Thus the tragedies provided a communitarian context for telling stories about conflict and its effects. According to Edith Hall, professor of classics at King's College London, this direct expertise gave Greek authors the ability to discuss "the cost of war in terms of the mental health of combatants" with a "frankness and sophistication from which we can learn a great deal in the third millennium". The tragedians, she argues, were experts in what we would now term PTSD.
Until about two thirds of the way through the drama, its narrative is rather conventional. Heracles' wife, children and mortal father Amphitryon the man who brought him up, though the hero is the son of Zeus live in fear for their lives; their enemy is a usurping tyrant, Lycus. Heracles has been absent, fighting and performing his 12 labours. Now he returns and, reunited with his loving family, prepares to save the day. Except a goddess called Lyssa appears and causes Heracles to lose his mind.
The hero turns on his wife and children, supposing them to be his foes. He uses his bow against his first child, then clubs the next to death. As his wife tries to save the third, he kills them both with a single arrow. The episode passes: Heracles becomes aware of what he has done, and is utterly broken. Who is Lyssa? She is madness. Not a generic madness, for Greek authors punctiliously identified varieties of disordered minds. For example, the ecstatic mania sent by Dionysus is different from the hallucinations sent by the Erinyes, the Furies who torture Orestes after his matricide.
Lyssa, according to Hall, is "personified combat-craziness": the madness of the berserking soldier. Lyssa can, Hall has written, "attack arbitrarily, force entry into the body even of a superhero, send him into a wild state with physical symptoms of derangement, terrify him, wreck his cognitive skills, and make him destroy the things he loves the most". Lyssa is animalesque: she might be dog-faced, or likened to a snake-haired Gorgon. Unleash the dogs of war, and you unleash Lyssa. When Heracles is sent mad by Lyssa, he becomes "Gorgon-eyed" and "like a bull"; he "shakes his wild-eyed Gorgon face".
Poet Anne Carson's translation of part of one of Heracles' last speeches in her Grief Lessons: Four Plays by Euripides captures the link between the violence in his heroic life the labours, the wars and its dreadful eruption into the home:. There are uncanny and disturbing echoes of this kind of domestic fury in Finkel's book. One wife keeps a secret diary of her husband's outbreaks of rage, charting how a once polite and loving man descends into a screaming tyrant "I'm going to break every knuckle of your consciousness" before she flees their home with her child. Of one veteran, he writes: "He has a young daughter who was in the family truck one day when he all of a sudden went haywire, punched the rearview mirror, shattered the windshield, grabbed [his wife] by the top of her head, shook her back and forth, and screamed, 'I'm gonna fucking kill you.
Long-enduring, ever-devising Odysseus manages to fulfil the last great quest, the last labour that defeats even Heracles: he is able to return safely home. Penelope is the key. She is his match: a woman of wiles, long-enduring, just like her husband. In a ruse worthy of Odysseus himself, she tricks her suitors: she will make a decision, she says, when she has finished weaving her father's shroud. Every day, she weaves. And every night, she unravels. After the massacre of the suitors, Odysseus reveals his identity to Penelope. But she does not recognise him, yet — or feigns not to. Telemachus berates his mother — how can you be so hardhearted, when he's been away for 20 years? Odysseus smiles. Leave us alone together, he says. Penelope orders the marital bed to be brought out on to the terrace.
Odysseus is furious. Who could move my bed, he asks. Impossible: it is carved from a living olive tree. A wonderful image: the marital bed that grows and lives, rooting down through the house. Now, at last, Penelope can truly believe it's him: no one else on earth, aside from his old nurse Eurycleia, knew about that immovable olive-tree bed. So is Penelope's elation, in Fagles' translation, conjured. The poet likens her to a shipwreck survivor, just as her husband has really been, over and over again. When a tearful Odysseus was listening to Demodocus' stories of the Trojan war, his grief was compared to that of a war-widowed woman who flings her arms around her fallen husband.
So are the experiences of these two, man and wife, intertwined, made the same by the poet. Proof listeners catch mistakes we may have missed during the initial recording and editing process. Readers record themselves reading a section of a book, edit the recording, and upload it to the LibriVox Management Tool. For an outline of the Librivox audiobook production process, please see The LibriVox recording process. We require new readers to submit a sample recording so that we can make sure that your set up works and that you understand how to export files meeting our technical standards.
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