Classics 430:
Greek and Roman Mythology
28 January 2002

I.   The Return of Odysseus and Penelope as ëperfect wifeí

1. Sources: the Odyssey, Ovidís Heroides I

2. Main Players
    a. Odysseus
    b. Penelope
    c. Telemachus
    d. Athena (goddess of war; Odysseusí ëdivine partnerí)

3. Background:
    a. Trojan War raged for 10 years
    b. Odysseus returns from Troy to Ithacaóthis takes ten years, too!
    c. NostosóOdysseusí ìReturnî

4. The Journey: Highlights
    a. The Lotus Eaters

    b. Cyclops / Cyclopes (Polyphemus)
         i. ëNobodyí
         ii. Odysseus and his men blind Polyphemus, escape

    c. Circe (daughter of Helios; sister of Aeetes = Sun connection) [1 year]
         i. Odysseus and his men come to her island
         ii. She turns them into Pigs!  (ahem)
            1. Note: Woman deprives men of their human characteristics
         iii. Hermes (messenger god) tells Odysseus to take some moly and go get his men back from Circe.\
         iv. Odysseus meets Circe, threatens her with his sword, and gets her to promise not to hurt him (phallic imagery)
         v. He sleeps with her!
         vi. C. transforms men back into men, and they all departÖ

    d. Sirens ìEnchanting Womenî
         i. Half-women, half-birds
         ii. Sing ëTruth,í lure men to their deaths

    e. Scylla and Charybdis ëMonster Womenî
         i. (Female) monster and whirlpoolódestroy men

    f. Calypso on Ogygia [7 years] ìthe Other Womanî
         i. Hermes tells Calypso she has to let Odysseus return to Ithaca

    g. Nausikaa on Phaeacia ìthe Modest Young Girlî

    h. Return to Ithaca, reestablishment in his home:
         i. Odysseus comes dressed as a beggar
         ii. He first meets his swineherd Eumaios
         iii. He then meets and reveals himself to his son, Telemachos
         iv. He then meets his old dog, Argus, who recognizes him and then dies!
         v. Suitors have taken over his household and have been trying to marry Penelope for years nowósheís held them off.  How?
         vi. She has been holding them off with a trick! (the tapestry)
            1. Weaving = womenís work
            2. Sexual imagery / chastity
            3. Economic production
            4. Story-telling / crafting words (ìweave a taleî)
         vii. Euryclea recognizes Odysseus from a SCAR on his leg
         viii. Penelope devises the context of the BOW
         ix. Odysseus wins, and KILLS all the suitors in a big exciting blood-bath, Whoo-hoo!
         x. Penelope still devises one more trick to ëtestí Odysseus: she tells him that their MARRIAGE BED has been moved
         xi. He passes the testónote that Odysseusí trickery is matched by Penelopeís = the are the ìperfect coupleî (Homophrosyne = ësame mindednessí)