Christy's Reviews > The Odyssey

The Odyssey by Homer
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Jan 23, 09

Read in January, 2009

This is a marvelous poem. Everyone knows that. It has survived centuries - milennia. Now, thanks to Robert Fagles's brilliant and vivid translation, no reader should ever feel overwhelmed or literarily (word?) excluded by the Odyssey. While reading it, I learned that a) Greek men weep constantly, b) Greek hospitality is awesome and one receives many presents, c) Odysseus and Penelope's son Telemachus is pretty constantly an ass to his mother.

As the story winds down and Odysseus returns to Penelope, revenges himself upon her suitors, and reveals himself, Penelope surprises us by not embracing him as he expects, but is cold, reserved and unconvinced. When Odysseus reminds her of their unusual bed, Penelope is finally convinced that he is her husband. This bed is a rooted tree that grew through the floor of their room, Odysseus having hewed it into a bed for their marriage. This tree, the living cradle of an enduring and much tested love, is one of the most beautiful metaphors of marriage I have ever encountered through literature.
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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Inder This review is so awesome. I'm finishing up the Odyssey right now, and I keep thinking, "Man, these guys cry a lot!" and "But they are really insanely hospitable to strangers!" and "Telemachus, do you have to be so mean to your mother?" So I really have very little to add. Maybe d) It really sucks to be dead.

I think my review may just cite to your review.


Inder Oh, and e) "Crafty" and "cunning" both mean "liar." That's it. (Thanks again for your awesome review!)


robert the bed description was interesting...Penelope being in love with Odesseus, I remember a very realistic, convincing and charming scene between man and wife. It was one of the best parts of the poem.


Xavier Guillaume So true! Telemachus and Odysseus cry a lot. I think though It is normal for a hero to cry, but they get on with it afterwards and do what they need to do. It was kind of funny though that when Odysseus is trapped on Calypso's island where he is forced to eat all this amazing food and have sex with a bodacious goddess he is crying on the shore of his horrible fate. I think most people would be like, sounds pretty nice to me! Joking aside, it is super interesting, and I guess it just shows how much he missed his own land.


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