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Lewis H. 1. The Odyssey by Homer is a collection of epic stories, depicting an inter-relationship between mortals and immortals, as being told by a collection of characters from their point of view. Odysseus went through all kinds of trails, tribulations, and visions of the past and a future unity with Penelope, his wife. There were schemes, imprisonments, shipwrecks, emotional actions and reactions, trusts, dependencies and uncertainties that flowed through-out his journey home. As an epic novel, it was used for a narrative genre that has much to say about stories that link gods to humanity and the relations of the sexes as they search to reunite a family and peaceful rest of home. It is an ancient Greek tale of missing or lost, adventures, dramas, mysteries, massacre and love. There were moments of secrets not reveal that captures the interest of it readers. It made me feel that I should do whatever it would take to regain a closer relationship with my own son. Each of the major characters had there reflective memories of their personal relationships and/or experiences with Odysseus, primary focus of this book. This really was a good read, for I had spent many years evading classes that required this as a reading assignment. If I had an opportunity to do a modern translation the only thing I would change would be the names of several characters to make it easier to flow through the book.


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

Which names would you change and why would you change them? And to what would you change them?


Patrice I was thinking i would like the names to be translated just like the rest of the book. Those names all mean something and how different it would be to be told that here comes "the good man" rather than the Greek equivalent. The Greeks were hearing the nature of the characters described in their names. We're not.


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

Hmmm I can see your point, but I'm not sure if this would work. First of all, most names mean something. My father's name means "gift from God" in Hebrew. My mother's name means "oath of God" in Hebrew. However, nobody in my family is Jewish nor do they speak Hebrew. The meaning is lost as names become names and not words.

Thus, translating some of the names from Greek to English would sound... bizarre. Stentor, the herald in the story, his name translates to "groan" or "moan". Laocoon's name in English is "perceiving people".

Secondly, if you changed names, you'd have to change only the non-famous ones. You can't have the Iliad and the Odyssey without Odysseus. Nor Achilles, Paris, Priam, Menelaus, Agamemnon, etc.

Third, some of the names survive into the present day, but the meaning of those names are still inscrutable unless you know Ancient Greek. Thus, Cassandra, Hector, Helen, etc.


Patrice I see what you're saying but if you you were in Israel and everyone was speaking Hebrew wouldn't your parents' names be easily understood? Some of our names are in English, Hope, June, Rose, etc. The thing is some of the Greek names really do tie into the story. Oedipus, for instance, means something like "bad foot". So when "bad foot" meets the woman who is his mother and will be his wife, it seems she should take notice of his foot, which she and her husband had injured when he was an infant. I'm not sure how much of this kind of thing went on in the literature because i don't know Greek. But imagine if the intent was like a medieval morality play? Imagine if the Greeks were hearing something like "Oh! look! here comes Charity! She has Hope with her!" What a different work it would be. To me, I think the point is, what was the original intent. If the authors did or did not intend for the listener to understand the meanings of the names.


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