Study Questions for Odyssey IV-VI

In addition to the blog post regarding the “Palaces of the Telemakhiad” that I put up on Friday, I’m once again going to give you some study questions.  As always, full-length written responses aren’t necessary, but they will hopefully provide you with an inroad into today’s reading assignment.  Remember to take notes and jot down some relevant passages to bring to the discussion!  And speaking of “discussion,” remember the message boards on these posts are intended as natural extensions of our in-class conversations about the Odyssey.  So type away – somebody will have to be the first!

Questions for Book IV:

  • This is the first time we’ve seen Menelaos and Helen after their return from the War.  How’s their marriage doing?
  • You will notice that a lot of people are telling a lot of different stories in this book.  Try to come up with a rough diagram that would illustrate who is narrating when and how the stories are related to one another.  Why might Homer construct such an elaborate structure?

Questions for Book V:

  • This is our first real meeting with Odysseus.  What is your inital impression of him?
  • What kind of a relationship does he have with Kalypso?  And are there ways to productively relate Kalypso as a host to Penelope, Nestor or Menelaos?

Questions for Book VI:

  • The Phaiakians are our first example of a non-Greek society.  Are there any pertinent differences between them and the Greeks?
  • What does Odysseus’ behavior at the river tell us about him (beyond the obvious conclusion that he’s crafty)?
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