A. Both Odysseus and Menelaos went to battle in Troy
1. Odysseus was thrown about the Mediterranean ever since
2. Menelaos made it back from the war, but he never truly felt at home
1. The grieving of Odysseus’ and Menelaos’ hearts in Homer’s “Odyssey” cannot be alleviated by luxury and riches alone.
2. [Odysseus and Menelaos’ private sorrows in Homer’s “Odyssey” suggest that luxury alone cannot maintain happiness.] Original Thesis
II. Kalypso’s Island
A. “Even a god who found this place would gaze, and feel his heart beat with delight” (V 79-80)
B. “The enchantress in her beauty fed and caressed me, promised me I should be immortal, youthful, all the days to come: but in my heart I never gave consent though seven years detained” (VII 274-278).
1. Odysseus wasn’t merely staying on the island, he was stuck there, detained against his will.
2. Yes, the island was divine, but no luxury in the world could make anywhere but Ithaka his true home
C. “But such desire is in him [Odysseus] merely to see the hearthsmoke leaing upward from his own island, that he longs to die” (I 78-80).
D. For Penelope and Telemakhos waited below this smoke for his grand return.
III. Menelaos’ Return
A. For Odysseus and Menelaos, home doesn’t merely consist of riches and lavish homes.
B. Despite having all secular-desirable goods, he is unhappy due to his grief
C. Sitting in his grand hall, Menelaos felt much guilt
1. “But while I made my fortune on those travels a stranger killed my brother, in cold blood” (IV 97-98).
2. “What pleasure can I take, then, being lord over these costly things” (100-101).
D. While Menelaos is physically home, his heart stayed behind in Troy, along with his lost comrades.
A. When he arrived at Alkinoos’ palace, Odysseus was treated like a king in this peaceful land, always taking his fill
1. Even this wasn’t enough to convince him to make it his home
B. Asked to stay by Alkinoos
1. “A home, lands, riches you should have from me if you could be contented here” (VII 338-339)
2. Odysseus didn’t want another wife, or a glorious land to rule over, he just wanted to make it home.
C. During the song speaking of Troy, Odysseus wept for his friends, lost in the battle
D. Unlike on Kalypso’s island, however, he is able to decide when to leave
1. Alkinoos gives the choice to Odysseus, rather than forcing a decision upon him.
A. No amount of luxuries can make a place home without one’s companions. Odysseus longed for his wife Penelope, while Menelaos wished to speak again with his lost friends and family.