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Monthly Archive for February, 2012

The story of the Ring of Gyges serves several purposes in both The History by Herodotus and The Republic by Plato. The most important of which is the distinction between inner morality versus external morality. Would a typical, average person act in a moral manner IF he did not have to fear any consequences of […]

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I just wanted to make a comment about a line in the reading that really jumped out at me in Book II. Line 366 d: “…because of a lack of courage, or old age, or some other weakness, men blame injustice because they are unable to do it.” The word “courage” really stood out to […]

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I thought it might help (since we missed Monday’s class due to snow) to give a bit of background information on the characters of the Republic.  We won’t talk too much about the context in class, as I don’t want the context to detract from the text.  The text always has to speak for itself, […]

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While Celine Dion’s sentiments of “My Heart Will Go On” from the Titanic are touching, Odysseus and Penelope’s reunion begs the question: does the heart truly go on and on?  It easy to become caught up in Penelope’s misery and Odysseus’ desire to return to Ithaca, yet their reunion is not as heartfelt as one […]

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To any one person, the differences between human and divine are easily described by that one person. Convention allows us to recognize the difference between the divine and the human because of certain customs we have learned. But does the notion of justice apply to both parties, or is there a definite difference in the […]

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              The dream presented to the beggar by Penelope, at first glance seems to be a conscious and subtle attempt at deciphering whether the stranger in her presence is in actuality her husband. Keeping in mind that the Queen of Ithaca is also Odysseus’s match in guile and cunning, Homer would have his audience […]

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Throughout The Odyssey, Athena’s intentions toward Odysseus are unclear. Although, it is continuously repeated that Poseidon is preventing Odysseus from coming home, Athena might actually be one of the reasons he has been away from Ithaca for twenty years. There is evidence that supports the argument that Athena is in love with Odysseus. This would […]

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One might think it excessive, the massacre of the one hundred twenty-four suitors and servants at the hands of Odysseus. Through the lens of the present age, the slaying might seem savage or unjust, but let us try to suspend judgment to understand Odysseus’ bloody retribution in this particular setting. Odysseus acts within a conceptual […]

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The first person in Ithaca Odysseus visits is his loyal swineherd, Eumaeus. He appears to Eumaeus under Athena’s disguise, as an old beggar who looks filthy and disease-ridden. Ironically, The first thing Eumaeus says to the stranger happens to be about his master and how much he misses and worries about him. He continues with […]

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Having never been mentioned until book twenty-two of the Odyssey, the scar on Odysseus’s leg is a unique detail that uncovers many underlying themes within the last half of the book. After Penelope has probed the disguised Odysseus for news of her lost husband, she offers that one of her maids wash his feet in […]

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