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reflection on the odyssey

Create a file and write about 300 words, not more than 400 words, discussing Books 21, 22, and 23 of The Odyssey in regards to how it does/does not fit the motif of the course: how we deal with ‘The Other,’ those who are different than ourselves.

In your discussion, please keep in mind the two main, conflicting responses to this question which, throughout history, human beings have variously resorted to (and be sure to read the separate item in Coursework that explains these in more detail!):

  • to exclude The Other, treating those who are different with criticism, ostracism, control, or even extermination;
  • or on the other hand, to include The Other, treating those who are different with compliments, cooperation, respect, and kinship–in essence, the attitude which, in Hebraic Christianity, became the Golden Rule: treat others as you yourself wish to be treated..

In your discussion, I mainly want you to go beyond the obvious, which would be to contrast Odysseus and the princes courting his wife Penelope, and similarly, those suitors and Penelope herself. Instead of focusing on those more obvious sets of characters, please focus on Odysseus and Penelope–a more subtle set of strangers. After twenty years of forced separation, much has changed. Consider how this is reflected in their meeting after he has slaughtered all the suitors in the locked banquet hall. Some points to discuss will perhaps be her disbelief that he could still be alive; her reluctance to accept him even after he reveals himself to her, in the flesh; how this reluctance prompts her to test him (what is the test, and what is its purpose?); how Odysseus slowly loses patience; and the eventual outcome.

The best of the submissions of this assignment will not be writings which greatly exceed my requested length. On the contrary, the highest grades will be earned by submissions which begin with a thesis statement (a concise one or two sentences summing up your opinion on this matter); and then which mention specific moments in the story as detailed support, to illustrate a logical argument to support and explain the thesis statement. Sentence-level proofing effectiveness will also be considered in grading. Note: This is not a full-length, formal essay. It is considerably shorter than that, but I do not want unproofed, disorganized rambling.

Submission instructions:

  1. Please single-space.
  2. Save your document as either MS Word or as Rich Text. Please name your file ‘Odyssey Reflection’ plus your initials.
  3. Then, in this very window, attach your file: Browse your computer to where you have saved the file,
  4. click to highlight and select it,
  5. then click on Open to attach it. You will see the attached file here below; if you do not, you have done something wrong.
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