Odyssey Book 1 – In search of lost dads.

Sarah and I will be taking it in turns to deal with the books of the Odyssey at random intervals, and so today I am kicking this off with (rather obviously) with Book 1.

In Homer’s day, they started by summoning the muses to help them get their writing done. That’s probably because they didn’t have Twitter, which is how many writers now begin (#amwriting).

It’s ten years after the Trojan war, and Odysseus hasn’t come back yet. Calypso is keeping him prisoner in a cave on the island of Ogygia (I have no idea how that is pronounced) because she has fallen in love with him. Clearly, she isn’t aware of the saying that if you love someone, you have to set them free. Or the Sting song (free, free, set them free) that also emphasises that point, incessantly.

The gods feel sorry for Odysseus, and want to help, especially Athena. Although, Posidon hates Odysseus, but apparently it’s OK as he’s away visiting the Ethiopians, and in spite of being a god, he’s still got to factor in travel time, so they all have a chance to get together behind his back and formulate a plan.

Meanwhile, back on earth, Odysseus has a wife, Penelope. Her house filling up with men, who are generally acting like a cross between a biker gang and a load of students, as they drink her wine, eat her food, and party all the time. They say that her hubby aint never coming back and is probably dead, so she should marry one of them. Her son, Telemachus, is understandably getting sick of it all, and probably spends every waking hour paralysed by cringes, as assorted men lust after his mother.

JohnWilliamWaterhouse-PenelopeandtheSuitors(1912)

Men love a chick that can weave

Athena, who has morphed herself into the form of Mentes, one of Telemachus’ friends, turns up one night, and tells him that his father is alive, and he should kick out all these men who are hounding his mum, and head off to Pylos and Sparta (or SPARTA! As we now call it) and see if there’s any news of Odysseus. Telemachus kind of suspects it’s not really his friend, that someone has been at the polyjuice potion, but doesn’t say anything, and he thinks it’s a good idea, and would like to know what happened to his dad.

Because of an evil film of 2004 called ‘Troy’, I am stuck seeing Odysseus as Boromir Sean Bean, sporting a haircut that a tennis player from the 80s would be ashamed of.

Sean-in-Troy-sean-bean-10313476-853-480

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