Day 52: Calypso continued

1. We passed back memoirs. I’m so sorry it took a month to grade these writings, but they were truly wonderful. I wanted to be able to write comments for each student, so it took some time. Students signed up on a list to say that they wanted to be published in our class collection. All students wishing to publish should sent their memoir as an attachment to Any students interested in joining the editing team also signed up today. I’d like to get these edited for Christmas, but we’ll see how it goes. With so many people interested in helping out, we might zoom through this! I’ll also need students who know how to use InDesign or would like to learn.

2. Continued discussion of Calypso. Students filled in a sheet of notes on the Calypso chapter in class. Absent students can pick up this sheet in the classroom make-up binder or follow the directions here:

  1. Students drew Calypso’s cave based on the description read by Ian McKellan. This description can be found on p. 673 in the textbook or 154 in the Fagles translation. We discussed why her island is so beautiful: 1) it is beautiful in order to show temptation, and 2) the beauty of the island mirrors Calypso’s own beauty.
  2. Students listened to how Calypso responded to Hermes’ news that Odysseus would have to leave. Calypso, infuriated responds, “Hard-hearted you are, you gods! You unrivaled lords of jealousy–scandalized when goddesses sleep with mortals, openly…” (Fagles 156). Why does she think Hermes wants Odysseus to leave? It has to do with interracial/inter-god-mortal relationships.
  3. In the phrase “unwilling lover alongside lover all too willing,” who is the unwilling lover and who is the lover all too willing?
  4. How would you describe Calypso and Odysseus’ relationship? Some students said it seemed purely physical, others said she liked him while he thought only of Penelope. Any way you describe it, it’s complicated.
  5. What is Calypso thinking and feeling at this point in the story? And Odysseus? What are the similarities between what they are both thinking and feeling? Some ideas that proved fruitful in discussion: they both are letting go of something, they are both lonely… Listen to the Suzanne Vega song, “Calypso,” to help you think through it (link below in Day 51).

HW: Read “The Meeting of Father and Son” for Monday, p. 690-694. Fagles Book 16, but I highly recommend Book 14 as well. Take notes on stickies and answer reading questions.

“The Meeting of Father and Son” p. 690-694

Reading and questions due Monday 11/9 FOR A QUIZ GRADE.

This episode occurs after Odysseus has arrived on Ithaca, secretly. He has been staying with a servant and has kept his identity concealed. No one on Ithaca knows Odysseus has returned.

Answer the following questions on a separate piece of paper in order to be prepared for class.

  1. When Telemachus enters the swineherd’s hut, the swineherd goes up to hug him as Odysseus watches on, in disguise as a beggar. What is ironic about the description on page 691, lines 946-954? (Fagles: page 339, lines 16-25)
  2. How does Telemachus first respond when Odysseus tells him that he is Telemachus’ father? (693) Why?
  3. Make up your own question and try to answer it. The question should either be about something you don’t understand or a probing discussion question with no clear right answer.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s