The theme of “fathers and sons” is depicted in similar forms between these three readings.
In all of these works we see that there is a great love, loyalty and admiration between all of our fathers and their sons. In The Book of Joseph from the Bible we see that Jacob, Joseph’s father has come to favor him and his younger brother Benjamin more so than the other eleven children. This favoritism causes great jealousy and animosity amongst the other brothers and they plot to get rid of Joseph, which they do by selling him to the Ishmaelites.The brothers return home with a bloodied coat of Josephs, leading their father Jacob to believe that his son has died a horrible death.
This tragedy causes great grief for Jacob who becomes even more overprotective of his son Benjamin. What I find hard to understand is why Joseph never had the urge to escape his captors or even in all of his travels prophesizing he was never compelled to return home to relieve his father’s heartbreak in addition to take vengeance on his brothers.I know that in the end everything works out and he forgives as well as takes care of his brothers and family but I think I would have had to make my way back home to avenge myself. In “The Odyssey” we see Odysseus’ son Telemachus who never really knew his father but knew of his father.
For almost his entire life Telemachus has only heard great stories of his father, by those that admired Odysseus and also those that wish him dead (the suitors). This can present a warped view of a person that becomes exaggerated and almost Godly in itself.Telemachus wants so badly to be a great warrior and a great man like that of his father but more than anything I think he wishes just to see him again and to have him around as a father figure as opposed to all the self serving suitors that have invaded his home in an attempt to win his mother. On Odysseus’s journey his only hope is to live to see his wife and son again, this is a driving force for him even when on Calypsos Island this is all he can think about.
Once Telemachus and his father are reunited they simply hold each other and weep.The night before the attack on the suitors Odysseus is not worried about his well being but concerned for the well being of his grown son, who he believes may not be able to take on such an attack and survive. Like any good father he is protective and loving. Even Poseidon goes to great lengths to take revenge on Odysseus for the harm done to his Cyclops son Polyphemus.
In “The Aenied” the same bond between father and son holds true. When Aeneas first heads out on his journey his father, Anchises, and his son is with him.During the course of their travels from Troy Anchises dies and eventually guides his son on part of his journey through the Dis or underworld. Aeneas has a great love and respect for his father and on the anniversary of his death there is a great ceremony that is held.
A dedication to his father consists of eight days of sacrificial offerings and on the ninth day competitive games in memory. It seems to me that the love and loyalty portrayed between all of these characters is so much greater than the love that is portrayed between a man and his wife or even his daughter.Compare and contrast the relationships between men and women as depicted in the Bible, The Odyssey and The Aenied. The relationships between men and women in these readings are very similar in that most of the women are portrayed as unfaithful seductresses that are just as at times conniving and clever as their male counterparts.
In the Bible we have Eve, Adams wife who is seduced in the garden by a serpent and offered to partake of the fruit of the forbidden tree. She eventually gets Adam to eat the forbidden fruit which brings about the harsh judgment of God.The other woman portrayed is in The Book of Joseph. Potiphar’s wife who makes at pass a Joseph to which he rejects.
Potiphar’s wife then accuses Joseph of attempted rape enraging Potiphar. Joseph is then imprisoned for this supposed act. In “The Odyssey” Penelope, Odysseus’s wife has remained faithful to him through all of the years he has been away, however for an extended period of time has entertained suitors in her home that wait for her hand in marriage. During this time Penelope states that she will take a hand in marriage once she has finished the burial shroud for her estranged husband.
Penelope works on this everyday only to unravel all that she has done during the night so that the burial shroud will never be truly finished. This is very clever of Penelope and shows that she and Odysseus are matched in wit and cleverness. I wonder why Penelope even entertained the suitors or let them take over her home unless somewhere in her she was intrigued by all of the attention being put upon her. Circe and Calypso from “The Odyssey” and Dido from “The Aeneid” are characters that have been used to distract or divert our hero’s from their true journeys home.
Dido is shown as overly dramatic and driven by the power of love and how its loss can cause a person to take their own life. Goddesses such as Juno, Venus and Minerva bicker over who is more beautiful thus causing acts of revenge among them that reeks great havoc amongst the mortal population. The common line between all of these readings that I see is that women will always be the great diversion but not necessarily the downfall of man 3/ Using Joseph, Odysseus, and Aeneas as examples discuss the theme of the hero as wanderer.The theme of the hero as the wanderer is prevalent in each of the underlying story lines for which our hero’s Joseph, Odysseus, and Aeneas prevail.
Each of these characters had different goals to accomplish, some of their own free will and others by the will of Gods who claimed their destiny to be fate. Joseph’s was that of a prophet and savior to the great nation of Egypt, where he wandered far from his home only to save his new home from a seven year famine. Odysseus’ only hope was to simply return home to his beloved family after fighting the battle of Troy.Unfortunately for Odysseus this journey takes ten years of his life away causing his only son to grow up without his father for guidance and strength.
Our hero Aeneas’s travels lead him to his new home in the founding of the city of Rome. These wanderings however are unlike Odysseus in that Aeneas was not really guided by his own free will but upon the will of the Gods. Aeneas seemed to wander not for self purpose but more for his lineage and honor. To me this is a theme to which I can relate.
No I’m not a great warrior or hero but would consider myself very well traveled.This is something that I respect and admire about others as well. There is no one more interesting or understanding as a well traveled person. The introduction to new people and cultures unfamiliar to ones own broadens ones character.
If each of these hero’s had simply stayed home and never left to conquer great cities would they be as well liked, respected and worldly as they are portrayed to be? I think not. All of us even today have journeys like these that veer us off the path and bring us back; it’s the nature of the game, its life.What is the importance of religion (the relationship with deity/deities) in the Bible, The Odyssey and The Aeneid? In the Bible there is only one God that is spoken of or referred to at all. The God in the Bible does not seem to come with as much baggage and vindictive behavior towards his followers as the Gods and Goddesses of other two readings.
The wrath that God brings upon Job is simply to test his faith; however Noah and his Arc are saved when God floods the earth to destroy all that is bad and start anew. God seems to be somewhat rational in the Bible.In the Journeys of Odysseus and Aeneas we see very different Gods and Goddesses, each one ruling certain areas of the earth and the heavens. For Odysseus his Gods are more like guides trying to help him get home to his family, except for one or two that try to deter him from his goal.
Poseidon causes great havoc for Odysseus but this is not without cause after all Odysseus did blind Poseidon’s son when trying to escape. Athena goes out of her way to help Odysseus and his family come together and prepares Telemachus for the battle that lies ahead.Now for Aeneas and Virgil’s portrayal of them seems to be such catty quarreling amongst themselves. Aeneas is very faithful to his Gods and Goddesses he travels great distances to do there wishes and found the city of Rome.
Aeneas’s Gods cause much chaos amongst mortals, creating war over very trivial and superficial things such as beauty and simply the sweet taste of revenge. The mortals strike me as simply a puppet show for the Gods all used for entertainment purposes. 5/ Why is “courtesy” so important in The Odyssey?Courtesy was important in all of the reading, however much more so in The Odyssey and The Aeneid. The code of hospitality or courtesy was one ruled by Zeus.
This code was very important in a time when traveling great distances away from ones own home could be a frightening and extremely difficult task. This is a task that a person would be unable to do if not for the hospitality and kindness of foreigners in a foreign land. Harsh punishment was laid down for those who chose not to help a wayward traveler in need.If Eumaeus had not helped the vagabond Odysseus the outcome may not have been the same.
Odysseus would probably not even have been allowed into his house dressed in his disguise. This code seems to be more of a moral code that is even seen in the Bible, a code that simply states to help another person in need out and goodness will come back to you, or you hope it will. I have been to a few places in Europe where I have lived and visited including Greece and I must say that people are willing to help and are just very hospitable in foreign countries.Maybe because we have as Americans become so jaded especially after what has happened in the last two years, maybe in time we will come around and change our attitudes to those that are not so familiar to us.
Just a note: I’m sorry for the delay on this first lesson. The first three weeks of the semester was very trying I was away for a week down south for a family funeral and found it hard to get back into the groove. I am finding this class very challenging so bear with me.