I have a 3 page essay on the Odyssey due Monday. I have one page written. My chosen topic is “Homer’s voice towards Eumaeus”, why Homer spoke only to Eumaeus in first person. This is what I have so far:
“Homer is an aging poet, and old man, run dry of stories, staying in the house of a patron. Late one night, getting himself ready for bed, Homer hears the voice of a young child through his wall.
“Sing to me of the man, Muse, the man of twists and turns/
driven time and again off course, once he had plundered/
the hallowed heights of Troy…/
Launch out on his story, Muse, daughter of Zeus/
start from where you will - sing for our time, too.”
As I was beginning to write my essay, these words struck me. It brought to mind a child, a young Greek child, thousands of years ago, ready to go to bed, asking his maid to tell him a story. The maid spins him a yarn that lasts nearly a month, adding to it every night.
The young child is enraptured with the story told to him. Late in the story, the child asks to be included. He loves the story he is being told, he wants to be part of it. “And you replied, Eumaeus, loyal swineherd…” (p. 303 l. 63)
The child is Eumaeus.
There is very little humor in the Odyssey. I have before postured that perhaps it was racial humor, or humor inherent in the subtleties of the Greek language and text, humor that was lost in translation and evolution of society. If that were so, there would surely be companions to The Odyssey, books explaining the humor that has been lost, how it fit in, and what it meant. Yet, to my knowledge, there are none. Children’s movies and cartoons are mostly physical and embarrassment humor, because small children cannot understand humor based in stereotypes, political commentary, and intelligence.”
Please critique, add, alter, fold, bend, and help me finish this. Or, just comment on it.
We are the children of the Eighties. We are not the first “lost generation” nor today’s lost generation; in fact, we think we know just where we stand - or are discovering it as we speak.