Sing the Rage 2 the Odyssey

May 8, 2017 | 2 minutes read

Tags: History, Literature, Books, Odyssey, Greece

Sing the Rage 2: The Odyssey

Or, Poseidon vs Odysseus

Homer, Odyssey manuscript. Date: 3rd quarter of the 15th century. Source: (Public Domain)Homer, Odyssey manuscript. Date: 3rd quarter of the 15th century. Source: (Public Domain)

I’ve dedicated May to The Odyssey which, in contrast to The Iliad, is not a strict re-read for me. That’s not to say I am unfamiliar with the material, only to say that I’ve never actually read the epic cover to cover before. Despite my late posting, I am in fact reading the work, which concerns ill-fated Odysseus and his very long journey home. The Iliad has some wonderful scenes, but the scope of the story is so limited that I don’t enjoy it nearly as much as other entries on this year’s reading list. For instance, Shahnameh was chock full of terrific episodes made all the better by their freshness to me. The Odyssey is not so fresh, of course, but it does contain numerous episodes that likewise delight, and I am looking forward to it more than its prequel.

Whereas The Iliad in large part concerned itself with the consequences of Achilles’s abstention from battle, stemming from his rage against what he perceived as injustice committed against him by Agamemnon, The Odyssey concerns the fate of a man who has drawn the ire of a god. Odysseus’s greatest crime was his hubris, which directly led to the events for which Poseidon sought vengeance on him, thwarting his passage home for 10 years.

As with The Iliad, I am reading the Fagles translation. I hope this epic is more fruitful for me than the previous.

Note: This is part of a series of posts dealing with the reading of one sacred/epic work per month in 2017. See below for more information on what I’m doing and how to follow along.

2017 Sacer-Epic Reading Journey