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"Ithaka" written by C.P. Cavafy and translated by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard. Found on: http://ithaca.rice.edu/kz/Misc/Ithaka.html






In the first stanza, the poem mentions three of the many monsters that Odysseus has encountered. Two of them are well known, being the Laistrygonians (the cannibals) and the Cyclops, however the third is Poseidon. Cavafy tells Odysseus not be be frightened of the obstacles (in this case the monsters) that will come his way. If Odyessus does his best, he will survive. Even though Poseidon is a God, he has multiple monstrous acts towards Odysseus. I agree with the author for putting Poseidon in the list of monsters. Another way that I could have interpreted this poem is that the Cavafy is telling Odysseus that nothing bad will happen to him as long as he does not cause harm to those around him. For instance, it is Odysseus' fault that he was stranded at sea for so long because of his many mistakes. Two of these being that after The Trojan War, he insulted the Gods, and later on he harmed Poseidon's son Polyphemus. The last stanza in poem contains the quote "so full of experience". The experience referred to are the trials, tests, and battles he was forced to fight in by all of the monsters he encountered. Having so much practice with disaster, Odysseus will be ready to fight off the final monster of his journey. This monster consists of the suitors and all the other terrible men in Ithaka. -Samantha Shalom
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Cyclops. From: http://www.mlahanas.de/Greeks/Mythology/GreekMonsters.html
I think that this illustration is a very good representation of the scene with the cyclops. This looks like the part where Polyphemus just finished the first large vase of wine and is demanding Odysseus to give him more. He appears to be drunk. All the men are afraid of the cyclops and are obeying Odysseus' orders because they believe this will help them survive. One of the small detials that does not correspond to The Odyssey is that there were only actually two jugs of wine. Also, it is not clear which of the men is Odysseus because they all look the same. There should have been a character that is in charge of the crew and scheming a plan to escape. -Samantha Shalom
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Menelaus and Proteus. Found at: http://www.mlahanas.de/Greeks/Mythology/AristaeusProteusVersailles.html. Source: Remi Jouan.
Menelaus is holding down Proteus in the picture above. In book four of the Odyssey, it is said that if one can capture Proteus he will tell you the truth about anything. Menelaus does this, however with much difficulty. Proteus is in the form of a seal when found and then when Menelaus is holding him down he turns into several different ferocious and confusing forms, one of the them being air. This picture captures Menelaus still holding on to Proteus after Proteus has stopped changing forms. -Samantha Shalom
This is a picture showing Polyphemus the Cyclops looking almost elegant and man-like eeven though he is described as this huge evil distorted monster. He is described as huge ugly and vulgar, but in this it looks like he is just a man that is much larger than everyone else. - caroline noonan
This is a picture showing Polyphemus the Cyclops looking almost elegant and man-like eeven though he is described as this huge evil distorted monster. He is described as huge ugly and vulgar, but in this it looks like he is just a man that is much larger than everyone else. - caroline noonan
In addition to what Caroline wrote, I do not like this picture because it makes it look like Odysseus is the only man working hard. The crew is standing behind a wall looking bored. In The Odyssey, it took a group effort to stab the Cyclops' eye out and not one man was left on his own. -Samantha Shalom
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Scylla taking the men out of the boat. From: http://www.mlahanas.de/Greeks/Mythology/Scylla.html
The eight-headed Syclla reaches out from her cave and takes six men hostage while the crew is not watching. This is descriptive picture represents the part in the book very well, although Odysseus is not visible. I would have liked to see how he is portrayed while his best men are grabbed away from the boat. -Samantha Shalom

This image shows Scylla as a complete monster, the octopus legs that stick out of her face make it seem as if it was a man, but it's really a woman. I think that the artist of this picture made a bad choice when he drew those faces with male characteristics because a big part of that book talks to us about woman, therefore the artist should've concentrated on making this eight headed monster's details much more femalish than this. -Daniela Tafich

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passing the sirens. found at: http://www.cathyvaneck.net/HearingSiren.html.
This picture illustrates Odysseus' position on the mast very well. It shows that he is in pain from not being able to get closer to the Sirens. He is trying to get closer by squirming his way out of the knots that his men had tied around him. This also captures the crews' inability to hear the beautiful song that Odysseus can. They are conveying this obliviousness by the way they are rowing the boat as normal. I do not however like the way the Sirens are featured. In the reading in book 12, they never flew off their Island. If they had, then Odysseus would not have been begging his men to sail closer to the Island. In this picture, the Sirens are directly above the boat.
-Samantha Shalom
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I found this picture at: http://ancienthistory.about.com/od/cgodsandgoddesses/ig/Cyclops/Cyclops.--0k.htm.
I think that this is a very good representation of Odysseus and his men escaping the Cyclop's cave
after they blinded him. The picture clearly illustrates the men existing the cave with the sheep. -Samantha Shalom
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This picture of the Cyclops is not how I would have imagined this scene. If I had not read The Odyssey, I would have thought that Polyphemus is a kind and gentle giant shepherd. Instead, the living quarters on the right side behind Odysseus' crew appears to be very normal in size. The Cyclops seems to be bending over to be able to fit in his cave, where as in the book, his cave is described as very large. Also, Polyphemus is acting extremely civil to his unwelcome guests whom he plans to kill. The men under the sheep do not make sense considering that they only hid there after Polyphemus' eye was poked out. -Samantha Shalom
Place all of your observations about monsters here. Please note that Calypso and Circe are not monsters.
1. Catalogue and describe the monsters we see in The Odyssey.
Odysseus and His Men Poke Out the Eye of Polyphemus
Odysseus and His Men Poke Out the Eye of Polyphemus

Odysseus meets the Cyclops (Polyphemus), a son of Poseidon, who has only one eye and live in the cave. To escape from the giant's cave, Odysseus plans to harm him by poking his eye with a sharp stick. This story displays in the image above.
-Katelyn Lee
I don't think I have seen this before. It is very interesting. Is the Cyclops holding the legs of a man he has just eaten? Also, why do you think that fish appears at the bottom of the bowl?

You consider me the young apprentice
Caught between the Scylla and Charybdis
Hypnotized by you if I should linger
Staring at the ring around your finger

I have only come here seeking knowledge
Things they would not teach me of in college
I can see the destiny you sold
Turned into a shining band of gold

I'll be wrapped around your finger
I'll be wrapped around your finger

Mephistopheles is not your name
I know what you're up to just the same
I will listen hard to your tuition
You will see it come to its fruition

I'll be wrapped around your finger
I'll be wrapped around your finger

Devil and the deep blue sea behind me
Vanish in the air you'll never find me
I will turn your face to alabaster
When you will find your servant is your master

Ohhh, you'll be wrapped around my finger
You'll be wrapped around my finger
You'll be wrapped around my finger
I found this very interesting.and makes me understand a little more about odysseus's madness towards the monster. -Daniela Tafich
Thank, you Daniela. Sting combines Christian and Odyssean characters here (Mephistoles is a devil from the Old Testament). With a poem, it is always interesting to ask who is talking and whom is being addressed. It occurs to me that if we removed "Mephistopheles" this could be Odysseus talking with Calypso, right? He has just come from Scylla and Charybdis, and now Calypso could be the woman who wants to trap him into a marriage, "wrapping him around her finger."
2. Perhaps you could each take responsibility for writing about one monster?
3. Find images representing these monsters. Write about them.
4. Respond to the image above. Do you agree with the choices made by the artist? Do you think he tells the story well?
5. Can anyone find images of Proteus? Scylla? Charybdis?
6. Check out that 80's song "Wrapped Around Your Fingers" by The Police. Download the song and the lyrics. You will be surprised by what you find!
Wrapped Around your fingers:
Before even looking up the lyrics this song reminded me of Calypso. "Ill be wrapped around your finger" This instinctively reminded me of Calypso and Odysseus because she takes full control over Odysseus... and yes, essentially he wraps him around her finger. After reading the lyrics, I have a better sense of the song. I now think that this song could be referred to as Calypso herself.... I think this would describe Calypso because it talks about "I can see the destiny you sold" which says I see that the gods are after you and I understand that your destiny is home and the gods took that away from you. Also in this song-devil in the deep blue sea behind me... Referring to Poseidon. (Ariel Carlin)Wrapped Around Your Finger lyrics**
You consider me the young apprentice
 
     Caught between the Scylla and Charibdes.
 
     Hypnotized by you if I should linger
 
     Staring at the ring around your finger.
 
     I have only come here seeking knowledge,
 
     Things they would not teach me of in college.
 
     I can see the destiny you sold
 
     turned into a shining band of gold.
 
     I'll be wrapped around your finger.
 
     I'll be wrapped around your finger.
 
     Mephistopheles is not your name,
 
     But I know what you're up to just the same.
 
     I will listen hard to your tuition,
 
     And you will see it come to it's fruition.
 
     I'll be wrapped around your finger.
 
     I'll be wrapped around your finger.
 
     Devil and the deep blue sea behind me
 
     Vanish in the air you'll never find me.
 
     I will turn your face to alabaster,
 
     Then you'll find your servant is your master,
 
     And you'll be wrapped around my finger.
 
     I'll be wrapped around your finger.
 
     You'll be wrapped around my finger.
 
     I'll be wrapped around your finger.....
The visually gruesome monsters that Odysseus encounters on his voyage home are not the only monsters in the story. Penelope is faced with twenty years of equally emotionally eguasting rude suitors living in her house. The never leave when asked and they devoure the livestock of Ithaka with an unquenchable appetite. Their behavior toward the women (maids, nurses, and Penelope) is disguisting and their most terrible action is their constant plotting the death of the prince.
Each suitor ranks on a different level of monstrosity, ranging from Antinous' intensity to Amphinomus' good intentions, however the majority of the men are similar to Antinous. In the end of The Odyssey, Odysseus terminates all of the monsters in his palace. The only thing seperating the suitors from the monsters Odysseus and his crew faced after The Battle at Troy was that Odysseus was able to not escape their wrath, but execute them all. -Samantha Shalom