Thursday, September 5, 2013

Odd, I See

Bed-time story for the girls this week is Homer's The Odyssey - an abridged version, so tolerable for my two. I probably read it at school and have vague memories of cyclopses and sirens, but what I hadn't realised was that only half of the book is about his journey. The second half simply concerns itself with getting rid of a load of suitors who had occupied his house during the intervening 20 years, bothering his wife Penelope. It's a rather long-winded, domesticated conclusion to what is otherwise a fantastic (in the true sense of the word) adventure. 
Having said that, the denouement is deeply gory. He kills all 106 suitors with a bow, arrow & sword, hangs twelve of the household maids who had slept with them, and dismembers the goatherd Melanthius who had unwisely mocked him on his return. So obviously he hadn't got Troy out of his system. Thankfully the abridged version spares us the detail - they are simply 'despatched to Hades' - and my two girls went off to bed laughing. "Why didn't he just tell them to leave?"

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