Trojan War was started by the gods in order to end the heroes’ time and the present, human, iron age came. Who did not die near the walls of Troy, he had to die on the way back.
Most of the surviving Greek leaders sailed to their homeland, as they sailed to Troy – a common fleet across the Aegean Sea. When they were halfway, the sea god Poseidon struck a storm, the ships scattered, people drowned in the waves and crashed against the rocks. To be saved was destined only for the elect. But it was not easy either. Perhaps only the old wise Nestor managed to calmly reach his kingdom in the city of Pylos. The supreme king Agamemnon defeated the storm, but only then, to die even more terrible death – in his native Argos he was killed
“Iliad” is a heroic poem, its action takes place on the brigand field and in the military camp. “Odyssey” is a fairytale and everyday poem, its action unfolds on the one hand in the magical lands of giants and monsters where Odysseus wandered, on the other – in his small kingdom on the island of Ithaca and in its environs, where Odysseus was waiting for his wife Penelope and his son Telemachus. As in the “Iliad”, only one episode is selected for the narrative, “the wrath of Achilles”, and in the “Odyssey” – only the very end of his wanderings, the last two distances, from the far western edge of the earth to his native Ithaka. About everything that happened before, Odysseus tells a feast in the middle of the poem, and tells very briefly: all these fabulous adventures in the poem account for fifty of three hundred pages. In the Odyssey, a fairy tale shades life, and not vice versa,
In the Trojan War, Odysseus did a lot for the Greeks – especially where there was need not for strength but for the mind. It was he who guessed to tie Elena’s suitors together to help her chosen against any offender, and without this the army would never have gone on a campaign. It was he who attracted the young Achilles to the campaign, and without this the victory would be impossible. This is when, at the beginning of the Iliad, the Greek army, after a general meeting, almost rushed from Troy to the return path, managed to stop it. This he persuaded Achilles when he quarreled with Agamemnon, return to battle. When, after the death of Achilles, the armor of the murdered man was to receive the best warrior of the Greek camp, Odysseus received them, not Ajax. When Troy failed to take the siege, it was Odysseus who came up with the idea of building a wooden horse, in which the bravest Greek leaders hid themselves and penetrated into Troy, – and he is among them. The goddess Athena, the patroness of the Greeks, most of all loved Odysseus and helped him at every step. But the god Poseidon hated him – we soon find out why – and this Poseidon with his storms for ten years prevented him from reaching his homeland. Ten years under Troy, ten years in wanderings, and only in the twentieth year of his trials begins the action of the Odyssey.
It begins, as in the “Iliad”, “Zeus’s will.” The gods hold the council, and Athena intercedes before Zeus for Odysseus. He is in captivity with the nymph Calypso in love with him, on an island in the very middle of the wide sea, and languishes, wanting in vain “to see at least smoke, from his native coasts in the distance ascending.” And in his kingdom, on the island of Ithaca, everyone already regards him as dead, and the neighboring nobles demand that the queen of Penelope choose a new husband for herself from them, and the island a new king. There are more than a hundred of them, they live in the Odyssey Palace, exultantly feast and drink, ruining the Odyssey farm, and having fun with the Odyssey slaves. Penelope tried to deceive them: she said she had made a vow to announce her decision no sooner than sheaving a shroud for the old Laertes, Odysseus’s father, who was about to die. During the day she wove everything in sight, and secretly untied the woven at night. But the maid gave her cunning, and it became increasingly difficult for her to resist the insistence of the suitors. With her is her son Telemachus, whom Odysseus left as an infant; but he is young, and they do not count with him.
And then to Telemakh comes an unfamiliar wanderer, calls himself an old friend of Odysseus and gives him advice: “Train the ship, go around the surrounding lands, collect news about the disappeared Odyssey, if you hear that he is alive – you tell the bridegrooms that they wait another year, if you hear, that he is dead – you will say that you will have a wake and you will persuade your mother to marry. ” Advised and disappeared – for in the image of it was Athena herself. Telemachus did this. The grooms resisted, but Telemachus managed to get away and board the ship unnoticed – because in this he was helped by the same Athena,
Telemachus sails to the mainland – first to Pylos to the decrepit Nestor, then to Sparta for the newly returned Menela and Elena. The talkative Nestor tells how the heroes from Troy floated and drowned in the storm, how Agamemnon later died in Argos and how his son Orestes avenged the murderer; but he knows nothing about the fate of Odysseus. Hospitable Menelaus tells how, Menelaus, lost his way in his wanderings, he lurked on the Egyptian shore a prophetic sea elder, a seal shepherd Proteus, who could turn to a lion, a boar, a leopard, a snake, and water, and tree; as he struggled with Proteus, and overcame him, and learned from him the way back; and at the same time learned that Odysseus is alive and suffering among the wide sea on the island of the nymph Calypso. Delighted with this news, Telemach is going to return to Ithaca,
Intercession of Athena helped: Zeus sends to Calypso the messenger of the gods of Hermes: the time has come, it’s time to let Odysseus go. Nymph grieves: “For that I saved him from the sea, for that I wanted to endow him with immortality?” but he does not dare disobey. There is no ship for Odysseus – you need to build a raft. For four days he works with an ax and a borer, on the fifth – the raft is lowered. Seventeen days he sails, ruling the stars, the storm explodes on the eighteenth. This Poseidon, seeing the hero escaping him, pinned the abyss with four winds, the raft’s logs flew like straw. “Oh, why did not I die at Troy!” cried Odysseus. Odysseus was helped by two goddesses: a good sea nymph threw him a magic veil that saved him from drowning, and the faithful Athena took three winds, leaving the fourth to swim to the near shore. Two days and two nights he sails, not closing eyes, and on the third wave they throw it out on land. Naked, tired, helpless, he buries himself into a pile of leaves and falls asleep in a dead sleep.
It was the land of blessed fairies, over whom the good king Alkina ruled in a high palace: copper walls, golden doors, sewn fabrics on benches, ripe fruit on branches, eternal summer over the garden. The king had a young daughter named Navsikaya; Athena came to her at night and said: “Soon you will be married, and your clothes are not washed, gather servants, take a chariot, go to the sea, wash clothes.” They left, washed, dried, began to play ball; the ball flew into the sea, the girls cried out loud, they were awakened by the scream of Odysseus. He rises from the bushes, terrible, covered with sea-dried wilderness, and prays: “Whether you are a nymph or a mortal, help: let me cover up the nakedness, show me the way to people, and the gods of a good husband send you.” He is washed, dressed, dressed, and Navsikaya, admiring, thinks: “Oh, if the gods of such a husband would give me.” He goes to the city, comes to the king Alkino, tells him about his misfortune, but does not call himself; touched by Alkina, promises that the fairy ships will take him wherever he asks.
Odysseus sits on the Alkine feast, and the wise blind singer Demodok entertains feasting songs. “Sing about the Trojan War!” – asks Odysseus; and Demodok sings about the Odyssey wooden horse and the capture of Troy. Odysseus has tears in his eyes. “Why are you crying,” says Alkina, “that’s why the gods send death to the heroes so that the descendants will sing to them glory.” “True, did any of your loved ones fall under Troya?” And then Odysseus opens: “I am Odysseus, the son of Laertes, the king of Ithaca, a small, stony but dear heart…” – and begins the story of his wanderings. In the story of this – nine adventures.
The first adventure is in lotophages. The storm carried the Odyssey ships from Troy to the far south, where the lotus grows – a magic fruit, having tasted it, a person forgets everything and does not want anything in life except the lotus. The lotophagi treated the Odyssey satellites to the lotus, and they forgot about their native Ithaca and refused to swim further. By their strength, crying, they took us to the ship and set out on their journey.
The second adventure – the cyclops. They were monstrous giants with one eye in the middle of their foreheads; they grazed sheep and goats and did not know the wine. Chief among them was Polyphemus, the son of the sea Poseidon. Odysseus with a dozen comrades wandered into his empty cave. In the evening Polyphem came, huge as a mountain, drove into the cave a herd, blocked the exit with a block, asked: “Who are you?” – “Wanderers, Zeus is our keeper, we ask to help us.” – “I’m not afraid of Zeus!” – and the Cyclops seized two, smashed against the wall, devoured with bones and snored. In the morning he left with the herd, again shutting up the entrance; and then Odysseus came up with a trick. He and his comrades took a Cyclops’ cudgel, sharpened it like a mast, burned it in a fire, hid it; and when the villain came and devoured two more comrades, he offered him wine to put him to sleep. The wine liked the monster. “What’s your name?” – he asked. “No one!” answered Odysseus. “For this meal I’ll take you, Nobody, I’ll eat the last!” – and the intoxicating Cyclops snored. Then Odysseus and his companions took a cudgel, approached, shook it, and thrust it into the sole giants of the eyes. The blinded ogre roared, other Cyclops ran: “Who offended you, Polyphemus?” – “No one!” – “Well, if no one, then there is nothing to make a noise” – and dispersed. And to get out of the cave, Odysseus tied his comrades under the belly of the cyclopean sheep, so that he did not grope them, and so, together with the herd, they left the cave in the morning. But, already sailing, Odysseus could not stand it and shouted: swung it and dug it into the one giant eyes. The blinded ogre roared, other Cyclops ran: “Who offended you, Polyphemus?” – “No one!” – “Well, if no one, then there is nothing to make a noise” – and dispersed. And to get out of the cave, Odysseus tied his comrades under the belly of the cyclopean sheep, so that he did not grope them, and so, together with the herd, they left the cave in the morning. But, already sailing, Odysseus could not stand it and shouted: swung it and dug it into the one giant eyes. The blinded ogre roared, other Cyclops ran: “Who offended you, Polyphemus?” – “No one!” – “Well, if no one, then there is nothing to make a noise” – and dispersed. And to get out of the cave, Odysseus tied his comrades under the belly of the cyclopean sheep, so that he did not grope them, and so, together with the herd, they left the cave in the morning. But, already sailing, Odysseus could not stand it and shouted:
“Here you offend the guests penalty for me, Odyssey from Ithaca!” And the Cyclops vigorously begged his father, Poseidon: “Do not let Odysseus swim to Ithaca – and if so destined, then let him swim for a while, alone, on someone else’s ship!” And God heard his prayer.
The third adventure is on the island of the wind god Eola. God sent them a fair wind, and put the rest in a leather bag and gave Odysseus: “You’ll float – let go.” But when Ithaka could already be seen, tired Odysseus fell asleep, and his companions untied the sack ahead of time; a hurricane rose, they rushed back to Aeolus. “So the gods are against you!” said Aeol angrily and refused to help the disobedient.
The fourth adventure is for the Lestrigones, wild cannibals. They ran to the shore and brought huge rocks to the Odyssey ships; Of the twelve ships, eleven died, Odysseus with few comrades escaped at the last.
The fifth adventure – the sorceress of Kirka, the queen of the West, turned all the newcomers into beasts. She presented Odyssey’s messengers with wine, honey, cheese and flour with a poisonous potion – and they turned into pigs, and she drove them into the cowshed. Saving himself alone and in horror told about this Odyssey; he took a bow and went to help his comrades, hoping for nothing. But Hermes, the messenger of the gods, gave him a plant of God: the root is black, the flower is white, and the charms were powerless against Odysseus. Threatening the sword, he forced the sorceress to return the human form to his friends and demanded: “Rush us to Ithaca!” “Ask the prophetic Tiresias, prophet of the prophets,” said the witch. “But he’s dead!” “Ask the dead man!” And she told me how to do it.
The sixth adventure is the most terrible: descent into the realm of the dead. The entrance to it is on the edge of the world, in the country of eternal night. The souls of the dead are insubstantial, insensitive and thoughtless in it, but by drinking sacrificial blood, speech and reason are acquired. On the threshold of the kingdom of the dead, Odysseus slaughtered a black sheep and a black sheep; the souls of the dead flocked to the smell of blood, but Odysseus drove them away with the sword until the prophetic Tiresias appeared before him. Having drunk blood, he said:
“Your troubles – for insulting Poseidon, your salvation – if you do not offend the Sun-Helios, but if you offend – you will return to Ithaca, but alone, on someone else’s ship, and not soon.” Your house is ruined by Penelope’s suitors, but you will master them, and there will be a long kingdom and a peaceful old age for you. ” After that, Odysseus allowed other ghosts to the sacrificial blood. The shadow of his mother told how she died of grief for her son; he wanted to hug her, but there was only empty air under his hands. Agamemnon described how he died from his wife: “Be careful, Odysseus, it’s dangerous to rely on your wives.” Achilles said to him:
“It is better for me to be a farm-laborer on earth than a king among the dead.” Only Ajax did not say anything, not forgiving that Odyssey, and not he got the armor of Achilles. I saw Odysseus and the infernal Judge Minos, and the eternally executed pride of Tantalus, the cunning Sisyphus, the impudent Titius; But then the terror seized him, and he hurried away, to the white light.
The seventh adventure was Sirens – predators, seductive singing enticing seamen to death. Odysseus outwitted them: he sealed his ears with his waxen companions, and ordered himself to be tied to the mast and not let go, no matter what. So they swam by, unharmed, and Odysseus also heard singing, which is sweeter than that.
The eighth adventure was the strait between the monstrosity of Skill and Charybdis: Skill – about six heads, each with three rows of teeth, and twelve paws; Charybdis – about one larynx, but such that one swallow tightens the whole ship. Odysseus preferred Skille Haribde-and was right: she grabbed six of his comrades from the ship and gulped six of her mouths, but the ship remained intact.
The ninth adventure was the island of the Sun-Helios, where his sacred herds grazed – seven flocks of red bulls, seven flocks of white rams. Odysseus, remembering Tiresias’ covenant, took a terrible oath from his comrades not to touch them; but the winds were blowing, the ship was standing, the satellites were starving and, when Odysseus fell asleep, they stabbed and ate the best bulls. It was scary: the tattered skins moved, and the meat on the skewers mooed. The Sun-Helios, who sees everything, hears everything, knows everything, begs Zeus: “Punish offenders, or I’ll go down into the underworld and shine among the dead.” And then, as the wind subsided and the ship sailed from the shore, Zeus raised a storm, struck with lightning, the ship crumbled, satellites were drowned in a whirlpool, and Odysseus alone on a broken log ran for nine days until he was thrown to the shore of the island of Calypso.
So ends Odysseus his story.
King Alkina fulfilled the promise: Odysseus ascended the fairy ship, plunged into an enchanted dream, and woke up already on the misty shore of Ithaca. Here he is met by the patroness of Athena. “It’s time for your cunning,” she says, “hide, watch out for the suitors and wait for your son Telemachus!” She touches him, and he becomes unrecognizable: old, bald, poor, with a staff and baggy. In this form he goes to the interior of the island – to ask the shelter of the good old swineherd Evmei. He tells Evmei that he was from Crete, fought at Troy, knew Odysseus, swam to Egypt, fell into slavery, was in pirates and barely escaped. Evmai calls him to the hut, puts him to the hearth, treats, grieves about the missing Odyssey, complains of violent suitors, pities Queen Penelope and Tsarevich Telemachus. The next day Telemachus himself comes back from his wanderings, of course, he was also sent here by Athena himself. Before him, Athena returns to Odysseus his true form, powerful and proud. “Are you not a god?” Telemachus asks. “No, I’m your father,” Odysseus answers, and they embrace, crying with happiness,
The end is coming. Telemachus goes to the city, to the palace; Evmey and Odysseus follow him, again in the form of a beggar. At the palace threshold, the first recognition is made: a decrepit Odysseus dog, who for twenty years has not forgotten the voice of the master, raises his ears, crawls to his feet with the latest strength and dies at his feet. Odysseus enters the house, bypasses the upper room, begs for alms from the suitors, suffers ridicule and beatings. The grooms pour it out with another beggar, younger and stronger; Odysseus unexpectedly overturns him with one blow. The grooms are laughing: “Let Zeus send you for this, what do you want!” – and do not know that Odysseus wants them to die soon. Penelope calls the stranger to himself: did he hear news of Odysseus? “I’ve heard,” Odysseus says, “he’s in the immediate vicinity and will soon arrive.” Penelope can not believe it, but she is grateful to the guest. She tells the old maid to wash the wanderer before going to bed with his dusty legs, and he himself is invited to be at the palace for tomorrow’s feast. And here comes the second recognition: the maid brings in the pelvis, touches the guest’s legs and feels on the shank the scar that Odysseus had after hunting the wild boar in his young years. Her hands trembled, her foot slipped: “You are Odysseus!” Odysseus clamps her mouth: “Yes, it’s me, but be quiet – otherwise you’ll ruin the whole thing!”
The last day comes. Penelope summons the bridegrooms to the banquet room: “This is the bow of my dead Odysseus, who will pull it and shoot an arrow through twelve rings on twelve axes in a row, he will become my husband!” One by one, one hundred and twenty suitors try onions – not a single one can even pull the bowstring. They already want to postpone the match until tomorrow – but then Odysseus stands in his poor form: “Give me a try: after all, I once was strong!” The grooms are indignant, but Telemach stands up for the guest:
“I am the heir of this bow, I want to give to anyone, and you, mother, go to your women’s affairs.” Odysseus takes the bow, bends it lightly, rings the bowstring, the arrow flies through the twelve rings and pierces the wall. Zeus thunders with thunder over the house, Odysseus straightens to the full height of the hero, next to him Telemachus with a sword and a spear. “No, I have not forgotten how to shoot: I’ll try another goal now!” And the second arrow hits the most insolent and violent of the suitors. “Ah, you thought that Odysseus was dead? No, he was alive for the truth and retribution!” The bridegroom clutching at his swords, Odysseus will pierce them with arrows, and when the arrows end, the spears that faithful Evmei brings. The groom rushes through the ward, the invisible Athena darkens their mind and takes their blows from Odysseus, they fall one by one. A pile of dead bodies piled in the middle of the house,
Penelope did not hear anything: Athena sent a deep sleep to her in her room. The old maid runs to her with a glad tidings: Odysseus is back. Odysseus punished the suitors! She does not believe: no, yesterday’s beggar is not at all like Odysseus, as he was twenty years ago; and the grooms were punished, probably by angry gods. “Well,” says Odysseus, “if there is such a bad heart in the queen, let me make the bed alone.” And then the third, the main thing, is made. “Well,” says Penelope to the servant, “take the guest out of his royal bedroom to his guest in his rest.” “What are you saying, woman?” Exclaimed Odysseus. “This bed is not moved, instead of legs it has a tree stump, I once built it on it and adjusted it.”