Monday, April 16, 2012
"Great Teller of Tales"
At the beginning of Book 9, just before he tells the Phaeacians about his ill-fated journey, Odysseus is described as "the great teller of tales." In a sense, then, Odysseus is bard. What are his motives in telling his tale? Does he have the same motives as other bards in the story (such as Demodocus in Book 8)? Does his tale serve the same purpose or a different one? Finally, we know that Odysseus is a master of deceit and guile who concocted the scheme for the Trojan Horse. Should we take his story of one-eyed monsters and visits to the underworld at face value? Is there reason to believe his story is a fabrication?