The final leg of Odysseus’journey home occurs nearly halfway through the poem, serving as a transitional point. Odysseus, having related his adventures to the Phaeacians, can move on from them. It is Athena who guided Odysseus, still trembling from all he has experienced, to the palace of King Alcinods in Scheria. The goddess knew that the healing process would begin there.
In writing of the sadness, rage, and tears that Odysseus displays at a banquet given for him by Alcinoos, Homer makes some of the initial "observations as to the effects of combat on men,” (Schwartz, 26) which we might now label as Post Traumatic 1 Stress Disorder. (It should be noted that this is strictly a 2Cf^ century term.) To compliment this idea, the Phaeacians serve almost as counselors for Odysseus, providing a secure community in which Odysseus can release all of his pent-up experiences. Scheria is the midway point in his journey; it is between the supernatural and the human. Set in Edenic surroundings, it represents the ideal human civilization. It is here that he relates his adventures of the past decade, and the first time that we as readers hear the tale.
Kaschmitter, Heather, "Obstacle or Opportunity: Journeys in the Odyssey" (1999). WWU Honors Program Senior Projects. 245.
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student projects; term papers
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