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The Return of Ulysses

We have discussed the Homeric notion of nostos, which is also discussed in my notes, as well as on page 71 of the introduction of the Odyssey. Nostos is the drive engine of the entire epic. Its nostos that keeps pushing Odysseus homeward. In order to reach his destination, he needs to overcome great obstacles threatening his memory and thus his identity. As the opposite of memory, oblivion (forgetfulness, amnesia) undermines a persons consciousness of the self, thus it destabilizes and destroys any sense of identity. Odysseus needs to constantly fight the forces of oblivion to maintain his memory and attain his nostos.

Your first task is to explain in your own words and understanding the meaning of nostos and how it relates to the overall journey of Odysseus. Use specific examples/quotes to illustrate your point.

Your second task is to list and discuss briefly at least 2 incidents/moments in the narrative (Chapters 5-12) in which Odysseus confronts the forces of oblivion that threaten his memory. These forces are represented by certain characters that appear in his path with the purpose of derailing his journey or eliminating him altogether. You need to be specific: Who is threatening Who is threatening Odysseus’ memory and how?

Write about 400 words. Have at least 2 main paragraphs.

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