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In this regard, the germ of the first half of the Aeneid might be found in the scene in the Odyssey where Odysseus is moved to tears by the tale of the tragedy of Troy sung by the bard Demodocus among the Phaeacians.
These opposing values may even have a much longer history in the Western tradition than Crawford suggests, especially if we consider portrayals from classical antiquity; compare the steady sobriety and industry of the Phaeacians, for instance, with the oblivion and loss of self represented by the Lotus Eaters in Homer's Odyssey (Fitzgerald 1961).
51) The subsequent welcome by the Phaeacians, the feasting, and their transportation of the Greek hero to Ithaca--again, Homer insists that he is sleeping--is an allegory of the funeral rites which he receives: "For the Phaeacians mean phaioi, 'dressed in mourning,' and they take away his corpse after the funeral feast and the funeral address, which stretches over four books.
In the Homeric epic, Odysseus narrates his encounter with Polyphemus to the gathered Phaeacians as a past event and, arguably, the grandest of his exploits.
These are the Phaeacians, who without any knowledge of Ulysses' identity or his past welcome him to their court, solicit his participation in their "rural sports," and ultimately draw from him the story of his adventures that occupies books nine through twelve of The Odyssey.
34) Viewing these Homeric exploits, it is as though the viewers were themselves masquerading as an audience for an epic recitation--perhaps even Odysseus's own recitation of his adventures to the Phaeacians in Books IX-XII of the Odyssey.
It is further necessary, in the story of Odysseus' adventures preceding his choice, to disentangle his self-understanding at the time of those experiences from that resulting from seven years' reflection on them, and from any distortion due to his purposes in telling his story to the Phaeacians, while always remembering his agility in the telling of lies.
The adventures which Odysseus relates to the Phaeacians plainly follow the otherworldly pattern.
149: "At the same time, their isolation (they are never visited by others) and unheroic existence (they never wage war) make clear to him by contrast--as when Calypso offered him immortality--why home is to be preferred to this paradise; staying with the Phaeacians 'would be a living death'.
King Alcinous of the Phaeacians extends it, Polyphemus the Cyclops refuses it, and Penelope's suitors have the hubris to consume it.
like-minded Odysseus did when he wheedled gifts from the Phaeacians.
of the same type as the lying fables told by Odysseus to the gullible king of the Phaeacians.
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