The adventures in the Odyssey by Karl Reinhardt

By Karl Reinhardt

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25 What a climax such a surprise is for the Telemachy that began so gentiy and socially! Although Egypt is not part of that distant world through which Odys seus is wandering and cannot be compared with it, yet suddenly the sea, the smell of salt, seal hunting, and the world of wonders combine into the magic of an adventure-filled, distant land! This is not one of those wrestling matches that Peleus had to endure with Thetis or Heracles with Nereus or Triton with his fish’s body. Instead, the center of this adventure is the meet ing with the daemon in the realistically described surroundings of his ele ment.

H ow rough is the awakening of his companions, so innocent in their moralizing! On the day before, they were still urging Odysseus to think of his home, as he hesitated, but how desperate they are the next morning once they have what they wanted! H ow upset the same men are who were still so victorious the day before! 28 T eir esia s Teiresias, however, remains a shadow compared with Proteus. And yet he was chosen as a character according to the very different content of his prophecy. Although the question is posed in the same words, here the issue is not the journey back home in the outward sense of the Proteus prophecy.

102. For the m oti f of the neglected hecatomb, cf. II. 450. Consider from the point of view of the history of form, the increasing popularity of the adventures of the old man of the sea since the seventh century; cf. -hist. Abteilung, 1941, vol. 2, part 1. T he questioning of spirits in the Babylonian epic of Gilgamesh has a different meaning. 25 What a climax such a surprise is for the Telemachy that began so gentiy and socially! Although Egypt is not part of that distant world through which Odys seus is wandering and cannot be compared with it, yet suddenly the sea, the smell of salt, seal hunting, and the world of wonders combine into the magic of an adventure-filled, distant land!

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