Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Email me at:  if you do not understand what you are supposed to do. 

1.  Write an essay on your assigned topic. Then be sure to post it as a comment on this blog posting before Spring Recess ends. Once you have done this, both monitor and respond to your classmates thoughts about what you have written. 

2.  Visit The Metropolitan Museum of Art's collection of Ancient Greek Art. (Consider going there with a classmate.) The main entrance is on 83rd Street on the west side of Fifth Avenue. Bring your Student ID with you. Once you've made your quarter, dime, or penny contribution to gain admission, get a floor plan map, so you know know how to get around. 

3.  Write about one object you see in their Ancient Greek Collection.  Your museum report is due upon your return from Spring Recess. ENJOY YOUR MUSEUM VISIT. 

Katherine S., Medina, Jeanette


Kenny, Jamila, Melida


Chanandie, Alyssa, Ivy, Shabranti

EPIC FORM & POETIC DEVICES:[Concentricity, Epithets, Foreshadowing, Metaphors, Ironies,]: Raymond, Brittany

[Design, Narrators, Retellings, Subjective (1st person), Objective (3rd person), et. al]:
Malthen, Yunrui, Susan


Kenia, Amy, Maurice

Sergio, Yenifer, Brandon, Tiffany

Victor, Katherine P.


  1. does mine include children or is it just based on who had a relationship?

  2. Will do Mr.Balgley! I never been to the MET before so this should be exciting!

  3. A major symbol within The Odyssey is the Sea. For most of Odysseus’ Odyssey, he must travel across the open sea. The open sea illuminates the idea that Gods are superior to man. With that said, Poseidon is considered to be the God of the seas. Due to the fact that he holds a grudge towards Odysseus, Poseidon usually sends out storms to try to stop Odysseus from reaching towards Ithaca . The sea is also a symbol for a Gods interference with human life. Like Athena, Poseidon has the power to still the winds around Odysseus to prolong his journey directly, as well as the power to seemingly bless Odysseus with winds to send him to different islands and cause distraction and pain on Odysseus life.

    Another major symbol within The Odyssey is Odysseus’ dog Argos. Argos is a symbol of Odysseus’ follower’s loyalty. Although Argos died soon after he saw Odysseus, Argos waited about 23 years for his master to return home, and still was able to recognize his Odysseus, even though Odysseus is disguised as a beggar Like Argos, there are many other symbols that illuminate loyalty towards Odysseus; for example Penelope’s wedding bed, with its inability to be moved, as well as the fact that it always grows.

  4. I don’t agree with the fact that the sea is a symbol for the Gods superiority to man. I believe that the Gods are portrayed as symbols themselves, and are naturally superior to man. I believe that the Gods are symbolic for what their powers do. Each god represents something different and is symbolic for something specific. For example Athena is symbolic for wisdom, and guidance. That is why I don’t think the sea has anything to do with the Gods. I think that the sea represents the obstacles that Odysseus faces in his life on and off sea. The storms, the Cyclops, the Phaeacians, Hades, all things that have prolonged his journey as you said Raymond. The sea is also very beneficial, because is helped Odysseus return to Ithaca.
    Another important aspect or device that I wish to speak about other then symbols is foreshadowing. There are many different stories in the Odyssey that are repetitive. One of the most important stories in my opinion is the story of Agamemnon and his wife Clytemnestra. The reason it is the most important to me is because it foreshadows the obstacles that Odysseus faces when he returns home to Ithaca, which is the climax of the story. Agamemnon’s protection and vindication from his son is very similar to Telemachus’s vindication towards Odysseus in fighting against the suitors. Another example of foreshadowing is when Penelope has a dream of an eagle swooping down from the sky and killing twenty of her pet geese. This foreshadows Odysseus killing the suitors. This dream is also symbolic. The eagle represents Odysseus, and the geese represent the suitors. Homer is very clever in this example. He tends to use symbols and metaphors within a foreshadow, which is what I find interesting about “The Odyssey.” Raymond do you think that there are any other poetic devices in the Odyssey that show how clever Homer is?

  5. Kenia Reyes


    In The Odyssey, by Homer has many important themes and lessons. In The Odyssey, it has many lessons that are learned by Odysseus and his crew. Odysseus and his crew are on their journey home. Three of those lessons were to not taunt people, to follow directions, and to trust people.
    The first lesson was to not taunt people. After Odysseus and his crew had escaped from the Cyclops, Odysseus decided to tease him. Odysseus had told Cyclops who it was that took his eye. Along with giving the blinded, one-eyed monster his name, Odysseus told him his home was on Ithaca. With this information, Cyclops prayed to Poseidon, the god of the sea. Cyclops prayed for Odysseus to lose all his companions and return to bitter days at home.
    Another lesson was to listen to what you were told to do. When they landed on Thrinakia, Odysseus made his crew swear not to touch Helios' cattle. Odysseus, alone, knew the what the result of touching the cattle would be. His crew did not listen. The crew used the cattle as a sacrifice to the gods. As a result, Helios prayed for the gods to punish Odysseus' men. They were punished by death when a thunderbolt from Zeus destroyed their boat. All of the men drowned except for Odysseus.
    A third lesson was to trust people. Once returning home to Ithaca, Odysseus had doubts of people's loyalty to him. Even though Odysseus was gone for twenty years, people still remained loyal to him. His servant, Eumaeus, had remained a faithful servant while Odysseus was away. Odysseus' wife, Penelope, despite having many suitors, remained faithful to her husband.
    One important theme are home, wandering, and fidelity. Throughout Odysseus travels, his central emotion is loneliness. We first meet him as he pines away for home, alone on Kalypso's beach, and he is not above weeping when thinking of home at other points. He also endures great loss through the deaths of his brothers-in-arms from the Trojan War and his shipmates afterward. Loneliness pervades the emotions of other characters; Penelope is nearly in constant tears over her absent husband, Telemachus has never known his legendary father, and Odysseus' mother explains that loneliness caused her death.
    Yet tempering Odysseus' desire to return home is the temptation to enjoy the luxurious surroundings he sometimes finds himself inparticularly when he is in the company of beautiful goddesses. He happily spends a year on Kirke's island as her lover and does not seem to complain too much about his eight years of imprisonment on Kalypso's island. In both cases, Odysseus expresses little remorse about being unfaithful to his wife although betrayal is what he fears Penelope may be succumbing to at home. Odysseus was never loyal to Penelope. Definitely, Odysseus does remain true to Penelope in his heart, and his desire to reunite with her drives his faithful journey. Loyalty is also central at the end of the poem, when Odysseus tests the loyalties of his servants and punishes those who have betrayed him.
    Another major theme is disguise. Odysseus' most important characteristic is his sneakiness. His Trojan horse scheme (recounted here) and his multiple tricks against Polyphemos are shining examples of his skill, especially when getting out of jams.
    Both examples indirectly relate to another dominant image in The Odyssey: disguise. (The soldiers "disguise" themselves in the body of the Trojan horse, while Odysseus and his men "disguise" themselves as rams to escape from Polyphemos.) Odysseus spends the last third of the poem disguised as a beggar, both to escape from harm until he can overthrow the suitors and to test others for loyalty. In addition, Athena appears frequently throughout the poem, often as the character Mentor, to provide aid to Odysseus or Telemachus.

  6. During my visit in the museum, I found many interesting objects. One object that I have found very appealing was the Terracotta kylix (drinking cup) It is the obverse and reverse, birth of Athena from the head of Zeus.
    Athena, the patron goddess of Athens, had the distinction of being born fully formed and fully armed from the head of Zeus, the chief of the gods. Much favored during the first half of the sixth century B.C., scenes of this event include numerous and allow for various responses to unusual circumstances.
    Here the birth has occurred, and Athena is about to sally forth from her father’s lap.

    (I took a picture but I don't know how to post it on the blog, so I sent it to you instead)

  7. Characterization of Odysseus

    Homer’s characterization of Odysseus is most obviously expressed through his epithets. “The wise”, “the warrior”, “the mastermind of war”, “the stubborn spirited” are all epithets that give the reader specific details about Odysseus’ personality. However, Homer also characterizes Odysseus as the perfect Greek man, or the closest thing to it. He is wise, strong, brave, strategic, and handsome. He also posses all the things that any Greek man would want: a beautiful, smart wife; a son who posses great qualities as well; he is a king; he has a goddess protector; he has loyal followers; and he posses many riches; not to mention that he seems to be irresistible to the female entities. Nevertheless, as we read further on, we discover that Odysseus also has faults. When he is escaping the Cyclops his pride and stubbornness take the best of him, so he keeps yelling out to the Cyclops despite his threats and his throwing rocks at the ship. We also cannot overlook the fact that although he never stops loving his wife Penelope he is an adulterer. He has slept with the nymphs Calypso and Circe, and with the queen of Aeaea. He might even have had something of an intimate encounter with Helen while at Troy. One could also argue that he is blood thirsty. He is violent, resentful, and sometimes acts rashly, which is clear near the end of the book. However, I think that these “faults” are only “faults” in the eyes of the modern reader. They take nothing away from his “perfection” as a Greek man. As a matter of fact, being blood thirsty and even somewhat unmerciful was probably an admirable quality in a warrior. And because Ancient Greek culture was so patriarchal, adultery committed by men was probably not even frowned upon. So in essence Odysseus is the perfect Greek man. His stubbornness and pride could also have been seen as strength of character and relentless decision. In essence Odysseus is the perfect Greek man; a man of many struggles, but also a man who overcomes and a man of triumphs.

  8. My essay is a little short but I want some input from my classmates before I continue writing.

  9. TYPO...sorry guys, please ignore the third to last line of my essay, "So in essence Odysseus is the perfect Greek man." That obviously does not belong there.

  10. Characterization of Odysseus

    In The Odyssey,Homer changes Odysseus's character a lot. One minute hes a warrior then hes a lover in a struggle and then hes a father reuniting with his son. Theres a lot of changes in Odysseus as he journeys along to his land such as character and personality.
    In many parts of the Odyssey, Odysseus is a lover/cheater. He constantly slept with other women while being married to Peneolpe. Trying to find to make his way back to her. Which in all made him unfaithful and not loyal. In the book, he is also a warrior. He fought in wars, suffering through toture and agony. He went on even though even Posiden was trying to take him down. He fought with bravey and a ambition.
    Odysseus is also adventurer. He was constantly on the move. Traveling on land and sea to different places. He met new people on the way traveling home. Which also makes him secretive because he kept himself a secret from the people he met. He was friendly and listen to others. They would tell him stories and he would share stories of his own. He even shows how hes a loving father to his son. Even though it seems his son has grown up to be a better person.
    In conclusion,Homer points out in the book a lot of Odysseus's traits. Some peferct and imperfect traits. In all reality nobody is perfect we all have flaws.

  11. Mr. Balgley, you didn't assign me to any group. Therefore, I chose to write about Homer's characterization of Odysseus.

    Homer's Characterization of Odysseus
    In Homer's the Odyssey, Odysseus is a hero. He is the husband of Penelope, the Father of Telemachus and the son of Laertes. Odysseus is characterized as many things, a warrior, a hero, an adulterer, determined, wise, clever and a fighter. Odysseus is also portrayed as the perfect man. The man that every woman wants because of his good looks.
    Odysseus was courageous, clever and a wise to have defeated Poseidon's son Polyphemus (cyclops). Odysseus and his men got Polyphemus drunk on wine and while he was asleep they blinded him by poking him in the eye with a stick and then escaped by holding on underneath the sheep when he let them out of the cave to graze. It was very clever of Odysseus to have come up with this plan in order to escape, as well as brave because they were escaping someone huge compared to them and a chance of getting caught and being killed.
    Homer also characterized Odysseus as coming adultery and being a gorgeous man, wanted by the immortal women of The Odyssey. He cheated on his wife, Penelope, with Calypso and Circe. Although Odysseus did commit adultery, he never stopped loving Penelope. It took him two decade to return to the family he loves. He is a warrior and a fighter because upon his return, Odysseus fought the suitors in order to have his wife back.
    I believe Odysseus is a great heroic Greek character and I am fond of the way Homer portrayed him. The only thing that I disliked of Odysseus was that he committed adultery while his wife Penelope waited for his return. I understand that it was a two decade wait but Penelope waited so why couldn't he resist?

    Visit to the Museum
    What I found interesting on my visit to the museum were the marble heads. It sounds simple but it's interesting to me. I get an idea of what Greek people looked like as well as the way their hair was styled. It's amazing how a person's face can be carved into marble and be so well detailed for their time. The heads were also so well preserved which only makes them so much more greater to be kept in this shape for so long.

  12. When I think of the Odyssey the first thing I think of is the phrase "patience is a virtue." This phrase relates to Odysseus, Telemachus, and Penelope. Odysseus goes through 20 years of suffering and his suffering strengthens his patience because he knew he would get back to his family. Penelope is back in Ithaca and has been waiting about 20 years for Odysseus' return. Once Odysseus is home Penelope people still does not believe that he is Odysseus. Odysseus has to prove who he is; this proves his patience even more.
    Another theme of the Odyssey is that the Gods have the ultimate power. Mortals have try to stay on the Gods' "good side" by making sacrifices. On the other hand if you offend the gods they exercise their right to create problems for you. Poseidon hates Odysseus because he killed his son. Poseidon is the reason why Odysseus gets trapped on Calypso's island. Athena is the god that is most visible in the book. Athena understand Odysseus' importance and pleads to Zeus to help him. Athena helps Odysseus throughout his entire journey.

  13. "Patience is a virtue" is definitely right. I mean 20 years of struggling through war and getting home without ever giving up hope is amazing. Now that I think about I think that's Odysseus best quality as well as Penelope's. She waited and put up with the suitors for years. And finally when they reunited they're relationship was seemingly intact. Although I doubt that after 20 years of complete separation any marriage could just continue on where it left off. As for Telemachus, his patience was more occupied with the suitors than with awaiting his father's return. He could not have felt much anticipation or even hope since he had never met his father.

  14. I was not able to go to the museum but I found an amazing painting online. It was a fresco of the cyclops Polyphemus. I was glad to find this painting because it related to the Odyssey. It is a two part fresco. On the bottom of the fresco Polyphemus is tending to his goats while gazing a beautiful sea nymph named Galatea, who he is in love with. On the top Polyphemus is blinded and throwing boulders at Odysseus' ship while it is sailing away.
    This relates exactly to the book because during the Trojan War Odysseus and his crew are on the island of the cyclopes and goes into Polyphemus' cave in search of food and drink. Polyphemus comes back and blocks the cave entrance with a stone and eats 2 men. In the morning he eats two more. Once he is gone Odysseus gets an olivewood club that Polyphemus left and sharpens the tip. When Polyphemus returns he eats 2 more men. Odysseus gives him wine and Polyphemus becomes drunk and Odysseus tells him his name is nobody. Once Polyphemus is asleep Odysseus and his men drive the stake into Polyphemus' eyes. Polyphemus yells out that nobody is killing him and the other cyclopes thinks he is joking so they didn't help him. Odysseus and his men tie themselves to the underside of the sheep. When Polyphemus let out the sheep the men got away. When the men sail away Odysseus boasts to Polyphemus that his is not nobody , he is Odysseus the king of Ithaca. Polyphemus prays to his father Poseidon for revenge.

  15. In the Odyssey,there is much I can say about MARRIAGES and INFIDELITIES. First and for most I would like to discuss the relationship between Odysseus and Penelope.
    Throughout the story, Odysseus has been hiding his identity to the people close to him and everyone thought he was dead. His wife,Penelope believed she was a widower. He had always loved her but he kept his distance for the safety of their love and marriage. As he was in disguise, he told Penelope that Odysseus is still alive and she will see him again soon. She was shocked and showed her love by relieving tears that represented sadness towards her marriage and love.
    Later on, she made her decision stating that she is going to remarry and the person who can shoot an arrow through the 12 axes in a line is the person she will marry. This hurt Odysseus but he had no right to state his opinion about this.
    Towards the end of story, Odysseus finally reveals himself and this surprises his wife. She hadn't say anything to him. Just looked at him in disbelief. This shows that she is shocked to see her husband and is relieved to know he is still alive. They have a really strong love towards one another and it shows throughout the hard times and tough experience they had without one another and they finally united once again...

  16. This is my 4th time, I'm typing this since something went wrong with the Blog.

    The most interesting couple to write about is Odysseus and Penelope. They were many obstacles they had to over come throughout their marriage. Odysseus getting lost at sea in his way to Troy and disappear from home for 20 years. His disappearance made his wife Penelope believe he had dead but even with that kind of thought she had hope and faith that he will come back. She wanted 20 years for him, patiently.
    In Book 4, Homer gives me the sense that Odysseus had cheated on his wife with three woman Athena, Helen and Calypso. The love he had for Penelope was irreplaceable so these woman were just entertainment. This couple had a love that no other couple in the novel had. Towards the end Odysseus is able to return back home to Penelope and their son Telemachus but he is disguised. During this time Penelope had decided she will remarry a man that is able to shoot a arrow through 12 axes in a line. Odysseus couldn't just sit there and allow the love of his life to get remarried while he was right there.
    At t he end Penelope received the best surprise she ever wished for her husband revealed himself making her lead into tear of Joy and love. Homer describes the love this couple share for one another like a fairy tale story we were told when we were younger. Their love is magical and unbreakable. Their love is able to defeat the world if it has to.

  17. I will email it to you because yesterday I was trying to put my essay on the blog but something weird happened (I don't know). So like I said I will email it to you. See you tomorrow.

  18. Regarding "Relations among the gods and with man" The impressive speech that Calypso gives to Hermes in Canto 5 (130-160)"Hard Hearted gods! You unrivaled lords of jealousy-scandalized when goddesses sleep with mortals..." it's interesting what she says. Is this a realistic, unflinching account of the way things work in the patriarchal culture of ancient Greece: while men of the mortal world and Zeus and the other male gods can get away with promiscuous behavior, society expects females to be faithful at all times? Or a reaction to this reality? It is open for interpretation, but it is interesting to note this speech.

  19. Oddyseus is the central figure and main character of the Oddysey. He is the epitome if a man and has all the qualities that an ideal man wants. Throughout the epic, Oddyseus shows us that he is strong, brave, cunning, loving, quick, kind, respectful, and the list goes on and on. However, his most distinguishing trait is his cunningness. Time and time again, Oddyseus gets his crew and himself out of difficult and nearly impossible situations and overcomes challenges that a normal man would never be able to do. Examples of this would be in Canto 23 where he slyly hides the death of one of the suitors by having his minstrel conjure up a wedding tune and in Canto 9 where he escapes the danger of Polythemus, a man eating cyclops. We see that uses his most defining characteristic to overcome his obstacles. However, he does have flaws. After he escaped the wrath of Polythemus and was able to blind him, Oddyseus becomes too prideful and narcissistic. He labels himself as a "raider of cities" and other glorifying names to make himself more known to the world and become famous. This however, leads him to become in more danger and will later present more danger to him and his crew. Homer uses many positive and great epithets to label Oddyseus but Oddyseus is however, flawed. He is somewhat narcissistic, prideful, and especially promiscuous. During the beginning of the epic, we see that Oddyseus is sleeping with the nymph Calypso and also Arete. However, he makes up for it by being faithful to his wife Penelope even after 20 years away from home and still longs to go back to his home country. As a reader reading deeper and deeper into his epic, we want to become more and more like Oddyseus. He is the ideal man and Homer uses epithets and other descriptive qualities to define his man.