Homer's Odyssey: A commentary [Please note that the Table of Contents here published, is created by Elpenor and is not to be found in the print version]
II. The Odyssey has two phases of Negation, both of which the heroes (father and son) must overcome.
1. The negative spirit caused by the Trojan War and its overcoming.
a) The ignorance of the son and its overcoming.
b) The destructive tendency of the father and its overcoming.
2. The negative spirit abroad in Ithaca (Suitors) and its overcoming.
a) The hut of the swineherd (preparation).
b) The palace of the King (execution).
That is, Ulysses and Telemachus have the double problem, which organizes the Odyssey: they must conquer their own internal negation, then proceed to conquer that of the Suitors. Both poems divide alike; both have the same fundamental thought: the individual as hero is to master his own negative spirit and that of the world, and then be reconciled with himself and the world. The Iliad has essentially but one thread of movement, that of Achilles; the Odyssey has two such threads, if not three—father, son, and perchance wife, making the total Family as the unit of movement.
Thus the Iliad and Odyssey are one poem fundamentally, showing unity in thought and structure, and portraying one complete cycle of national consciousness, as well as one great phase of the World's History.
Pharr, Homer and the study of Greek * Odyssey Complete Text
Iliad Complete Text * Homer Bilingual Anthology and Resources * Livingstone, On the Ancient Greek Literature More OnLine Resources on Greek History, Places, Texts, Language
Greek Word Library
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