From, 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]
1. Ogygia is the pure product of nature without cultivation or with very little. It is the place where the natural man must conquer his appetites, and long for, and finally seek for, a realm of order. Calypso is the concealer, she who conceals spirit in the jungle of nature. Here, then, occurs the primordial breach between the physical and spiritual, out of which an institutional world can rise.
2. Phaeacia now appears, in which we behold the fundamental institutions of man, Family and State, in their primitive idyllic condition, yet transcendently pure and beautiful. The evolution of this new order from the savage Cyclops is hinted in the poem. Only after Calypso is put aside, do Arete the wife and Nausicaa the maid become possible. Upon such a foundation a social system can be developed, with commerce, navigation, etc. Still further, Phaeacia can begin to mirror itself in art, as it does here in the songs of the bard, and also in games.
3. Fableland comes next, really a product of self-conscious art. In it are set forth the struggles which arise between man and the civilized order. Phaeacia is the simple condition of peace; man is in complete harmony with himself and his institutional environment. But what if he falls out with both? That will be a new stage, represented by a new set of beings, who are to indicate not so much the conflict with nature as the conflict with spirit. The world of reality is transcended, marvelous shapes sweep into view, Polyphemus, Circe, the Sirens, even the supersensible realm of Hades—all of which, however, must await a special exposition. Still we should note that after this ideal realm of struggle and desperate enterprise comes the real world of strife, Ithaca, which is to be harmonized by the man who has passed through this Fableland, and has reached an ideal harmony in Phaeacia.
We soon find that Ulysses has been thrown back to Calypso's Isle from Fableland, of which in a certain sense it is the continuation. The circle which he has passed through is, therefore, the following:—
- 1. Fableland.
- 2. Ogygia.
- 3. Phaeacia.
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
Reference address : https://www.ellopos.net/elpenor/greek-texts/ancient-greece/snider-odyssey.asp?pg=54