In today’s episode of “Orange Juice in Bishops Garden” (episode 3, season 2) characters Sarah and Gwen reference their shared enjoyment of The Odyssey. This appreciation for overt sexuality, mingled with promiscuity, apparent drug reference (LSD), and men being transformed into animals, (ok, all teenage girls can laugh), makes sense to me.
However, not taking into consideration the outliers, it seems that nobody recognizes The Odyssey for what it is: antiquity’s daytime soap. And, this mystifies me.
Unlike other works there is no challenge in uncovering the savory details in The Odyssey. In fact as the epic opens Odysseus is crying on the coast of Calypso’s island mourning his homeland. In theory the audience should be sympathyzing at this pitiful sight, former brilliant war tactician, now prisoner on an island. And we would be. Except that everyone knows the night before, shoot probably the morning of, and the night to follow, he, Odysseus, was shagging the goddess Calypso. And who can really feel sorry for someone shagging a goddess.
Just like who can feel sorry for someone shagging a witch (Circe), or someone who has countless princesses wanting to shag them, or has goddesses helping them? Exactly.
And this is only one facet of the wild lasciviousness captured in The Odyssey. Homer incorporates excessive drinking, LSD, and even mention of a device to physically trap people in the art of love making. The Odyssey may be many things, but one thing that it is certainly not, is boring.
So, for everyone who is currently bemoaning their 10th grade English reading assignment, I have to ask: Do you hate all things scandalous? If so, then you may have a point. If not, then start reading because it is about to get good.