by Sebastian Lockwood
We begin at book V with Odysseus weeping on Calypso’s island. We then cover the great encounters: Princess Nausika, the Cyclops, Circe, Hades, the Lotus Eaters. We end on Ithaka, with the recognition scenes, confrontations with the suitors, and resolution with Penelope. Themes: the laws of hospitality, mortality and immortality, words before violence, reconciliation, olive wood as a symbol of restored peace and civility: the journey as allegory.
Homer’s Odyssey – A live telling of Homer’s great epic poem. Bard and rhapsode Sebastian Lockwood tells the adventure of Odysseus returning from Troy to Ithaca and his wife Penelope. There at the end the two are joined in the olive bed. Athena and Zeus watch over Odysseus as he returns through the magical lands of, The Lotus Eaters, The Cyclops, Calypso and Circe, Hades and the loss of all his men to return home.
Odysseus wanted no part of the war at Troy with the brothers Agamemnon and Menelaus fighting for Helen against Paris, Hector and Priam. With Athena’s help Odysseus conceives the plan to build a great horse – Odysseus is the wily one, the clever one, as his name says, The Man of Many Faces: he uses his mind rather than his might.
The hundred and two young men who take over his palace have crossed the laws of hospitality and for this they must die. They would take Odysseus’ place in his bed and kill his son. And they break the laws of hospitality by eating him out of house and home.
Penelope with the help of Athena must use her mind, her will and her skill to save the palace for Odysseus’ return. In the end Odysseus after his many adventures must face the suitors to win back his son, his queen and his country.
Homer’s Odyssey - Storytelling Themes
The themes that are stressed are the acknowledgement of the laws of hospitality, the fact that character is shown by doing for one who can do nothing in return. The virtues of honesty, fidelity, loyalty and belief in hearth and home are the unifying bonds between Odysseus and Penelope. It is also a great instruction manual for how to travel, how to farm and how to build. The use of Olivewood as the central symbol is the eternal yearning of men who are forced to war who long for peace.
This is a passionate live and improvised telling of the great text by a master storyteller. Sebastian has studied The Odyssey and lived the Odyssey for 40 years. This version was originally based on Fitzgerald’s poetic translation and informed by Lattimore’s more linear translation and now deeply affected by the translations of Fagels and Lombardo. He is also influenced by the great versions of the Iliad by Christopher Logue. Sebastian brings a wealth of human experience and scholarly application to his re-creation of the great story.
The most telling compliment is the audience member age seven or seventy who says I felt like I was there. Order the DVD or organize a live telling, it will take you back to the Homeric text with new insight and greater awe for Homer.
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