Odyssey 9-12

In The Odyssey from books nine to twelve we see Odysseus tell the tale of how he came to the Phaiakians.  The stories about all of the different islands him and his men found include very supernatural and mystical occurrences.  I book 9 Odysseus begins telling of his journeys when questioned by Alkinoos.  Therefore, most of the content of the books 9 to 12 is simply Odysseus reciting his story orally.  Because of this I wondered whether Odysseus could have simply made up the whole journey.  In class we discussed how Odysseus tells a lot of false tales in The Odyssey (usually upon first meeting a stranger) so as to keep his identity a secret until he fully understands his surroundings.  With the Phaiakians Odysseus tells his stories so as to collect lots of gold and other treasured goods to take back with him to Ithaka.  This makes it all the more likely that Odysseus could have made up the stories.  However, we as readers can never know so we must simply take the adventures explained in books 9-12 for what they are – really good stories.

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