The Greek World

1. Looking closely at three passages (each one taken from a different work we have read), examine how mortals
approach a specific god or goddess. Is there a pattern to the way mortals direct attention toward this deity? What
changes in mortal opinion of divine dominion do the three accounts reveal?

2. What are the different levels of meaning in a hero’s nostos? What is the purpose of the journey, and what are
the effects of the homecoming? Analyze the nostos of the following characters on some of the levels: physical,
psychological, emotional, familial social (within the community), ritual. Feel free to add levels of your own. You
may mention Odysseus as a model; however, please focus no one of the following: Agamemnon, Orestes, Helen,
Penelope, Telemachus, or Oedipus.

3. Does a hero have an antagonistic relationship with the god or goddess most like him or her? Choose a specific
passage from Greek poetry which substantiates this view or shows it to be unsound. Discuss how the passage
portrays the relationship, asking yourself what shared characteristics are involved and, if there is a rivalry,
what might have caused it. Then consider how the overall plot of the poetry

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