Odysseus and Interpretation o

Below please find the announcement concerning your finale paper due May 18. We will discuss it further in class.


In a three-page, double-spaced, paper please define and analyze the representation of Ithaca from Homer to modernity along the lines discussed in class. Why has it meant so much to ancient and modern authors? And what does it mean to you after reading all related material?

In order to fully respond to this topic, it’s imperative you have completed reading critically:

-the Odyssey (Introductions and Chapters 1-24)

-the Power Point “The Allure of Ithaca” posted on BB

-Cavafy’s poem “Ithaca”

-My lecture/notes on Cavafy posted on BB

-Edith Hall’s chapter “Exile from Ithaca” from the Return of Ulysses.

-Dante Inferno, Canto 26

-The final three readings/poems by Whitman, Baudelaire and Walcott

Your task in this comparative paper is to evaluate at least two of these references and examine how the idea of Ithaca has been interpreted by other authors and artists than Homer. One of them, for example, is the modern poet Constantine Cavafy whose poem “Ithaca” is crucial to the modern understanding of it. If you are also going to discuss a film, please make sure you watch it and you don’t rely on online notes of the film without ever seeing it.

Please cite specific examples from some of the above texts to demonstrate knowledge of theme and elucidate your points. In addition, you might need to look up a few things related to your topic on your own to respond insightfully and have a better understanding of the influence of the symbolic Ithaca on modernity.

This assignment should not be about the geography of Ithaca, it should be MAINLY about Ithaca as a literary milestone. In other words, how has Homeric Ithaca inspired literature and art of subsequent generations? In my power point and in your readings there are several references to literature and art (Cavafy’s “Ithaca,” Walt Whitman’s “Had I the Choice,” Derek Walcott “The Sea is History,” or films like The Wizard of Oz and Gone with the Wind), that have interpreted and reinterpreted the idea of Ithaca and what it means to modernity.

The final paper is due Tuesday, May 18 by 12 noon

Please email the final paper to me on May 18 by 12 noon attached as a Word doc at

In anticipation of your final paper please observe all the following rules we have discussed extensively:

-Have a title that best captures your topic and the spirit of your paper

-Remember to put main titles in italics

-Insert page numbers

-Do not jump from tense to tense, stick with one tense

-Make sure your third-person verb forms are correct

-Have transitions (paragraphs)

-Do not ever address the reader as YOU -instead use ONE or WE: “As one/we may argue…”

-Be aware of rules of punctuation

-Know not only the forms of figurative language, but also how to use them

-Introduce quotes properly: “according to…”, or “as the author states/claims/argues/maintains/declares/ponders…” (a while ago I posted a link to a guideline of proper introduction of quotes)

-Use specific examples in the form of quotes from the texts to illustrate your points

-DRAW AN OUTLINE before you write the assignment

-Have a clear thesis and personal perspective on the topic

-Do not oversimplify or generalize and AVOID clichés. Be specific and think small

-Use synonyms; never repeat the same word more than twice in a short paper.

Please do not write in the comment’s column. Save in Word and attach as Box doc.

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