the representation of Ithaca from Homer to modernity
In your final paper please define and analyze the representation of Ithaca from Homer to modernity. Why has it meant so much to ancient and modern authors? And what does it mean to you after reading all related material?
THE MEANING OF ITHACA
Your task in this comparative paper is to evaluate and examine how the idea of Ithaca has been interpreted and represented by modern authors and artists inspired by Homer’s ideas. One of these authors is the modern poet Constantine Cavafy whose celebrated poem “Ithaca” is crucial to the modern understanding of Ithaca as a state of mind rather than a fixed destination.
-Begin your paper by explaining the symbolic meaning of Ithaca in the Homeric context and its importance as the final milestone in Odysseus’ journey.
-Then discuss Cavafy’s modern interpretation of Ithaca and explain how it differs from the ancient representation of Ithaca in Homer’s poem.
-Finally, compare Cavafy’s rendering of the voyage to Ithaca as a symbolic journey through life with ONE of the modern poems you are reading for this course by Whitman, Baudelaire and Walcott.
-You may also refer to Dante’s Inferno, Canto 26, to show how the medieval imagination went beyond the idea of “Ithaca” as a fixed destination and suggested a new understanding of the human journey as an ongoing quest for knowledge and experience.
Please cite specific examples from some of the above texts to demonstrate knowledge of the topic and elucidate your points.
To fully respond to this topic, it’s imperative you have completed reading critically the following:
-the Odyssey (Introduction 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 (posted on BB)
-The final three readings/poems by Whitman, Baudelaire and Walcott (also on BB)
This paper 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 related sources and authors who have reinterpreted the idea of Ithaca and what it means to modernity, such as Cavafy’s “Ithaca,” Charles Baudelaire’s “Man and the Sea,” Walt Whitman’s “Had I the Choice,” Derek Walcott’s “The Sea is History.”
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 related link on the subject)
-Use specific examples in the form of quotes from the texts to illustrate your points
-DRAW AN OUTLINE before you write the paper
-Have a clear thesis and personal perspective on the topic