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by Archaeology Newsroom

Aretes Silence and the Symbolism of Garment in Odyssey. A Psychodynamic Reconstruction

The movements of Odysseus in the epic poem, rhapsodies 5, 6, 7 and 19, are observed and analyzed on the basis of certain fundamental psychoanalytic concepts. According to the author of the article, what is sought in the development of Odyssey is the description of the psychic process, necessary for the evolution of a man’s psyche. The basic characters of the poem are regarded not as individuals but as personifications of the various psychic junctures which must be experienced by a man for the formation of his identity. Odysseus’ course can be considered a route from a basically Narcissistic to an Oedipodean position. Prerequisite of this course is the existence, at the beginning, of a second person, that of the mother, and later of a third one. that of the father. Calypso, Nausica, Arete, Penelope are considered as the females -or the multiple personality of only one woman- who function first as a screen on which Odysseus’ psychological contents and needs are projected, and later as the intermediate and facilitating grades for his further advancement. The garment is considered as a symbol of the female desire in the particular phases that are described.