Friday, 8 June 2012

Odyssey: Emotional Echoes

This is a guest post by storyteller Dean Verger. Find out more about Dean.

Dean Verger

One of the best known episodes in the Odyssey is the moment Argus, the aged dog of Odysseus recognises his master after a separation of almost 20 years. This episode somehow triggered the thought that we believe in generational differences: I am different from my mother, my father. This is an attitude that may be as old as the industrial age (look, Dad doesn't even know how to handle a loom!) And yet the underlying emotions have not changed in thousands of years. Think of a loss of a pet in our household these days. Now imagine the pet as a working partner, for that was the role Argus played. He was a hunter, and a respected hunter at that.

I see this powerful and cunning leader of men that is Odysseus. Here he sees the dog he trained himself before he left for war. On the one hand he remembers the strong, swift hunter. And now he must compare that memory to the present aged, uncared for partner. Is it any wonder that Odysseus is overcome with emotion, shedding a tear for his old companion?

Thousands of years apart, and I can experience the empathy and sorrow a warrior and a leader felt through the writings of an old storyteller, an author, that was Homer.

Help bring Odysseus home!