There’s gonna be a season of new poems on Radio 4 inspired by The Odyssey. Talking about it, one of the poets said it’s an incredibly vital poem right now, as it touches upon the experiences of the asylum seeker and immigrant and could be a positive artistic force. Personally, I honestly couldn’t think of a worse poem in that regard.
The first town Odysseus encounters he pillages and burns to the ground. On another island, he and his men steal the local sheep, introduce a naive, almost childlike local to alcohol, get him hideously drunk and then blind him with a burning stake!
To top it off, when he returns home he murders a hundred guests (who, yes, were pledging their suit to his wife but, in fairness, believed her widow these last two decades) and then has all the female palace servants hung in the courtyard.
If you present Odysseus as an asylum seeker (Which, the Naussicca episode aside he really isn’t; he’s a lost bronze age king with an avaricious small army) the Odyssey is basically a vast pamphlet by the EDL or the Alt-Right.