Select Page


·        Here’s what to do to complete this exercise…  Complete this task in three moves, hero-traveler:  ·        Listen ·        Read ·        Compose OR Create See requirements for each move below.    Move 1: Listen OK, we’re paying attention to a character named Elpenor, a very unlucky young man who we meet in Homer’s Odyssey, Books 10-12. Elpenor is often referred to throughout Greek literature and writings as the epitome of a luck-less youth who dies before his time, his soul racing to Hades after an untimely death, his body left unwept and unburied above.    Listen to the following two clips from the Odyssey. If you prefer to read, here’s a PDF of the texts, but I recommend listening since this translation is narrated by Sir Ian McKellen (aka, Gandalf!) Listening will take less than 15 minutes.    In the first clip, Odysseus is relating the end of his time in the house of the enchantress Circe, as he and his men prepare to set sail for the land of the dead (Hades). Pay careful attention to Elpenor (and to how he is characterized).    Here’s the moves link In the second clip, Odysseus and his men reach the realm of death; the first ghost they encounter is . . . Elpenor! Pay attention to how the dead and the land of death are described, and pay careful attention to Elpenor’s request. The clip skips ahead to Book 12, where Odysseus and his men find Elpenor’s body and give him proper burial.  ·        Move 2: Read Move 2: Read OK, now let’s re-read Acts 20:7-12. Here, we’re paying attention to a young man named Eutychus who falls out a window to his untimely death during a long-winded sermon by Paul. Oh, by the way, the name Eutychus means “lucky.”    Here’s the text from Acts 20:    On the first day of the week, when we met to break bread, Paul was holding a discussion with them; since he intended to leave the next day, he continued speaking until midnight. There were many lamps in the room upstairs where we were meeting. A young man named Eutychus, who was sitting in the window, began to sink off into a deep sleep while Paul talked still longer. Overcome by sleep, he fell to the ground three floors below and was picked up dead. But Paul went down, and bending over him took him in his arms, and said, ‘Do not be alarmed, for his life is in him.’ Then Paul went upstairs, and after he had broken bread and eaten, he continued to converse with them until dawn; then he left. Meanwhile they had taken the boy away alive and were not a little comforted.   Now, read one of the following helps from scholar Dennis McDonald as you think about Eutychus and Elpenor together.  ·        “Luke’s Eutychus and Homer’s Elpenor” ·        “Eutychus’ Death and Revival,” from The Gospels and Homer   ·        Move 3: Compose or Create Move 3: Compose or Create Hero, you have your choice— do ONE of the following and submit your response in the assignment folder below. Here are your choices:    ·        Compose a 200 to 300 word response to the following prompts:  o   Compare and contrast Eutychus and Elpenor; what similarities and differences do you notice? o   What new message is Luke conveying by this “retelling” of unlucky Elpenor’s famous story? OR ·        Create a haiku poem that conveys what you think Luke’s not-so-subtle comparison between Eutychus and Elpenor means. What is Luke trying to say in this story about Paul that resonates with the Odyssey?    (Note: A haiku is a three-line poem with a specific number of syllables in each line: five syllables in the first line, seven in the second, and five in the third. Here’s an example:  Who’d have ever guessed A teacher would make haiku Your springtime burden? Go for it, heroic travelers!