Calypso: Homeric Parallel

In book 5 of The Odyssey, Odysseus is discovered in bondage to the goddess Calypso (whose name means "the Concealer") on the island of Ogygia in "the sea's middle" (1:50; Fitzgerald, p. 15; S. H. Butcher and Andrew Lang [1879] render the phrase "the navel of the sea" -- see omphalos at Ulysses 1.176). Athena intercedes with Zeus on behalf of Odysseus, and Zeus sends Hermes to instruct Calypso to free Odysseus for his voyage home (i.e., to recall Odysseus to Ithaca and his own people). Odysseus has meanwhile been on the island for seven years, mourning his thralldom and longing for home. "Though he fought shy of her, and her desire, / he lay with her each night, for she compelled him" (5:154-55; Fitzgerald, p. 97). Calypso promises Hermes: "My counsel he shall have, and nothing hidden, / to help him homeward without harm" (5:143-44; Fitzgerald, p. 97). Odysseus is prepared for his voyage and sets out, only to be intercepted once again by Poseidon's antipathy in the form of "high thunderheads" (5:291; Fitzgerald, p. 101). Athena intercedes, calming the storms and sustaining Odysseus with the "gift of self-possession" (5:437; Fitzgerald, p. 105).

(from Don Gifford with Robert J. Seidman, "Ulysses" Annotated: Notes for James Joyce's "Ulysses" [Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988], p. 70. The first numbers following quotes from The Odyssey [for example, 1:115] refer to book and line numbers in the Greek text; English translations, unless otherwise noted, are from The Odyssey, translated by Robert Fitzgerald [New York: Doubleday, 1961])