by Andrea Elizabeth
Ian McKellan, Gandalph, reading Homer’s Odyssey while cross stitching, brings out the gods’ comforting words during despair, a mother’s incomparable love for her son, a son’s equal jealousy on his departed father’s behalf, a female god’s lust for a mortal man and his unhearted capitulation, the inspiration of lovely things, the great appreciation of shelter from storms, and the great relief of sleep. How human.
Regarding his capitulation, although loyal to his wife, he is not unaffected by his bodily circumstances. We don’t like this devision between the heart’s devotion and one’s unwilling(?) subjection to the senses. The Greeks, later(?), prized the intellect’s transcendence above the senses. But literature isn’t about that. Even Plato set sensual scenes of banquets as backgrounds to intellectual discussions.