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The Odyssey Essay

1.) When Odysseus tells Telamachus his plan to kill all the suitors, Telemachus is very doubtful that it will work because of the large number of enemies against just the two of them. When Odysseus responds by telling Telemachus that the Zeus and Athena would help, Telemachus doesn’t believe him. Telemachus thinks the Gods are too busy to care because they rule the entire Earth and their battle would have no importance to them at all. Out of all the people in the world, Telemachus doesn’t think Athena and Zeus will choose to help him and his father. But Odysseus manages to convince him otherwise. In the end, Telemachus trusts his dad and continues to carry out his part in the plan.

2.) After 20 years, Odysseus finally meets his son, Telemachus. Together, they devise a plan to dominate all the suitors and get Odysseus’ throne back. On their way to the town, Odysseus notices his old dog named Argus lying on a pile of dung. Without proper care, Argus is starving and very weak. As Odysseus comes closer to the dog, Argus tries his best to wag his tail as he recognizes his master disguised as a beggar. Shortly after Odysseus sees Argus, the poor dog dies right before his eyes, satisfied to have seen his master one last time in his life.

3.) After Antinous hit Odysseus (disguised as a beggar) with a stool, Eupeithes’ the son of Antinous rebuked his father for his actions. He explained that the beggar could be a God in disguise. Eupeithes reminded everyone how the gods disguise themselves and turn up in any town or settlement that they please, and keep an eye on manners that are good or bad. If Odysseus was a God, Antinous would have severely disrespected him and the punishment is brutal. The gods are very powerful, and if Eupeithes was right about Odysseus being a God, Antinous could have been killed or punished along with other suitors there.

4.) It has been a while since Odysseus has been back home in Ithica, and citizens have been growing impatient with the fact that Odysseus has been gone, yet he still has the throne. Many suitors have helped themselves to the food in the palace and are trying to gain Penelope’s hand in marriage so they can become king. Penelope tells the suitors she will marry one of them, but she wants to finish her weaving project first. She is not ready to move on and remarry (she still loves Odysseus), so she stalls having to marry a suitor by weaving her project during the day, and unweaving her project during the night. She tells the beggar (Odysseus) that she had been doing this for about three years but she had been caught recently by one of her untrustworthy maids. Now that the suitors know, she has run out of ways to stall. The beggar responds by hinting to her that he thinks Odysseus will be back home by tomorrow.

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5.) “But the man skilled in all ways of contending, satisfied by the great bow’s look and heft, like a musician, like a harper, when with quiet hand upon his instrument he draws between his thumb and forefinger a sweet new string upon a peg: so effortlessly Odysseus in one motion strung the bow.” To paraphrase, Odysseus, who is very talented in combat and knows his weapons well, had already checked the bow’s strength and reliability for a good shot. He felt confident about its capabilities to successfully shoot the arrow through the twelve ax handle sockets. He is very experienced with handling bows, so he swiftly and delicately strung the bow in no time at all with one smooth motion. He knew how the bow should feel, and how taunt the string should be. With all his experience, he knew what he was doing and was comfortable with handling the bow.

6.) When Odysseus says “the hour has come to cook their lordships’ mutton” he is basically saying that it is time to defeat our enemies. He is signaling to Telemachus that it is time for the battle. When Telemachus heard this, he drew his sword, grabbed a spear and stood proudly by his father. Telemachus and Odysseus are ready to get their revenge and kill the suitors. Odysseus is very confident with his plan at this point because everything is set and ready to go.

7.) After Eurymachus died from the arrow that Odysseus shot through his chest, Amphinomus charged towards Odysseus with a sword in his hand, ready to strike and kill him. From behind Amphinomus, Telemachus threw a spear that went between the shoulders of Amphinomus and straight through his chest. He fell to the ground and died with the spear left in him. Telemachus had saved his dad from being killed. After that, Telemachus went to get some helmets, shields and spears so they could finish off the great battle together.

8.) “Salt tears rose from the wells of longing in both men, and cries burst from both as keen and fluttering as those of the great taloned hawk, whose nestlings farmers take before they fly.” This quote refers to how Odysseus and Telemachus cried because of their happiness to finally meet each other. (Salt tears rose from the wells of longing in both men, and cries burst from both as keen and fluttering as those of the great taloned hawk) Both men are overcome with emotion so deep that their salty tears start from the depths of their beings. Their cries are of happiness and joy and are so strong that they are similar to the powerful sounds made by the great hawk.

These men are both commanding leaders and only through the use of dominant predator could the author accurately convey his meaning here. Telemachus is like the nestling that is taken from the hawk. The hawk is the symbol for Odysseus in this case. Odysseus is like the hawk that never saw his nestling. Like the farmers who take the baby hawks from their nest before they learn to fly, Telemachus was taken from Odysseus before he could see his son grow into a proud man. (Whose nestling’s farmers take before they fly.) Odysseus went to battle before his son was born and has not returned until now. This was the first time they had ever seen each other so it was a very happy moment in the story.

9.) “My heart is sore; but I must not be found sitting in tears here, in another’s house: it is not well forever to be grieving. One of the maids might say—or you might think— I had got maudlin over cups of wine.” In the first line, Odysseus is saying, it would be embarrassing to cry over his feelings in someone else’s house. He is saying that he cannot grieve forever and he has been coping with his broken heart for a long time.

This is an excellent comparison because he is saying that he would feel foolish for crying over his feelings, just as he would feel foolish after being drunk and doing embarrassing things. If he talked about the pain he endured during the twenty years he was without Penelope, he would not be able to hold back his feelings and he would cry, like someone who was overly sentimental after drinking too much wine. Odysseus is too powerful to allow his emotions to overwhelm him. It is not the behavior of a strong warrior.

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