Identity In Odysseus Of Homer's Odyssey

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Upon Odysseus arrival to Ithaca, Athena hides his identity to help him defeat the suitors. She turns him into a very old beggar to conceal his identity from everyone, most importantly the suitors. Odysseus reveals himself to his son Telemachus, cowherd and the swine herd. The nurse Eurycleia recognizes him because of a scar he got years ago by a boar’s white tusk. Penelope doesn’t recognize Odysseus at first sight because of the disguise. She starts to put things together that Odysseus could be the beggar right in front of her when she tells him her dreams and he answers “Dear woman,” quick Odysseus answered, “Twist it however you like, your dream can only mean one thing. Odysseus told you himself – he’ll make it come to pass. Destruction is …show more content…

“Now I will bring them on as a trial for my suitors. The hand that can string the bow with greatest ease, that shoots an arrow clean through all twelve axes- he’s the man I follow, yes forsaking this house where I was once a bride,” (Od. 19.648-652). As soon as Penelope utters these words Odysseus urges her and assures her that her once lost husband will be home in time before the suitors can complete this task. This reassures Penelope that the beggar indeed is Odysseus. Although Odysseus is still hiding his identity, Penelope’s confidence grows because she knows that this will force Odysseus to finally come out of disguise and compete in the contest to finally prove that he is indeed the one true Odysseus, king of Ithaca. During the contest while the suitors struggle, Odysseus still disguised as the beggar pleads to Antinous to give him a shot at stringing the bow. They are enraged by the fact that a mere beggar will even think of competing but most importantly they are frightened he will prevail. Penelope uses this moment to finally get Odysseus to reveal his true identity. Odysseus proves his identity by stringing the bow and successfully shooting it through all twelve

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