Telemachus Unknowing In The Odyssey

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This passage is taken from Book 22 of Homer’s Odyssey. The passage describes the final homecoming of Odysseus; he has revealed himself to the suitors exclaiming the misdeeds done against him. This scene is the apex of the Odyssey, a scene foreshadowed and hinted upon throughout the poem. The first 4 books of the Odyssey are void of Odysseus’ presence. It is because of this that some refer to the first 4 books of the Odyssey as the “Telemachy”- as it focuses primarily on Telemachus. Homer has utilised this absence to create tension and wonder within the plot- as Telemachus searches for the truth of his father (Books 3 and 4), as does the reader/audience. To the unknowing reader, this tale may simply be a coming of age story where Telemachus learns of his fathers death and so must become strong enough to fight off the suitors and take claim to his father’s household. In Book 2 (p. 13) the idea of Telemachus as a weak character is highlighted by his inability to control his emotions when confronting the suitors of their misdeeds within his household. However, it is quickly revealed to Telemachus in Book 4 (p.48) that his father is in fact alive- last seen by Menelaus, as he (Odysseus) wept on Calypso’s island, longing for home. Prior to this moment, Odysseus’ wellbeing is made a…show more content…
This is shown when the suitors are escorted to the Underground by Hermes and are met by Agamemnon and Achilles. Amphimedon informs the heroes of Odysseus homecoming and finally Agamemnon himself can give a voice to his narrative. He praises Penelope for being so virtuous and loyal towards her husband. He states that Penelope’s virtuous story would be remembered in praise; whereas his own wives story will be remembered with loathing. This reiterates to the audience that the suitors death came from a just vengeance and that the actions made by Penelope are something to be
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