The Suitors In The Odyssey

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In Book 2 of, The Odyssey, many suitors are vying for Penelope's hand in marriage. They plan to take over the throne and assume the role as king because they believe Odysseus will never return. Telemachus, Odysseus's son calls upon the assembly with the hopes that they can do something about the many suitors in his house. While everyone involved, including the suitors, the assembly, Telemachus, and Penelope share blame for this stalemate, ultimately, the suitors are the most to blame for the fact that they've been consuming Odysseus's wealth for almost four years. One way in which the suitors contribute to the stalemate is the way in which they harass Penelope. The suitors are both challenging and reinforcing the role of Greek women in society…show more content…
Although he is young, Telemachus is technically the "man of the house" and by Greek gender standards has control over his mother. The suitors know this as they suggest that Telemachus is prolonging the situation by not "sending his mother away with orders to marry" (124). Somehow this is a credible argument to the suitors and they vow to "eat you [him] out of the house" (134) essentially squandering all their resources until Penelope decides to marry one of the suitors. Furthermore, they disrespect Telemachus by saying "your inheritance is going down the drain and will never be restored" (223) and "you've got some nerve laying the blame on us when the suitors aren't at fault it's your mother" (93-95). The suitors try to convince Telemachus that he has no right to be angry and that he's in this situation because of his mother. The suitors both disrespect Telemachus and his mother yet encourage him to do what they want at the same…show more content…
However, he is powerless to do anything about it. While he is the son of Odysseus and the would-be heir to the throne, there are limitations to his influence as he is very young and has lacked any father figure presence from birth. In the end, the suitors are the most to blame for the situation that everyone is in. They have exercised xenia far beyond acceptable hospitality agreements. They have overstayed their welcome, disrespected their hosts, and courted Penelope against her will. For these reasons, they are most to blame for this
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