Odysseus In Homer's The Odyssey

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The Odyssey by Homer is a story that is composed of other stories being told. Several characters tell their own or other characters’ stories throughout the narrative, which guides the plot as well as creates correlations that help the reader understand the nature of certain characters and their stories. Undercover as a beggar, Odysseus tells Eumaeus a fictitiously concocted background story and creates a foil between the beggar and the Odysseus described in Odysseus’ story to the Phaeacians; consequently, the motif of Odysseus persevering to get home is highlighted along with the traits that help him return to Ithaca. Within Odysseus’ tale of the beggar as told to Eumaeus, many scenes are repeated from Odysseus’ narrative to King Alcinous.…show more content…
The king tells the beggar of the real Odysseus passing through his palace. The narrative features the motif of Odysseus’ persistence in reaching home by mentioning how Odysseus left the king’s palace in order to hear Zeus’ advice on how to return home. Even though this scene only appears in the beggar’s story, there is still a resemblance to Odysseus’ true journey in it. The king of Thesprotia states that Odysseus wants to ask Zeus “how should he return,/ after all the years away, to his own green land of Ithaca –/ openly or in secret” (14. 372-374). This closely resembles the advice Odysseus receives from Athena in Ithaca when she disguises him and tells him to test his position in Ithaca before revealing himself. The scene shows that Odysseus is coming back to Ithaca and may also serve as a gauge for the real Odysseus to test Eumaeus’ reaction to the idea of Odysseus returning. Such a test shows how crafty Odysseus is, which is vital, along with his stamina, in overcoming obstacles on his way home. Having two separate Odysseus’ in the narrative trying to find how to restore their rightful place at home (one posing as a beggar and one asking Zeus for advice) also reinforces the notion of how getting home is an important part of Odysseus’ character and will always be associated with

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