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The Odyssey Book 16
Transcript of The Odyssey Book 16
Homer's The Odyssey
When Telemakhos reaches Eumaios’s home, he sees a strange man talking with Eumaios. After Eumaios leaves his house to tell Penelope that Telemakhos has returned, the stranger reveals himself as Odysseus, and he rejoices with his son. Odysseus tells Telemakhos a little about his journey and begins to formulate a surprise attack on the suitors, which includes Odysseus dressing up as a beggar.
The Preservation of Love
Restoration of Honor Through Revenge
The Affect of Separation
Appearance vs. Reality
The True Meaning of Family
"If son of mine you are and blood of mine"(XVI, 359)
Penelope and the Suitors
Meanwhile, before Eumaios has a chance to tell Penelope of his son’s return, a messenger tells the suitors that Telemakhos is returning to the palace. Antinoos, moreover, proposes to kill Telemachus before he can expose the suitor’s lewd actions. However, Amphinomus persuades the suitors to wait for a message from the gods before making any hasty moves.
"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" (XVI, 255)
" the noble and enduring man Odysseus" (XVI, 106, 219)
"Odysseus who had borne the barren sea" (XVI, 267)
"that young pup Telemakhos" (XVI, 416)
"Athena Hope of Soldiers" (XVI, 246)
"Penelope the Wise" (XVI, 497)
"let your ribs cage up your springing heart" (XVI, 325)
This simile compares hawks who have their babies taken from them to the feelings Odysseus and Telemakhos have for each other. Odysseus was absent for all of Telemakhos' life leaving a hole that could not be replaced. Odysseus also feels the pain of not seeing his son grow up. However, both are now overjoyed to be reunited and cannot stop the tears.
Odysseus vs. Telemakhos
"the hero" (XVI, 316)
name means "he who gives or receives pain"
inexperienced and untrained in battle
"Clearheaded Telemakhos" (XVI, 311)
name means "far from battle"
respect and in good favor of the Gods
plan to kill suitors
emotional when they meet each other
" she tipped her golden wand upon the man,
making his cloak pure white and the knit tunic fresh around him. Lithe and young she made him, ruddy with sun, his jawline clean, the beard no longer grew upon his chin. And she withdrew when she had done" (XVI, 202).
This quote symbolizes Odysseus' return to power, strength, and the appearance of a hero. He is reinstating himself as king of Ithaca and planning revenge on the suitors. Athena's transformation of him is symbolic of his renewal both physically and in his return home, a significant turning point in the story.
"You cannot be my father Odysseus! Meddling spirits conceived this trick to twist the knife in me...!"(XV1, 228-230)
Telemakhos is still skeptical of things. He is surprised to see his father. Telemakhos' spirits are being twisted-never felt so shocked. The knife Telemakhos speaks of is symbolic of the pain he feels at having grown up without a father. He believes that Odysseus is a fake sent to reopen the wounds.
"If my heart were as young as yours, if I were
son to Odysseus, or the man himself,
I'd rather have my head cut from my shoulders
by some slashing adversary, if I
brought no hurt open that crew! ...
better, I say to die at home in battle
than see these insupportable things, day after day" (XVI, 119-126)
This quote first shows foreshadowing to Telemakhos that it really is Odysseus in disguise. Odysseus is then trying to encourage Telemakhos to rise up against the suitors and restore his honor. Odysseus says he would rather die than live with the horrible acts of the suitors and the violation of the hospitality code.
"that man does not exist, nor will, who dares
lay hands upon your son Telemakhos,
while I live, walk the earth, and use my eyes,
The man's life blood, I swear,
will spurt and run out black around my lancehead!" (XVI, 533-537)
Eurymakhos blatantly lies to Penelope who has realized that the suitors want to kill her son. He swears that he will protect Telemakhos, further showing his low character and putting him in ill favor of the gods.