Review on Homer’s Odyssey’s 22.1

Reference & Education

  • Author Aggrey Nzomo
  • Published November 13, 2023
  • Word count 659

Homer in his masterful tale, odyssey, employs a wide range of descriptive technique to create suitors that are fearsome in their quest in marrying Penelope. The story is largely based on the nature of the theme of blackmail and revenge where both the protagonist and the antagonist in the tale are depicted as superhuman whose unpredictability gives the story many twists and turns. The battle to win over Penelope and the killing of the suitors constitutes the entire part 22.1 of the story. The character Odysseus calls uses his mind more than his muscles compared to other suitors. For instance, Odysseus capitalizes on the stupidity of his suitors to kill all of them and ultimately win Penelope back to his side.

In this part of the story Odysseus comes to the hall where suitors are gathered bidding and showing courage in order to win the heart of Penelope. He disguises himself among the crowd. Before the other suitors know what he is doing, Antinous sustains a hard arrow that Odysseus shoots through his neck. They presume Antinous shooting to be accidental. He ensures that there is no way out for other suitors to escape and the reveals himself to other suitors He vows to kill all of them. The suitors are very terrified and cannot escape after Philoetuis is ordered to lock all doors and outlets. He then kills Amphinomus and struggles to eliminate the rest. The character of Odysseus as revealed in this section, is that of a vengeful and merciless person. He does not show mercy to other suitors who have humbly come to win over the heart of the bride.

The male characters in this act 22 are depicted as people whose decisions are dictated by the need to possess a woman. It’s not their fault since Homer makes goddesses in Odyssey to be overtly stunning and beautiful. Passion for a widow leads all the male suitors, into a trap that ultimately becomes their source of death through Odysseus wrath. Characters in this act take a woman as a trophy that men fight and compete over. Attempts by Telemachus to arm his fellow suitors flop when he returns to the store for more arms and Odysseus guards tied up. The suitors are depicted as careless and stupid characters whose actions are purely informed by their muscle strength. On the other hand, Odysseus is reflected as a very clever character who beats his opponents through calculated schemes

The depiction of male characters in this act is quite intriguing. Odysseus has a life mentor, Athena, who disguises himself in order to help him out. Athena becomes the source of wisdom and actions behind many of Odysseus conquests. Athena constantly tests the valor of Odysseus with a view to hardening him for the challenges ahead. During the war between Odysseus and the suitors, several suitors are killed when a volley of spears ranges between the two warring sides. While the suitors are killed in large numbers, Odysseus and his men only sustain minor injuries. To ultimately kill all the suitors, Athena (the mentor) joins in the battle. All suitors are eventually killed and Odysseus extends mercy only to the minstrel Phemius and Medon. He surprisingly kills the priest Leodes. Phemius and Medon are spared following Telemachus earlier plea to Odysseus that the two are innocent and were forced into helping the suitors. The trait portrayed about the two is that of cowards who are easily swayed by forces into doing things they do not wish to. Though Telemachus is not spared, he is considered tough and convincing than many of the suitors.

To conclude, Odysseus slaughter of the suitors in the act 22.1 of this masterful epic is justified. If he had not killed them, perhaps they would have attacked him and took away Penelope. The suitors were determined to compete over Penelope to the point of forcing characters like Phemius and Medon into attending and partaking in battle for Penelope.

Aggrey Nzomo is an expert in book reviews and green energy

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