Introduction to Odyssey

Think about: why is everyone (even the gods) talking about Agamemnon and Clytemnestra at the start of The Odyssey? 

I think that the reason why “everyone” is talking about Agamemnon and Clytemnestra because Clytemnestra and Aegisthus had murdered Agamemnon upon his return. Clytemnestra was then killed by her son, Orestes, with the help of his sister Electra, in revenge for his father’s murder. I think that the key point between their relationship is the lack of loyalty and familial obligations. This is shown in the contrast between Odysseus and Penelope’s relationship where neither of the characters strayed away from each other in intervening years despite having suitors and seducers alike. It is also the link between Iliad and Odysseus. 

 

Why are we starting with Telemachus and Penelope? Why not #$@ Odysseus?

We are starting with Telemachus and Penelope because they are the second most important characters in the story. This is because of the theme that Emily Wilson could be trying to portray which is how there is actually a certain amount of significance of all the female characters in the story. Penelope’s character is very significant as she depicts how much power she has in the Ithaca Island despite the absence of Odysseus. In the story, Penelope has a lot of power over Telemachus even though he is the heir, he lacks a lot of authority. Penelope and Telemachus have a better relationship between each other in comparison to Clytemnestra and her children (obviously as they ended up killing her for revenge). Since Penelope refused her suitors, remained loyal to husband and hearth and sacrificed her 20 years of her life she provides a contrast to Clytemnestra. 

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