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How are the figures of Telemachus, Odysseus and Athena presented in Books I to V?

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  • Essay length: 2127 words
  • Submitted: 12/12/2003
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AS and A Level Classics

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Homers Odyssey Due 6th November

N.B.: All texts referenced fully in the Bibliography, Page 7.

How are the figures of Telemachus, Odysseus and Athena presented in Books I to V?

Throughout the formative books (namely I to V) that shape the consensus of the poem as a whole, the author portrays a series of consistent motifs and themes - primarily utilising literary mediums akin to epic poetry of this period. Indeed, a great deal of this is highlighted through initial character portrayal and their subsequent interactions with those around them as the story progresses. This is particularly evident in the cases of the legendary Odysseus, his estranged son Telemachus (the main protagonists of the poem) and the Goddess Athene - who oversees the well being of the aforemented heroes.

Odysseus, the central character of the poem, is repeatedly portrayed as a courageous character renowned for his cunning; everyone who comes into contact with Odysseus is left in awe of his abilities. The author reiterates this point without fail whenever Odysseus becomes the topic of conversation, and the diction employed is always wholly complimentary (Cook, Book I, l.128 "stout-hearted Odysseus", Book III, l.98 "noble

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