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The Antagonist

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Introduction

Victor Kwan IB English Higher 1 Period 5 Ms. Graciano World Lit 2 Word Count: 1228 words (not including list of sources) The Antagonist The Odyssey is an epic depicting the journey of Odysseus' homecoming; it is concerned with the result and the consequences of the Trojan War. Homer wrote The Odyssey approximately in between the years of 700 B.C - 500 B.C. In the epic, Odysseus is returning from the Trojan War but is cursed by the God, Poseidon, after he blinded his son Polyphemus. He is exiled to wander the Aegean Sea aimlessly for ten years before returning to his kingdom; during this time suitors from all over the Greece came to live in Odysseus' hall to seek his wife's hand, Penelope for marriage. In the epic, The Odyssey, there is no primary antagonist although there are many antagonists. Antinoos is one of the major antagonists, he is the leader of the suitors who are waiting to marry Odysseus' wife, Penelope. Greek culture is one that is the core of all Western and Latin civilization. It is one that respects kindness, honor and hospitality towards strangers. The Greek culture is an old one lasting more than 2,000 years. ...read more.

Middle

and in havoc / dropped on the heads of the crowd a deathly omen." (II.155-160), he advises them that they should leave without any bloodshed now. Antinoos does not take the soothsayer seriously telling him to go away and speak to children in book II "Old man go tell the omens for your children / at home and try keep them out of trouble..." (II.188-189). this is a sign of his foolishness and arrogance. He condemns Penelope for seducing them although does not choose to marry either one of them "Here is an instance of her trickery / ...she makes a name for herself, / but you can feel the loss it means for you." (II.100-134), a sign of his arrogance. Antinoos' relationship with Odysseus is somewhat quaint. Odysseus does not find out about the suitors until nearly the end of the epic, although we have a sense that that Odysseus dislikes Antinoos the most because he is the first of the suitors to be killed by Odysseus, as stated above Antinoos is never viewed sympathetically unlike some of the other suitors. The suitors and Antinoos are about as close an antagonist as the book has although for Odysseus to meet them at such a late time of the poem suggests that Homer meant to portray them only as a challenge that Odysseus has to overcome. ...read more.

Conclusion

(XVIII.44-50). He also shows insincerity when he throws a stool against Odysseus. Throwing a stool against another person is I noted is an insincere act among the Greeks. Telemakhos points out, "A poor show that hitting this famished tramp / bad business, if he happened to be a god.../ looking like strangers.../ in towns and settlements to keep an eye / on manners, good or bad." He is implying that their gods sometimes disguise themselves as beggars to witness the behaviors of mortals. The encouragement of the fight and throwing of the stool further proves that Antinoos is represents the dark side of Greek culture. In conclusion Homer portrays Antinoos as a villainous character who is arrogant, foolish and nefarious character. He is never portrayed with sympathy as other suitors are. Antinoos is the first suitor slained by Odysseus in the battle at the great hall. This further demonstrates Odysseus' hatred for Antinoos. He represents the despised aspects of the Greek culture such as cruelty and arrogance. We can also say that he is a static character in the story because he remains an obnoxious and unfavorable character throughout the epic. He remains a static character throughout the epic because his personality was that of a vicious and immoral character. List of Sources: Homer (translated by Robert Fitzgerald), The Odyssey, Random House Inc, New York, 1989. Phillips, Brian. SparkNotes on The Odyssey. <http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/odyssey> ...read more.

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