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How do Books 1 - 4 of the Odyssey prepare us for the introduction of the hero Odysseus in Book 5?

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How do Books 1 - 4 of the Odyssey prepare us for the introduction of the hero Odysseus in Book 5? Odysseus is mentioned once, and very vaguely between the first four books of the Odyssey. Instead the first four books almost act as a prologue or an introduction to They Odyssey. They are preparing us for the introduction of the main character, Odysseus. The first four books instead give us an insight to some of the characters and what they think about the main character, Odysseus. We get lots of information about Odysseus from the first four books that, in many ways help build up a picture of what he is like and what we can possibly expect from him in the rest of the book. The first four books is also known as 'The Telemachy.' It begins in the year of Odysseus' return. We go on to understand that Odysseus has angered Poseidon for reasons that the story later reveals; the God of the sea blocks his progress from the island. Athene likes Odysseus' and pleads his case to the other Olympians. Zeus, the king of Gods makes a decision and the wishes of Poseidon are set aside: Odysseus will be allowed to return home. The story begins ten years after the end of the Trojan Wary. All the Greek heroes except Odysseus have returned home. ...read more.


When I was first introduced to the palace of Odysseus, the palace seems to be unorganised and not run very well. We soon learn this is because of the presence of the suitors who are very much against Telemachus. They are trying to erase memory of Odysseus, as they do not want him back. This is because they want his kingdom to themselves, as well as Penelope, Odysseus' wife. The only other thing they want to erase is Telemachus and anything that shows memory of Odysseus. They want to get rid of Telemachus because he is very much like his father. They are described as "sitting about the skins of cattle whom they had slaughtered themselves." This shows that they are ruining Odysseus' possessions in order to get rid of anything that reminds people of him. They don't care about him. This makes the reader on edge because they want to see how Odysseus would react to such actions. His palace is being wrecked and we get the impression that heroic Odysseus would not let this happen but how would he go about stopping the suitors? As the Telemachy unfolds I become eager to meet the "heroic" Odysseus. As previously said Telemachus is mentioned a lot in the first four books. ...read more.


The reader is therefore prepared for this characteristic as well. At Lakedaimon, Telemachus and Nestor's son, Peisistratos meet Menelaus and his wife Helen of Troy. This is where I learn that Menelaus appears to be very upset about the missing Odysseus. This backs up my idea of Odysseus being popular. He appears a very likeable character since he is very much missed by Menelaus. Not only do all the above characters mention Odysseus in some way, Helen also contributes to preparing the reader for the introduction of Odysseus. She tells a story of when Odysseus disguised himself as a beggar to gather in depth information from the Trojans. This shows he is a man of skill and courage. Menelaus also praises Odysseus and describes the courage of Odysseus when he hid in the Wooden Horse. He describes Odysseus as "one of the fittest" because only the men with the highest physical ability were put in the horse. This gives me an image of a strong, courageous man. Overall from books one to four I expect to meet a lovely, strong, honourable, courageous and skilled man who can hold authority and who is missed and loved by many. We do not just get a picture of what Odysseus is like from what other characters say; we also see it from Telemachus. Telemachus is the son of Odysseus and therefore starts to show a lot of inherited traits from, his father as he matures from Book One to Four. ...read more.

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