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What do these first four books do? Why doesn't Odysseus show up till later? Who talks about him and what do they say?

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Sarah Bartle Schulweis English 3 Odyssey Topic Question What do these first four books do? Why doesn't Odysseus show up till later? Who talks about him and what do they say? The first four books are like an introduction to the rest of the book. Each person encountered and each situation explains further about Odysseus' personality. The entire book is about his adventures. During these first few chapters we get to experience Odysseus from other people's points of view. Before we get to his adventures we learn about who he is. We can get to know him through his son, his wife, his homeland, his friends who knew him in battle, and the gods who like or dislike him. In Book I, we see Athena and her kindness towards Odysseus through her visiting Telemachos and making sure that Odysseus gets home safely. ...read more.


At the end of this chapter Telemachos sets out on his journey, not telling anyone in the household except one maid. In Book III Telemachos goes to find out about his father's death- if he indeed died. He is nervous but Athena once again is on his side protecting him and favoring the family. He talks to a man name Nester (the eldest of warriors). Before Nester speaks he tells Telemachos that he sound just like his father. "You're father? Well, I must say I marvel at the sight of you: Your manner of speech couldn't be more like his; one would say no: no boy could speak so well." Then he tells the stories of soldiers and their struggles to get home from Troy - he parted ways with Odysseus after the end of the war, the one thing that they did not agree on during that entire period of war. ...read more.


When she finally could speak again she could not fathom why her son had left her. At this point we learn how much she loved Odysseus and how heart broken she was that he left. This situation with Telemachose only brings these emotions forward in her mind. Athena comes to Penelope in a dream, still as someone else. Athena eases her pain. This is one last situation that shows Athena's love toward Odysseus and his family. She comforts Penelope but does not give her an answer of whether or not her loved ones are alive, dead, or coming home. This is Athena's way of not tampering with fate. Odysseus seems like a smart, strong, loved person from all of these encounters with his family, loved ones, friends, and gods. I believe that is why he is not in the first few chapters. His introduction is long for a reason. He is the kind of person who needs a long introduction. The more we understand about him, the more we can appreciate his stories and his need to go home. ...read more.

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