In Homer's Odyssey, disguises help convey a false identity that assist the characters in accomplishing their plans. Each disguise has its own purpose, such as Athene's image as Mentor to advise Telemachos. Her purpose was to assist and encourage Telemachos into searching news of his long lost father without revealing her true identity of divinity. Being old and wise, and especially male, helps put more power behind the words spoken by Mentor because men were received with greater influence than women were. Similar, Odysseus, through his clever use of false storytelling and disguises as "nobody" and a vagabond, is able to safely return to Ithaka and slaughter the reckless suitors.
“Fame and fortune is the ultimate goal of any man”(Van der Valk 61). One lives to strive for the best and conquer the world, metaphorically speaking for reaching his highest potential. “Although not everyone can achieve such high status, if a man can conquer a feat thus similar, his name can be passed on and he will be immortal” (Van der Valk 63). In Homer's Odysse...
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...s you as his bride/ home" (Homer 106, L. 153-160). He has just ensured Nausikaa's approval and will receive aid from her, just by telling her what she wants to hear.
Works Cited and Consulted
Heubeck, Alfred, J.B. Hainsworth, et al. A commentary on Homer's Odyssey. 3 Vols. Oxford 1988
Homer. The Odyssey. Trans. Robert Fitzgerald. New York: Vintage Books, 1989.
Murnaghan, Sheila, Disguise and Recognition in the Odyssey, Princeton UP 1987
Van der Valk, Marchinus. Textual Criticism of the Odyssey. Leiden: A.W. Sijthoff, 1949.
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