The Challenge. By Robert Jablonski , Nick Mesibov , and Michael Algert. Quick recap.
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By Robert Jablonski, Nick Mesibov, and Michael Algert
Odysseus has returned to Ithaca, after 20 years spent abroad traveling back home. Odysseus learns that suitors are looking to take the hand of Penelope, his wife, under the assumption that Odysseus is dead. Telemachus is also wanted dead by the suitors, so they can inherit Ithaca. Odysseus is disguised as a beggar, and makes his way back to his palace, where he is greeted by several aggressive suitors, attempting to win the affections of his wife Penelope.
Odysseus-Main character, traveled back home to Ithaca.
Antinous-One of the suitors
Penelope is pressed by the suitors to choose a husband. Penelope decides that she shall put up a challenge for the suitors: she will marry whoever can string Odysseus’ bow and shoot and arrow through 12 axe handle sockets. Odysseus, still in disguise as a beggar, decides to take a try. He strings up his bow, and shoots and arrow. It flashes through the air, whistling through every socket ring. Then, Odysseus turns to Telemachus, and addresses those in the palace, insulting the suitors. At the end, Odysseus gives a little nod to Telemachus, signifying that they are ready to take on the suitors.
Disguise-Throughout all of Greek literature, disguise and shape-shifting are common. Throughout the poem, several characters are disguised and use stealth to conquer foes. For example, Odysseus’ disguise as a beggar pays off, allowing him to safely enter the palace and retake his land.
Cunning over Strength- Throughout the novel, wit and cunning are shown to be more effective at dispatching foes and avoiding obstacles than strength. In The Challenge, Odysseus made sure to round up all of the suitors in a controlled environment before executing his plan with Telemachus.
Odysseus vs. Suitors- There are many suitors throughout the palace attempted to gain Odysseus’ land by marrying Penelope.
"Telemachus, the stranger you welcomed in your hall has not disgraced you. I did not miss, niehter did I take all day stringing the bow. My hand and eye are sound, not so contemptible as the young men say. The hour has come to cooke their lordships' mutton-supper by daylight. Other amusements later, with song and harping that adorn a feast“
“He dropped his eyes and nodded, and the prince Telemachus, true son of King Odysseus, belted his sword on, clapped hand ot his spear, and with a clink and glitter of keen bronze stood by his chair, in the forefront near his father.
What could happen next?
What is meant when “The hour has come to cook their lordships’ mutton-supper by daylight” is said?
What was the purpose of Odysseus saying to Telemachus that “the stranger you welcomed in your hall has not disgraced you”?