Analysis of the Odyssey and Beowulf Excerpts Only

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The Odyssey Second paragraph (Book 16, lines 201-239, p. 195-196, Oxford World’s Classic’s Edition)

Seated together (Shrewing, 1980, p.195) – Telemachus and Odysseus embraced each other finally as father and son. Crying came easily to them both, with loud coherent sobbing and tears profusely dripping down their faces. The coming together, father and son after all these missed years of yearning, the love so great that had waited, sleeping till now was suddenly awake. There was no shame between them, only a great love for one another that was open and honest. The intensity of their tears reflected in the simile of them being likened to the piercing cry of the vehement vulture or crooked-clawed eagles loosing their young to hunters (ibid.).

The openness on the part of Odysseus and Telemachus allows the reader to see their vulnerability, their raw emotions freely with no restrictions. Odysseus was a great warrior, who has a gentle soft side for his only son. Telemachus, has lived all of his life not knowing his father, that special love finally returned openly and honestly. Immediate is their bond to each other, even though they were like strangers. This unburdening of their expressive love displayed with tears and the profuse sobbing so unseen by men in today’s families (ibid.).

Today, men are not men if they are seen to be crying. Today’s society places this restriction on men that it is not acceptable to show emotion, otherwise they are deemed to be weak. Here we have Odysseus and Telemachus in Medieval times where men had to be tough brutes, forceful, kill or be killed and crying like babies, these men are not considered weak by their society/times. Society today has set great restrictions on men in our world and not allowed them to freely express their feelings. Many men today, struggle with their emotions at not being able to talk about them. A Men’s Shed is one way at least in Australia, where men are trying to change today’s way of thinking and talk



Bibliography: Bibilography (Beowulf) Beowulf A Verse Translation by Alexander, M 1973, 2001, revised 2003

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