He drew to his fist the cruel head of an arrow for Antinous just as the young man leaned to lift his beautiful drinking cup, embossed, two-handled, golden: the cup was in his fingers: the wine was even at his lips: and did he dream of death? How could he? In the revelry amid his throng of friends who would imagine a single foe- though a strong foe indeed- could dare bring death’s pain on him and darkness in his eyes? (Homer, line 1412, page 1009)
Over a period of time, Odysseus develops a hatred for the most obnoxious suitor named Antinous. Antinous believes that he couldn’t be killed because he amongst his friends and he has become hubris. Ignorantly, he thinks that no man would dare to kill him, but Odysseus proves him wrong by shooting him with his bow.
“You yellow dogs, you thought I’d never make it home from the land of Troy. You took my house to plunder…You dared bid for my wife while I was still alive. Contempt was all you had for the gods who rule wide heaven, contempt for what men say of you hereafter. Your last hour has come. You die in blood.” (Homer, line 1439, page 1011)
In this part of the scene, Odysseus is raged at the suitors for abusing his home, wife, and child. The suitors have plundered his house and tried to claim his wife while he was gone. He is also upset because the suitors have dishonored the Greeks’ religious laws regarding hospitality and the authority of the gods. Honor was everything to the Greeks, and to “die in blood,” is exactly the same as dying a violent death.
Think of a catch that fishermen haul in to a half-moon bay in a fine-meshed net from the whitecaps of the sea: how all are poured out on the sand, in throes for the salt sea, twitching their cold lives away in Helios’ fiery air: so lay the suitors heaped on one another. (Homer, line 1535, page 1013)
Here, the suitors learn a valuable lesson: make sure the king of the island is dead before you wreck his furniture, eat his food, and try to steal his...
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