Amphimedon In The Odyssey, What Motivates Odysseus To Dress As A Beggar?

In Book 16 of The Odyssey, Odysseus returns home disguised as a beggar. He deliberately lowers his status to regain his position and to gather information about what has happened in his absence. Penelope, his wife, recognizes him and sets up an archery contest hoping that only Odysseus can win. Disguised as a beggar, Odysseus encounters the arrogant suitor Antinous. Antinous strikes Odysseus, but he remains calm and controlled, refusing to strike back. One by one, the suitors fail to string the bow and fire an arrow through the axes.

Eventually, Odysseus asks to try his hand and succeeds in shooting the arrow through the axes. The suitors are stunned, and Penelope’s ruse is working perfectly. Odysseus then reveals his true identity, strips off his rags, and kills all the suitors associated with Antinous. He makes sure none are hidden before he proceeds.

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Odysseus’ return and actions in Book 16 show his resourcefulness and cunning. He deliberately disguises himself to gather information and to maintain his advantage. He remains calm and patient even when provoked, and he ultimately triumphs over his enemies. The scene also highlights Penelope’s intelligence and her willingness to help her husband in his quest for revenge. Together, they outsmart and defeat their enemies.

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