Tearing off his beggar rags, Odysseus boldly catapults self onto the hall"s threshold, utters a brief prayer to Apollo, and fires an arrowhead straight v a brand-new target: Antinous" throat. Just after the does he announce his intentions to the suitors in no unsure terms. All of sudden realizing the danger, Eurymachus make the efforts to talk his method out the the situation, offering repayment for all that has actually been taken from Odysseus. The king decreases the offer, and Eurymachus call his cohorts come arms, i m sorry consist of only the swords castle wear. They have actually no armor. Odysseus rips v Eurymachus" chest and also liver through an arrow. Amphinomus attacks and also is killed by Telemachus. The battle is on.

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Goatherd Melanthius, who twice struck Odysseus in recent days, manages to lug the suitors armor and spears from the storeroom yet is recorded by Eumaeus and Philoetius on a second attempt and strung up, alive, to be encountered later. V Athena"s intervention and encouragement, Odysseus wins the day. Every suitors space killed. The king then dispenses justice to a few remaining individuals and also a dozen servant girls.

Analysis

Odysseus" judgment and also prudence ultimately pay off. Choose the superb army leader that he is, he has actually assessed the situation, devised an reliable plan, and implemented that at simply the ideal moment. Back his anger is obvious, he is completely under control. Odysseus death the enemy"s many aggressive leader, Antinous, before any of the suitors realize the the king has actually returned or the they space in danger. V the leader dead, confusion races through the crowd.

Eurymachus, typically, make the efforts to speak his method out that the situation. He insurance claims that whatever was Antinous" fault; the remainder were merely under his control and also now are ready to serve their king. He supplies to taxes the civilization to pay ago everything and adds the he and the other suitors will add plenty that their very own possessions as well. Odysseus, however, is interested in only one type of repayment. Eurymachus sees the he have to fight or die and calls his fellow suitors come arms. The barely mounts a charge prior to the king"s arrowhead rips with his chest and into his liver.

Even the relatively an excellent must die. Amphinomus charges. Although that is the queen"s favorite and the one suitor who Odysseus earlier tried to persuade to leave, he is killed by Telemachus.

Because that his military expertise, the early fight goes well because that Odysseus. That has captured the adversary by surprise, cut off escape, ruined its leadership, and caused confusion. Telemachus fetches armor for the king and also himself and the two loyal herdsmen. The suitors have only the swords the they wear. However, the sinister goatherd Melanthius complicates matters. Acquainted with the castle, he retrieves a dozen spears and armor to match from the storeroom who door Telemachus has carelessly left ajar. Odysseus look at the danger but resists panic. His faithful herdsmen reduced off Melanthius" 2nd trip and also hang that live by the rafters.

At this an important point in the battle, together Odysseus agonizes, Athena shows up in the type of Mentor. The king recognizes his true mentor, the goddess, and takes heart together she reminds him the these are not Trojans that he faces. This are just the suitors. He fights on through renewed vigor. A highlight occurs as soon as Philoetius, the cowherd, rips a spear with the chest of Ctesippus, the braggart that threw an oxhoof in ~ beggar/Odysseus. The king"s faithful maid can"t stand up to asking Ctesippus just how he likes his mockery now (22.301).

Odysseus dispenses justice harshly however not without mercy. Leodes pleads that he was just the suitors" priest, yet Odysseus knows the he to be the first to shot to string the bow and win Penelope. Odysseus decapitates him with one swipe, the head easy bouncing in the dust. Adhering to Telemachus" recommendation, the king spares Phemius the bard and also one that the heralds.

With classic understatement, Odysseus observes that he has actually only a few "household chores" (22.400) left to have tendency to. He asks Eurycleia to recognize the maidservants who were disloyal. A dozen are referred to as in. They should clean the gore indigenous the great hall, after which they space taken come the courtyard and hanged. The maidservants "kicked increase heels for a tiny — not for long" (22.500). Climate Melanthius, the goatherd who attacked Odysseus top top the roadway to town and also later mocked him at the palace, is dragged into the courtyard. His nose and also ears are reduced off. His genitals room torn indigenous his groin and fed to the dogs. His hands and feet room severed. It is for sure to assume the he dies.

The detailed descriptions that the battle and also executions are especially effective, realistic, and thorough. The account of the deaths the Antinous (22.8-21) and also Eurymachus (22.87-93) collection the tone for the battle. The summary of the deaths of the servant girls, that are compared to "doves or thrushes beating their spread out wings / against some snare rigged up in thickets" (22.494-95) has a macabre beauty. What us come away through is this: In this soil which has no court or police and where each should settle his own disputes, Odysseus is not a male to offend.

The residence is fumigated, most likely with sulfur, for purposes both practical and symbolic. Odysseus" long struggle is over. The opponent is vanquished. His residence is finally cleansed. That is time come reunite v Penelope.

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Glossary

buckler a small, commonly round shield the is carried or worn on the arm or shoulder.