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Calypso and Odysseus
Circe and Odysseus
Clytemnestra and Agamemnon
Final Reactions to The Odyssey
Gods, Fate, and Man
Hector and Andromache
Helen of Troy
Penelope and Odysseus
The Story of Achilles
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Please place all observations about suitors here.
1) Try to find the names of any of the suitors besides Antinous. If you can, try to figure out if there is anything unique in these other bad characters. Are any of them remorseful or nice?
Eurymachus- deceitful suitor; charisma allows him to influence the other suitors.
Amphinomus- decent man wanting to marry Penelope for good reasons, but is killed because of his differences with the other suitors.
Leodes, Oenops son- a suitor who steps up and tries to string Odysseus' bow in book 21, and later comes to his senses.
Melanthius- the next suitor who thinks he can string Odysseus' bow because he is a champion. he is also strong and a little bit tooooo proud.
The suitors are bad! The only time where they are nice for all the wrong reasons (as in this picture) is when they are offering, or bribing to Penelope. They can come off directly as sweet, and looking like they only want to please her. But, since we are reading the Odyssey, we know otherwise! Behind the scenes is when that gets ugly... Although none of them really appear to be remorseful, I suppose there is a very slight option that could be.
2) Try to create a list of the ways they have violated the code of hospitality
They eat all of the food, have stayed longer than is acceptable... They take advantage of Penelope's workers, her physical home, her emotions... In addition to that, they are also plotting against Telemachus, to hurt him and take over the empire. And basically anything else you can think of.
3) Make a list of some of the more remarkable statements by Antinous.
4) Also, include some of Penelope's quotations. What does she say to or about them?
5) Paraphrase any scene that involves them.
Basically, while Odysseus is gone, and Penelope, the bard and the suitors are in the house, they torment her! They threaten the bard to sing a song of the return of Troy, while Odysseus they know hasn't returned yet (on purpose I'm sure). Penelope starts weeping, and that is when Telemachus comes in...
Once the news is sent to Odysseus' home
for Penelope that Telemachus has come home, the suitors over hear. They then plot
to cut him off on his homecoming, and to not necessarily kill him, but hurt him so he won't come back. Also, they still plan to have one of the men marry her, and he would be picked by the amount of gifts they give to her. Penelope then hears this, and she cuts in, saying that they have no right and no reason, and that they are breaking the rules of Xenia-- and she begs the suitors to stop. They reply saying that she is crazy to think that, and they have done nothing wrong!
6) See if you can find other portrayals of the suitors in art. The men in the picture above look young, buff, and very appealling. Can you find any pictures that are more in keeping with the description we see in The Odyssey? Post them here.
This is apparently Odysseus fighting with Irus (another suitor) who is considered a beggar. The artist and time of creation I wasn't able to find.
We are skipping the book where this scene takes place. It is called "The Beggar King of Ithaka." In it, Irus, the beggar who has lived off the suitors for ten years, makes the mistake of trying to fight Odysseus, who is disguised as a poor wanderer. As you can imagine, Odysseus clobbers the beggar. Penelope hears the noise and complains to Telemachus that it is a great shame on the reputation of her family to allow fighting in the home. She does not recognize Odysseus -- or does she?
"This is a painting of the suitors being slain by Odysseus. It was
painted in c. 450 B.C. by an unknown artist." Melissa Grip
This is Odysseus slaying the suitors. They finally get what they deserve, after they wouldn't leave Penelope alone.
; in the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Ger.
In this picture, Penelope is carrying the bow of Ulysses. She is preparing for the competition of the suitors, to find a worthy husband. This is painted in c. late 5th century B.C.- Melissa Grip
In this painting the suitors are trying to shoot an arrow through 12 axes, to win Penelope's hand in marriage. They are not succeeding. The information about the painting is unknown. -Melissa Grip
7) Step back and explain what these men represent in Greek society. Why is their conduct not only appalling but very frightening?
These men represent a greedy "species" that mooch off of Penelope, because her husband is absent. They are barbaric and frightening men. There actions are not only appalling, but frightening, because they are strong men, and if they get angry, there are a large number of them, so they could easily take over the palace. It is also frightening in the sense of what the world has come to. Are people going to act like this forever? and Why do they take such advantage of women? -Melissa Grip
8) If you were doing a play, what props or symbols would the suitors carry?
If I was making a play out of The Odyssey, I would give the suitors many props. The suitors might be equipped with fancy but ill fitting clothing, along with wine glasses and cigars. The clothing would be the most symbolic then anything else. The suitors are trying to wear Odysseus's clothes, and even though they can get into them, they don't fit. It is almost lie they are trying to fit into a mold that can never be filled, and they want to fit into that mold for all the wrong reasons. They would also have cigars because I believe that cigarettes and cigars are kind of dirty, and disrespectful to smoke in and around peoples houses or cars. The suitors are all very dirty men, who didn't care at all how they trashed Penelopy's house. --Katie van Amson
9) Research the word suitor. Where does it come from? Can you find when it was popularly or commonly used in the US? (eg, was it used in the 18th century? Is it still used today in some contexts or in some parts of the country?
The word "suitor"(according to dictionary.com) means
A man who is courting a woman.
A person who makes a petition or request.
A person who sues in court; a plaintiff; a petitioner.
A person or group seeking to purchase controlling interest in a company.
Some other information about the word suitor.
It was established around 1250-1300 and the exact form is not used today, but it's synonym "moocher", is commonly used. Another way I have seen it used, is as a last name: Abby Suitor!
- Melissa Grip
The suitors are horrible people who want nothing but the throne that belongs to Odysseus. They do not have any intention of loving the queen, Penelope, or treating her with any respect. Their goal is to win her hand in marriage and rule Ithaca the way they please (this comes with power, wealth, and the title as king). They are putting Penelope in a horrible position as they expect her to move on from Odysseus, the only man she has ever truly loved.
In comparison to the whole story, the suitors play a minor part. However, through the eyes of Penelope and Telemechus, they play a very big part. The suitors even try to convince Telemechus to talk to his mother so that she will move on. As long as Penelope stays strong, despite the current circumstances, I have faith that she will make the right choice and not marry any of these men. (Aiofe Raja)
Homer counts the SUITORS as follows:
52 from Dulichium 24 from Same 20 from Zacynthos 12 from Ithaca
The SUITORS were killed either by
or by someone in his team, that is,
, Philoetius or
Son of Damastor; suitor from Ithaca.
Son of Menanus; suitor from Ithaca.
Son of Nisus; suitor from Dulichium.
Son of Eupeithes; leader of the suitors.
Son of Polytherses; suitor from Same.
Son of Polybus; suitor from Ithaca.
Son of Evenor; suitor from Ithaca.
- Paloma Elosua
As we continue to read
and analyze the suitors I wonder why they are so inconsiderate. Their seems no reason for them to be. Yes, they are allowed to be vain and conceded but the way they treat everybody in the palace you would think that they would get it through their heads that they are guests. Why are they so inconsiderate?
Sandy, I think one answer is that they aren't really people at all; instead, they are an idea, a representation of or personification of "bad" behavior. They represent what would become of Greek civilization if the Greeks ever forgot or ignored their traditions and laws.
A clue is the verb that Telemachus uses to describe what they are doing: "They grind down our home." They are teeth, mouths, and stomachs, equivalent to the cannibals Odysseus encounters among the Cyclops and the Laestrygonians.
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