CL 101-Essay 1

CL 101-Essay 1 - Lo 1 Allison Lo Professor Alonge CL 101...

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Lo Allison Lo Professor Alonge CL 101 March 26, 2007 Does Odysseus’ revenge in Books 22-24 of the Odyssey go too far? After wandering the world, Odysseus returns home to Ithaca to discover a group of unruly suitors courting his wife, eating all his food, and disrespecting his name and household. Frustrated, he prays to the gods and Athena for assistance and advice on how to act and respond. The gods answer his prayers and give Odysseus permission to take revenge on the suitors for their violation of xenia. Athena even helps him devise a plan for his revenge on the suitors. I believe that Odysseus’ revenge in Books 22-24 of the Odyssey does not go too far for his actions are supported by the gods and he does have the right to punish the suitors for their violation of xenia. While one might see Odysseus’ revenge as going overboard because of his mass slaughter of the suitors, Odysseus really does not exceed the bounds of what is acceptable as revenge and punishment for the violation of xenia. When compared to Achilles’ revenge, Achilles’ brutality surpasses that of Odysseus’ for Achilles’ revenge for Patroclus’ death is more excessive and disconcerting. In my opinion, Achilles is much more brutal because he shows no mercy and kills all who stand in his warpath on the Trojan field. For example in Book 21 of the Iliad, when Achilles encounters Lycaon (one of Priam’s sons), he shows no mercy for Lycaon and ruthlessly slays him. Even though Lycaon begs for his life and plays no direct role in executing Patroclus’ death, Achilles is unable to forgive him nor can control his unbridled fury and kills him nonetheless. 1
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Lo Lycaon begs, “I am at your knees Achilles. Pity me (Iliad Book 21, Line 79)…Don’t kill me, since I’m not from the same womb as Hector, who killed your gentle, valiant friend” (Iliad Book 21, Pg 101). On the other hand, Odysseus is not as unreasonable as Achilles
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CL 101-Essay 1 - Lo 1 Allison Lo Professor Alonge CL 101...

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