Odysseus's Revenge

Decent Essays
Zokhrabova 1
Zokhrabova, Rossana
Mr. Harris
Mythology, 4
4, December 2012
Judgment of Odysseus

In Homer’s The Odyssey, Odysseus returns home to find that 117 rowdy suitors, believing Odysseus to be dead, had overrun his palace, courting his faithful though weakening wife, Penelope, and going through his stock of food. Both his servants and the suitors alike abuse Odysseus. Odysseus is outraged and takes his revenge out on the suitors and maids by massacring them with a horrible end. Even though killing anyone sounds like a cruel and unjustified punishment, Odysseus needs to show that he is a strong leader. Odysseus’s actions are justified because of the suitors’ disrespectful behavior towards Odysseus’s family and home.
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Not only was Odysseus mistreated by Melanthius during his stay as a beggar in the palace, but also when Odysseus came out with his true identity to the suitors Melanthius still continued to favor the suitors and serve them. Melanthius deserved to be punished brutally by Telemachus, Eumaeus, and Philoetius.
Odysseus dispenses justice harshly but not without mercy. Odysseus’s judgment towards the suitors and Melanthius could have been dealt with in other consequences besides death for all the suitors and Melanthius. Odysseus could have only killed the lead suitors, Antinous and Eurymachus, because without the lead suitors the rest of the suitors would have backed down. He could have punished Melanthius is a less violent way. Killing the suitors would result with the suitors’ friends and family to come after Odysseus and revenge the suitors. Odysseus faces consequences and a risk of being killed himself.
“And there Odysseus lay …plotting within himself the suitors’ death—awake, alert, as the women slipped from the house, the maids who whored in the suitors’ beds each night, tittering, linking arms and frisking as before. The master’s anger rose inside his chest, torn in thought, debating, head and heart—should he up and rush them, kill them one and allor let them rut with their lovers one last time?” (410).

Zokhrabova 3
Odysseus believes that the maids are as bad as the suitors, if not worse. From what
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