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Essay on The Odyssey Disguise To Find True Identity

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The Odyssey Disguise To Find True Identity Disguise To Find True Identity

The Odyssey is an epic that shapes and defines the roles of many great leaders. These leaders are made up of mortals, alive and dead, and immortals. The trip taken by Odysseus is not only a journey of a war hero back to his homeland, but is a journey in all of the characters lives, which develop a better sense of personal identity and selfhood as the epic goes on. It is the many disguises that each character uses that uncover their true identities from their experiences. The revelations of each characters identity are what teach the lessons that Homer is trying to portray to his audience, and what lead to each character’s success in their personal journey.
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Homer effectively uses the content and style of the speeches at the assembly to reveal the types and natures of the characters. Encouraged by Athena, Telemakhos takes the speaker’s staff and demonstrates that he is quickly becoming a man capable of speaking up to the suitors. Athena’s next identity disguise comes as Mentor and then Telemakhos to prepare and aid his journey to find information on his father’s whereabouts. As Athena leaves Pylos, Telemakhos’ first stop, in the form of a hawk, Nestor reassures Telemakhos of his bright future when he says, “My dear child, I can have no fears for you, no doubt about your conduct or your heart, if, at your age, the gods are your companions.” (III, 407-409) Here, Homer shows Telemakhos’ eventual identity through his maturation. Athena eventually uses her disguised identities to help Odysseus get back to his kingdom in Ithaka. Disguised as a young peasant, she leads Odysseus to the palace of Alkinoos and Arete on the island of Phaiakia and tells him to win Arete’s favor to receive help. She then disguises herself as Alkinoos’ herald, Pontinoos, to arrange his next crew to escort him home.

Homer makes it quite clear that help from the gods,
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