The Odyssey by Homer (Translation by W.H.D Rouse)
This week, I read about 100 pages of the Odyssey.
I started reading this book about 2 weeks ago, on the second day of school. I am going to be discussing pages in a range between pages 200 and 221.
Something that I read in the book that I hated was (this isn't about the writing, but about the characters and plot itself) was how Odysseus, disguised as a beggar, was treated in his home. After countless perils and being shipwrecked on Calypso's island for a long period of time, Odysseus returned to his home (Athena made him look like a measly beggar) only to find men living off of his fortune and trying to woo his wife. The men who were in his palace constantly frustrated me, mostly because they were massive hypocrites. Odysseus was treated as if he was vermin, only because he was playing the role of someone who needed help to stay alive. The men trying to take his wife, however, were living off of his fortune while they were wealthy enough without it. The men didn't need money, but the poor beggar barely scraping by did, and because of it they treated him coldly and violently.
This is significant because it shows how something may not seem like a big deal when you do it, but when someone else does the same thing it becomes clear how hurtful it truly was. The men living in his home were all well off, and many nobles, yet they couldn't understand that a beggar truly needed the assistance of others to survive, as it's hard to rise from nothing. At first, I didn't understand what the whole point of making Odysseus look like a beggar to everyone else was when Athena first did, but afterwards I realized that what it did was fuel his anger and clear his conscience. To add on, it may have saved his life. Based on the way the men were treating a beggar, who couldn't harm them in anyway, seeing Odysseus (their "competitor" in gaining Penelopeia's love and fortune) would probably lead to his death on sight. In a way, this was a social experiment. Homer probably wanted to convey that (in his vision of the Greek gods) acting grateful and nice to people of the same social group and the gods wasn't an easy way out of being a good person. Athena saw the true intentions and evil of the men, and learned everything she needed to know about them without even communicating with them directly.