July 7, 2000 Odysseus Unmasks In Robert Fitzgerald’s translation of the Odyssey, many scenes exist that parallel, predict, and contrast each other in various ways. For example, the self-revelation scene in book IX from line 548 to line 592 where Odysseus announces his name to the Kyklopes, and also in book XXII from line 36 to line 84 when he reveals his identity to the suitors in his great hall. These two scenes closely relate to one another in both similar and contrasting ways. Both scenes are based primarily on the self-revelation of Odysseus and tend to differ regarding the times at which Odysseus introduces himself, and the overall effect the revealing aspects have on Odysseus, be it positive or negative; however, they are also similar in that they both result in identical responses from his adversaries and portray the glory of battle. In order to completely analyze these two closely related scenes, one must consider both the differences between them as well as their similarities. One of the primary differences between the scenes in which Odysseus reveals his identity to Kyklops and to the suitors is the time at which Odysseus chooses to do so. When dealing with Kyklops, he does not reveal himself until after he has already defeated the giant and is almost free from danger. This luckily turns out to be beneficial to him due to that fact that Kyklops had been warned about the harm that great Odysseus would be certain to bring him. If he had learned Odysseus’ name when he could catch him, Odysseus would have been one of the first men to die. Conversely, Odysseus chose Vickers 2 to reveal his true identity to the suitors before he fought them to the death. This also worked to his favor in that upon realizing who he was “sickly green fear pulled at [the suitors’] entrails, and their eyes flickered looking for some hatch or hideaway from death” (22.44-6). This fear incurred doubt into the suitors’ minds and would def…
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