Disguise in the odyssey

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  • Created by: Carla
  • Created on: 19-04-14 12:40

The use of disguise brings many advantages to the odyssey, how and why does Homer use disguise in the odyssey?

The role of disguise in The Odyssey serves a practical role for both Athena and Odysseus who take on disguises throughout the odyssey. It tends to be the preferred way to encounter people, and gather information. Its reoccurrence throughout the epic be an indication that Homer was trying to communicate a particular significance and insight into peoples' true nature based on their reactions and responses, much like if they show xenia.

Athena disguises herself throughout the epic to give advice to Telemachus and help him ‘come of age’ and realise his own self worth. Her main disguise is that of Mentor, and she uses this disguise to advise Telemachus to call an assembly, and then secures Telemachus a **** and crew by disguising herself as Telemachus, and then back to Mentor to help him on his journey. Homer used this in the Odyssey as it shows that Telemachus is favoured by Athena much like his father and it gives opportunity for the characters to blossom and to be able to read more into their adventure. For example, Athena simply helps Telemachus to start his journey, and advises him on the best way to handle situations whilst still letting him flourish as a character, so that the audience can see the character development of Telemachus. Athena continues to aid Telemachus throughout his journey to find information on his dad.

Athena once again uses disguise to her advantage by making herself appear like one of Princess Nausicca’s friends, and in a dream she tells Nausicca to go and wash her clothes down by the river to prepare herself for marriage. This is used in the Odyssey to move the story on as Odysseus is currently on the beach where Athena has told Nausicca to go. Athena has planned ahead to ensure that Nausicca will show good hospitality towards Odysseus and this will lead to him getting in to Alcinous’ palace and being able to tell his story, the most exciting, fast paced part of the epic. Homer uses disguise to set up the story perfectly and create suspense of if Nausicca will see Odysseus and what her


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