• Return (of Odysseus)
• Recognition (only Telemachos knows his identity prior to book 17 & 18 [no recognition
scene in book 18])
• Revenge (Odysseus and Telemachos will get their revenge on the suitors)
• Foreshadowing (book 17 & 18)
• Liminality – In-betweenness (
o Threshold/Doorsill (how often these words came up) The symbolic significance of
Odysseus standing at the Threshold signifies how he is home but can’t really act
like he is at home. It also symbolizes the return of the king and how he is about
to reclaim his throne. He is on the threshold of regaining his power.
• Transitions to reality
• Odysseus is disguised as a beggar, he only gradually reveals his identity
• Move from wilderness to civilization
• Move from town to city
• Odysseus’ transformation from beggar to king
o Athena transform Penelope to appear more beautiful, Odysseus from beggar to
normal, and Telemachos to more manly
• Telemachos tells Eumaois that he will go and see Penelope himself after he arrives from
• Pg 254, second line down: The stone threshold is a pivotal place in the palace.
Telemachos has achieved his manhood by returning to the palace
• Bottom of the same page: Athena lends grace to Telemachos. There is a transformation
in his appearance, he has achieved adulthood and in turn Athena lends him grace.
• When Telemachos approaches his mother Penelope, she is thrilled that her son has
• She fills him in on what’s been going on line 137-144 page 256: • Line 152: Theoklymenos interjects here. He is an interpreter of symbols. He is a prophet
and he knows the actual whereabouts of Odysseus. This is the idea of foreshadowing.
• Over the course of books 17 & 18, Odysseus tests various maids and suitors in terms of
• Eumaois and Odysseus make their way to the palace, and Eumaois still believes he is a
• Bottom Page 258: insults Odysseus
• 280: When Odysseus and Eumaios approach the palace, he stands at the threshold and
goes in after Eumaois goes in.
• Recognition scene: Argos the dog recognizes Odysseus. Argos dies before Eumaois can
get the idea. This is the second recognition scene in the Odyssey, the first was
Telemachos, and the third is Eurykleia in later books
• Page 262: standing at the threshold again in the doorway. He enters after Athena tells
him to test the suitors
• Line 360: We know that all of the suitors will eventually die.
• Do all the suitors deserve to die? Some more guilty than the others? We do know that
they all die
• As Odysseus disguised as a beggar and begs from all the suitors, Antinoois is very cruel
to Odysseus, throws a stool at him and hits his shoulder
• Page 263: Antinoo