The Odyssey Book 21

The Odyssey Book 21
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  • Penelope gets Odysseus' bow out of his vault and delivers an ultimatum to the suitors. She says that she will marry the suitor who can string the bow and shoot arrows through twelve axes.
  • “And the men gazed at it, scanned it, knew it well, broke into tears and threw their arms around their master-lost kin affection, kissing his head and shoulders, and so Odysseus kissed their heads and hands."
  • Telemachus, the son of Odysseus and Penelope, tries to string the bow but fails after many attempts.
  • All the suitors attempt to string the bow, and after many attempts, each fails.
  • “So they mocked, but Odysseus, mastermind in action, once he’d handled the great bow and scanned every inch, then, like an expert singer skilled at lyre and song- who strains a string to a new peg with ease.”
  • “Your guest, sitting here in your house, has not disgraced you. No missing the mark, look, and no long labor spent to string to bow.”
  • The men working for Odysseus pray for his return, and when Odysseus comes back disguised as a beggar, this makes him reveal his identity to the men because he sees their loyalty.
  • "No more weeping. Coming out of the house a man might see us, tell the men inside. Lets's slip back in-singly, not in a pack."
  • Antinous acts as the "leader" of the suitors, and suggests they give up for the day, and when Odysseus (still disguised), asks if he can try to string the bow, Antinous gets very angry.
  • Odysseus quickly and easily strings the bow, and shoots all twelve axes, amazing the suitors
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