|Homer's epic leaves nothing unexternalized and places
in the foreground all future actions. The conflict is always focused on actions not mental
states within characters. The Odyssey is a work without prolonged periods of
literary question or doubt. The following are examples of how everything is
essentially foreshadowed for the audience:
as Mentes predicts Odysseus' return.
1.292-308: Athena as Mentes notes that Odysseus will return to make
the suitors pay.
2.153-184: Zeus' sign of the attacking eagles and Halitherses'
prediction of Odysseus' vengeful return
2.294-297: Athena as Mentor hints that judgment on the suitors is to
3.224-237: Nestor suggests that Athena will help Odysseus if he is
4.354-367: Menelaos predicts Odysseus' vengeance on the suitors.
4.580-584: Proteus tells Menelaos that Odysseus is held by Kalypso.
5.24-47: Zeus recognizes Athena's intervention and himself decrees
that Odysseus will return.
11.120-146: The shade of Teiresias predicts destruction of the
suitors and a long life for Odysseus.
13.459-463: Athena's promise that the hall will be covered with
15.175-198: Another sign of Odysseus' return--an eagle gripping a
15.589-599: Sign of Telemachos' house's continuing power.
17.170-181: Theoklymenos predicts that Odysseus is on the island
ready to judge the suitors.
17.625-635: Telemachos' sneeze at Penelope's wish for Odysseus'
return & revenge on the suitors.
18.139-167: Odysseus as beggar warns Amphinoos.
19.292-334: Odysseus as beggar tells Penelope that Odysseus will
return soon and even now may be on the island.
19.572-598: Penelope dreams of the eagle slaying the geese.
20.100-124: Zeus' sign of the servant's prayer to Odysseus.
20.364-384: Theoklymenos' prophecy of the doom of the suitors.
- If there are so many prophecies of Odysseus' return, why do Penelope
and Telemachos still doubt?
- Is the reader's experience of the story different from that of the
characters? How do we see and understand events differently from the suitors or
- Does Homer's method eliminate the suspense of the plot? Why or