General Question

elbanditoroso's avatar

Were Odysseus and Telemachus justified in killing all of Penelope's suitors?

Asked by elbanditoroso (33140points) 3 months ago
16 responses
“Great Question” (1points)

After all, Odysseus had been gone for more than a decade. Why did it take him so long to go home after the Trojan War?

Props to Penelope for her loyalty.

Were the guys justified in killing the suitors?

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ragingloli's avatar

Maybe under Islamic law and its honour killings.
I am quite confident that his actions qualify as murder under any western jurisdiction.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Why did it take him so long to get home? You have to read the book for the answer. He ran into some delays.

Were the killings justified? To the mind of a Greek king about 3000 years ago, definitely yes.

The real question is why did he leave again to go out wandering at the end.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Man Code.
Section 1.

In all seriousness. Not one of those suitors should have been surprised.
Punishment was pretty harsh, back then.

Dutchess_III's avatar

He was wandering and getting into trouble/adventures for 10 years. See “O Brother Where Art Thou?”
Also his water pump broke. Took him forever to find an O!Rileys.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Oh. I didn’t answer the Q. I don’t remember that part. Refresh my memory please?

filmfann's avatar

Also that was a nice bonding moment between the ignored son and his long absent father

cookieman's avatar

Not by today’s standards. Dude was MIA for a decade. Penelope finally had to move on.

flutherother's avatar

The “suitors” were a terrible rabble taking advantage of Odysseus’s absence to move in to his home drink his wine and eat his food. Worse, they acted with Penelope as though Odysseus were dead which was taking disrespect to an extreme. I can see why Odysseus slaughtered the lot of them. We, of course are pleased to think we live in much more civilised times.

MrGrimm888's avatar

If I came home to that, the first thing I’d do is lock the door.
“Now youse can’t leave.”..

Sweetheart, bring me my killing stuff. Daddy’s home!

Zaku's avatar

@flutherother Seems to be familiar with the story.

It’s one of my favorite parts of my favorite epic poem. I have never not felt extreme cathartic enthusiasm about Odysseus wiping out the “suitors” with extreme prejudice.

I feel like the best way to appreciate this, is to hear or read The Odyssey.

Zaku's avatar

@cookieman They were not just suitors. They were out to seize the throne by forcing their queen Penelope to take one of them as her husband. They were also plotting to have one of them (Odysseus’ son Telemachus, the heir to the kingdom) assassinated. (They likely would have killed him before Odysseus arrived, if the goddess of wisdom Athena had not told him about their planned ambush.)

Even so, Odysseus (disguised as a beggar) gives the most sympathetic of the suitors a chance to escape, by warning him the King will soon return. (He shows more mercy than Athena, who pulls strings to keep Odysseus on the path to killing the suitors.)

Dutchess_III's avatar

I gotta read it again.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^I HAD to read it, like twice.
Once in history. Once in Lit.

Really a WAY better story than the fucking “Great Gatsby.” That bored the Hell out of early teenage boys, like me.

Mythology has ALL the cool characters, and stories. Gods, Titans, demigods, sex, violence, and adventure.

Strauss's avatar

But didn’t he have an affair on the wine-dark sea with Rosy-fingered dawn?

Not to be confused with “Rosy Palm and her five sisters ”!

Strauss's avatar

^^Oops! I thought this was in “Social”!

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