1. Odysseus’ meeting with Penelope as a beggar explaining why Odysseus does not reveal his identity and why Penelope does not recognize her husband.
The meeting between Odysseus and Penelope is characterized by disguise, tests and concealed motivations. The reunion between Penelope and Odysseus provides a broad perspective over which some issues can be drawn. When the two couples meet, Odysseus does not reveal his identity to Penelope because his intention is to test the faithfulness of the wife under the inherent circumstances. Hiding his identity presents Odysseus with an opportunity to continue his businesses of dealing with the suitors. Based on Odysseus’ actions, his intention is to reveal himself at the appropriate time without jeopardizing his safety. Though the two couples go through challenging times at the prenuptial stages of their marriage, Odysseus wishes to come back to his wife more focused and ready to take up the challenges they have faced them in the past. Odysseus understands the danger he is exposed to if he reveals himself in the presence of the suitors. Odysseus’ main motivation is to test if the wife can identify him under the inherent disguise that is manifested at the moment.
Penelope does not identify the husband because she recognizes and appreciates the dangers that the husband is exposed at the time. As a consequence, Penelope decides to act on the contrary by acting contrary to the expectations of many people by intimating that she does not know the poor beggar. Homer’s exposes the intentions of Penelope and Odysseus because while some of the couple’s actions are hidden, some are open to interpretation. Some reactions by Odysseus and Penelope are marred by inconsistencies; Homer puts into perspective the interview between the characters as a consequence of extracting the essence of every action.
2. Discuss Odysseus’ and Penelope’s reunion, and explain why you think Homer does not end the epic here but rather includes the events of Book 24.
The reunion between Odysseus and Penelope is one of the most insightful scenes in the narrative, yet Homer does not make it an epic conclusion of the story. The scene and events that add up to the reunion of the two couples can be noted as the differences and tensions that exist between a man and woman in the society. The reunion between Odysseus and Penelope puts into perspective the fidelity and identity of the two couples in undertaking their duties are married couples. However, the events that leads to the reunion of Penelope and the husband point to the traits that are manifest between the two.
It is imperative to underscore that the scene of reunion posits that external challenges may not be a determinant in struggles between couples. Before meeting Penelope, Odysseus meets some people, who have limited problems in identifying him. When Eurykleia tells Penelope about Odysseus, Athene interrupts her. The meeting between the two is marked by controversies, mistrusts and pressure. The scene as a manifestation of the cunning tendencies can be noted between Odyssey and Penelope. The meeting also ensures a revelation of the true identity of the Penelope, who is portrayed as a mistrustful individual.
Homer does not make this scene epic even though he builds the pressure between the audience and the epic. The essence of including the events of book 24 is built on the premise the facts concerning the identities of the Odyssey and Penelope are derived from those instances. Both Penelope and Odysseus have deceptive propensities and Homer uses the events to provide reconciliation between the two individuals through the various events.