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The Odyssey Notes on the Disguise and Deceit Themes

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The Odyssey Topic Tracking: Disguise and Deceit

Disguise and Deceit 1: Athena disguises herself as a man and enters the hall of Odysseus to encourage his son to leave. She lies about her name and where she is from and gives advice to Telemachus that he takes. After she leaves, the narrator reveals that he suspected that she was an immortal in disguise.

Disguise and Deceit 2: Athena dons a new disguise, that of fellow Ithacan Mentor. As Mentor she orchestrates every part of the upcoming journey while Telemachus deals with the affairs of his household. She secures a ship and crewmen.

Disguise and Deceit 3: Athena continues to manipulate and guide Telemachus in the form of Mentor. She makes a sacrifice as a human and grants a prayer as a god at the same time.

Disguise and Deceit 4:Athena disguises herself as a friend of Nausicaa and tells her to go to the river so that she may come upon Odysseus. When Odysseus prays to her that she will help him make it home, she makes a pledge that he will not see her real form until he gets to Ithaca.

Disguise and Deceit 5: Athena disguises Odysseus with a cloud so that no one will hinder his progress to the castle and then helps him herself disguised as a little girl.

Disguise and Deceit 6: Athena wakes Odysseus and at first assumes a disguise as she tries to convince him that he is home. Even when she reveals herself as an immortal, he thinks that she may be tricking him. She reveals her identity and assures him that she will help him. They plan for him to return home disguised as a beggar.

Disguise and Deceit 7: Odysseus goes to the house of the swineherd and accept his hospitality as a beggar. He concocts an elaborate story about his fall from rags to riches to entertain Eumaius. He also tries to introduce some relationship between the beggar and Odysseus.

Disguise and Deceit 8: Odysseus is still in disguise when Telemachus comes and he continues to act the part. When Athena tells him to reveal himself, he speaks to his son for the first time in many years and they develop a plan around him infiltrating the house as the beggar. When Eumaius returns, Athena turns Odysseus back into a beggar.

Disguise and Deceit 9: Odysseus' disguise is believed by everyone: His wife and the nurse who raised him. Because of this, however, he must endure taunting and blows from men such as the goatherd and Antinous. Athena has planned this so that Odysseus would be more enraged. He uses his identity as a beggar to discover the character of the suitors.

Disguise and Deceit 10: Odysseus continues to use his disguise to his advantage. He finds out what each of the suitors is like and even begins to discover the unpleasant character of some of the serving girls. Athena prompts many people to continue to insult and annoy Odysseus.

Disguise and Deceit 11: Odysseus uses his disguise to speak to Penelope as a stranger and test her love for him. She passes the test and no one recognizes him until the nurse bathes him and sees his old scar. Athena makes sure that Penelope doesn't hear the nurse exclaim. Odysseus threatens her to keep her quiet and enlists her help in discovering who of the hand-maidens are loyal.

Disguise and Deceit 12: Odysseus continues to use his disguise to test people. He enrages more of the suitors and finds out who of them will defend a beggar. He also finds out that the swineherd and the cowherd are willing to fight with their master when he returns.

Disguise and Deceit 13: Odysseus uses his disguise to get into the bow contest where he easily outclasses everyone else. He accomplishes the task and addresses Telemachus before he sheds his disguise.

Disguise and Deceit 14: Athena enters the battle, once again dressed as Mentor, and fights alongside Odysseus, killing many men.

Disguise and Deceit 15: Odysseus pretends to be somebody else when he speaks to his father. He does this because he is testing his father's emotions. When his father gets emotional, he reveals his identity to him and proves it by showing him his scar.

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