Framing the Odyssey Narrative

2 Pages 536 Words November 2014

This short response will focus on the use and effects of narration in Chapter 15 ‘The Prince Set sail for Home’ of The Odyssey lines 427 to 555. The Odyssey is written within a frame narrative, embedded with Eumaeus story. In this section of the story, Odysseus is disguised as a beggar who has been taken in by Eumaeus. The narration plays an important role in who listens, and who tells, but more importantly focuses on what listeners choose to accept and what they ignore. Odysseus whole purpose of asking Eumaeus his story was for his benefit, regardless of his sympathetic ways it was all in a ploy to know what kind of person Eumaeus truly was in so Odysseus could go home.

The Beginning of this section is told in third person narration, but changes with the embedded narration of Eumaeus story which is told in second person narration. Dialogue discourse is used, questioning the audiences ‘you really want my story?’(Homer, 438). The effect of using second person narration draws the attention two types of listeners, Odysseus, and listeners of Homer by speaking directly to them.

The use of descriptive information, which is not relevant to the purpose of the story but relevant to the context around the story, enables the listeners to believe he is a more reliable and a believable character. These choices of detail, such as describing the land came from ‘there’s an island of about Ortigia fine for sheep and cattle, rich in wine and wheat(Homer, 453-456), informs details of its geographical location as well as what it is renounced for. Another example is Eumaeus describing ancestry lineage ‘my father ruled the force- Ormenus’ son Ctesius(Homer, 463-464) by deploying such detail it makes the story more realistic, forcing both listeners and readers to trust what they are being told. Describing to Odysseus his ancestry lineage would have been very valuable during the time The Odyssey was written as there was no docum...

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