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Where is dramatic irony in The Odyssey and what does this show about Odysseus' character?

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need-help | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 16, 2009 at 11:03 AM via web

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Where is dramatic irony in The Odyssey and what does this show about Odysseus' character?

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troutmiller | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted May 18, 2009 at 9:50 PM (Answer #1)

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Dramatic irony occurs when the reader/audience knows something that a character does not.  Once Odysseus gets home and is disguised as a beggar, which is from book 18 until the last two books of the epic, we see dramatic irony.  One important example occurs in book 19 when Penelope questions Odysseus.  There he sits, just inches away from his wife, but he cannot tell her who he is just yet.  He must test her first to see if she remains loyal to him.  This shows that he is careful and wise at the same time.  He took information from Agamemnon in the Land of the Dead and used it to test his wife so that he too would not end up dead.  Once he knows for sure that she loves him and has been faithful to him all these years, he will reveal his true identity.

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