In Book 14 of Homer's Odyssey, what foreshadowing of future events occurs?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In Book 14 of Homer's Odyssey , the title character, disguised as a beggar, spends some time in the hut of his swineherd Eumaeus. The swineherd is loyal to Odysseus, but he has given up hope that his master will ever return home. Beggar Odysseus, in turn, swears to...

See
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

In Book 14 of Homer's Odyssey, the title character, disguised as a beggar, spends some time in the hut of his swineherd Eumaeus. The swineherd is loyal to Odysseus, but he has given up hope that his master will ever return home. Beggar Odysseus, in turn, swears to the swineherd that Odysseus will return:

Now Zeus above all the gods be my witness, and this hospitable table, and this hearth of good Odysseus I have come to, that in truth all this will happen as I say. (A.S. Kline translation)

Despite Odysseus' oath, Eumaeus still does not believe him.

Later in the Book 14, Odysseus further tests Eumaeus' hospitality by telling him a story about how a kind fellow-soldier gave him a cloak when he was very cold once during the Trojan War. Eumaeus takes the hint and gives his guest plenty of blankets to keep him warm. Odysseus' test of Eumaeus is the first of many tests that Odysseus will issue to members of his household (compare his testing of his father Laertes) and that will be issued to him (compare Penelope's testing of Odysseus). 

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team