In Book 16 of The Odyssey, how does the reunion between Odysseus and Telemachus anticipate what is to come?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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It is important to realise that the revelation of Odysseus to be who he really is at key points in this text is a central motif that we see again and again. When Odysseus does reveal himself to be who he really is, it is normally done in a very dramatic manner and in such a way as to amaze his audience, which of course we see in this book when Telemachus thinks he is in the presence of a god rather than a mortal. However, this scene foreshadows the long-awaited reunion of the entire family of Odysseus, including Penelope as well. Odysseus has waited for so long to return to his wife and son, and throughout the tale he is presented as a man who just wants this reunion and is willing to sacrifice everything else to gain it, so in this scene we see a taste of this eventual reunion and the happiness that it will give.

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