Odysseus does not dare shed his disguise because it would risk compromising the very reason for assuming the disguise in the first place, which was indicated in the preceding book: Odysseus, after having returned to his native Ithaca from a long period away, consults with Athena about the measures to be taken to destroy the suitors, those who deplete his bountiful realm. In order to get revenge, he conceals his return from them; to do so more effectively, Athena changes his person into the figure of an old beggar. He is then instructed to stay the night with Eumaeus to collect information on the situation at his palace and with the suitors. Further, Odysseus would not dare disobey Athena, who instructed him in Book 13 to remain incognito. As she explains:
And secret walk unknown to mortal eyes.
For this, my hand shall wither every grace,
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