List at least five images or events from Odysseus's battle with the suitors.

Expert Answers
mstultz72 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In The Odyssey Book XXI there is the following weapons imagery:

the bow and with the iron axes

the quiver, with the many deadly arrows

Telemachus girded on his sword, grasped his spear...

four shields, eight spears, and four brass helmets with horse-hair plumes.

Then there's the great animal imagery and metaphors for how the suitors die:

As eagle-beaked, crook-taloned vultures from the mountains swoop down on the smaller birds that cower in flocks upon the ground, and kill them, for they cannot either fight or fly, and lookers on enjoy the sport- even so did Ulysses and his men fall upon the suitors and smite them on every side. They made a horrible groaning as their brains were being battered in, and the ground seethed with their blood.

And this choice nugget:

he found them all lying in the dust and weltering in their blood. They were like fishes which fishermen have netted out of the sea, and thrown upon the beach to lie gasping for water till the heat of the sun makes an end of them. Even so were the suitors lying all huddled up one against the other.

And then there's this one:

the corpses bespattered with blood and filth like a lion that has just been devouring an ox, and his breast and both his cheeks are all bloody, so that he is a fearful sight; even so was Ulysses besmirched from head to foot with gore. When she saw all the corpses and such a quantity of blood, she was beginning to cry out for joy

Taken together, Homer's imagery here is bloody, vengeful, and anthropomorphic.  Ordained by the gods, Odysseus' revenge re-establishes him and Telemachus to their King and Prince statuses and reduces the suitors to animals helplessly awaiting slaughter.  Not only is this one of Odysseus' more cunning tricks, but it echoes the theme of guest-host relations.  Just as Odysseus and him men were invasive guests with the Cyclops and the Cicones, so too are the suitors punished for their arrogance.