Near the end of The Odyssey, Odysseus, when he takes the bow in his hands, is compared to a musician or harper. What is significant about this simile and its use at the climactic moment of The Odyssey?

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There's a sense of artistry about the way that Odysseus handles a bow and arrow, as Penelope's doomed suitors will soon learn to their cost. Odysseus wields his mighty bow like a skilled musician; it is almost like a third arm. It is as much a part of him as a lyre or a harp would be part of a musician. What this simile shows us is that Odysseus isn't just an expert bowman; he's something considerably more. There's something almost artistic about the way he bends back the bow and fires it through the phalanx of axe heads. This is beyond skill; this is art.

The simile in Book 21 of The Odyssey tells us a lot about Ancient Greek culture. For the ancient Greeks, there was something almost aesthetic about such extraordinary feats. Just as there was excellence in music, sculpture, and architecture, there was excellence in the arts of war. And Odysseus is the supreme artist in this regard. Excellence in any endeavor was highly prized by the ancient Greeks, and it's only right and proper that one...

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