In Book 14 of The Odyssey, what does Odysseus tell the swineherd about himself, and why is Odysseus' disguise ironic?
Odysseus' disguise is ironic because he himself is the King of Ithaca. He is King of the country in which he is hiding out, disguised as a beggar. It is also ironic because he has traveled to get to Ithaca for nearly 20 years enduring things most men never have to endure in their life. Yet, once arriving home, he ironically has another challenge to overcome, being the defeat of the suitors. Nothing is easy for him. It is also ironic that he is being served by his servant, the swineherd. The swineherd, true to Odysseus even in his absence, treats the beggar as Odysseus would have wanted and in proper regional custom, offering him food, a place to sleep, and a spare mantle.