In The Odyssey, what means does Homer use to show the strength that characterises the family of Odysseus, Penelope, and Telemachus?

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

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You might like to consider the way in which these three characters are depicted throughout this epic classic, and in particular the way in which the bonds of their family are so strong that they continue to persevere in their hope that they will be reunited one day. Consider Odysseus. What drives him home through all of his trials is the thought of being reunited with his beloved Penelope and his son Telemachus. She is his ultimate motivation. Secondly, Telemachus is depicted as a loyal son, doing what he can to defend his mother against the suitors and also helping his father in every way when he does return to Ithaca. Lastly, Penelope has become a byword for a devoted and faithful wife. Penelope comes up with various stratagems to resist the advances of the suitors so that she is not forced to pick one of them. Her love and faithfulness towards her husband is clearly evident. It is through such characterisation, therefore, that Homer shows the strength of this family unit that is able to withstand vast periods of separation and still remain undefeated.

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