Is there an epic simile in Book 4 of Homer's The Odyssey?

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There is an epic simile toward the end of Book IV of The Odyssey, on lines 790–794. It describes Penelope lamenting the fate of her son after she hears about the suitors' plan to ambush Telemachus on his return:

And even as a lion is seized with fear and broods amid a throng of men, when they draw their crafty ring about him, so was she pondering when sweet sleep came upon him.

Homer is comparing Penelope's fears for her son's well-being to a lion being chased by hunters, and the fear it has when it knows it could be captured and killed at any moment. Her emotions are so riled up that she feels like something bad is closing in on her and her son, like a hunter stalking its prey. This could also directly reference the fact that Telemachus is about to head into the suitors' trap—if we compare Telemachus to the lion and the suitors to the hunters.

It's also worth noting that Penelope calls her husband, Odysseus, "lion-hearted"—another tie-in to this simile and the rest of the epic.


(The entire section contains 3 answers and 591 words.)

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