What is Eurymachus' reaction to seeing that Odysseus has returned? How does this contrast with his speech to Halistherses in Book 2?

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jilllessa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Eurymachus  like all of the suitors who now realize that Odysseus has come home, turned "sickly green" with fear.  Eurymachus is the only one who could speak, however, and he immediately begins to blame the dead Antinoos for everything that has happened and offers to pay Odysseus for all of meat and drink that the suitors have eaten as well as to pay an additional amount in restitution.  His protests and offers fall on deaf ears so then he encourages the other suitors to join him in fighting Odysseus and is shot down by an arrow from the great bow.  His conciliatory attitude here contrasts with his scornful response to Halistherses' prediction that Odysseus would return home after nineteen years and be unrecognized by anyone.  Eurymachus scornfully replied that Odysseus was dead and that Telemachus should have his mother remarry or the suitors would continue to eat and drink on Odysseus' family's dime until Penelope remarries.  His answer is in many ways threatening and disrespectful to Telemachus and Odysseus, and is not in any way conciliatory.