In Homer's Odyssey, who is the second character after the dog Argos to recognize Odysseus despite his disguise?

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noahvox2 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

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In Homer's Odyssey, after Odysseus returns to his native land of Ithaca, the first to recognize the returned master is the old dog Argos, who dies immediately after recognizing his master. This occurs at Odyssey 17.290-327.

The next recognition comes at Odyssey 19.361-475. In this scene, Penelope has had a conversation with the disguised Odysseus, who offers her some hope that Odysseus will return home. In gratitude, Penelope offers this "beggar" a foot bath at the hands of an old maidservant named Eurycleia.

As the old woman washes Odysseus' feet, "she immediately knew the scar Odysseus had received from a white-tusked boar" (A.S. Kline translation). Thus, she recognizes Odysseus and calls him by name. Odysseus stops her from telling Penelope, though, and makes her promise to remain silent for the time being.

 

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