Why did Homer start the book with Telemachus instead of Odysseus? I was wondering why he couldn't just start the story with Odysseus. Did he do it cause he felt like it or is there some kind of meaning behind it?

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Homer starts both his poems, The Iliad and The Odyssey, in medias res.  This is a Latin term which means, literally, "in the middle of things."  In The Iliad Homer begins things in the tenth year of the Trojan War, when a lot of things have already happened (the abduction of Helen, the mustering of the Achaians, the launching of the ships, the first nine years of the war).  He begins it with a relatively minor coastal raid, which ends up in a major dispute between the army's commander, Agammemnon, and the army's greatest hero Achilles.  Homer does this for a variety of reasons, but perhaps the main reason is that it is a very effective dramatic technique.  The story doesn't have to begin with the interesting (but, one could say, relatively less exciting) story of Paris seducing Helen away from Menelaus in Sparta, and bringing her back to Troy, but instead the heightened drama of the end of a long war which is coming to a major crisis.  All the other stories which set up the actual...

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