• Why does Homer take an apparent detour to show the suitors’ arrival in Hades?
  • Expert Answers

    An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

    Homeric scholars have argued as to why the last book exists for thousands of years.  Many argue that the book should have ended with Odysseus and Penelope in their marriage bed.  However, while that ending in some ways makes more sense, there are too many loose ends dangling if that was the ending.  But the resolution is sloppy.  Homeric principle suggests (even in the Odysseus) that someone needs a proper burial to enter Hades.  The suitors were not properly buried, so they should not be able to enter Hades.  However, it is likely that this was added as an afterthought to appeal to the audience in Homer's time.  Odysseus' slaughter of the suitors would then seem justified for their plotting since they were given admittance to Hades.

    Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

    We’ll help your grades soar

    Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

    • 30,000+ book summaries
    • 20% study tools discount
    • Ad-free content
    • PDF downloads
    • 300,000+ answers
    • 5-star customer support
    Start your 48-Hour Free Trial