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Word Count: 1,136
A Tainted Homecoming Homecoming is a theme that gives shape to the Odyssey the Oresteia and Oedipus the King Nostos defines the specific dilemma that each returning character must face The return home is made in many different ways proudly secretively righteously each method being met with a particular result These works seem to define the way in which one should return home and how the actions that have preceded ones homecoming can deeply affect how one is received Moreover we see that the choices of action that were made as well as the soundness of character in the individual influences the level of success enjoyed upon arrival In these works the traditionally joyous homecoming is skewed by what has occurred during the characters absence and indeed by human frailty For Odysseus home is represented by Ithaca The philia he feels for his son and his wife is strong throughout his long absence and his desire to return home even overwhelms his desire to continue to travel the world Throughout the poem however the stories of homecoming serve as a reminder to the audience that it is wise to exert caution upon his return home The disaster surrounding the bold homecoming of Agamemnon functions as background for which Odysseus homecoming will be played out Odysseus inability to trust his wife at first also parallels Menalaos mistrust of Helen For instance will Odysseus homecoming be greeted with malice Has his wife betrayed him as well with one of her many suitors Will Telemachus prove as loyal to him as Orestes was to Agamemnon These questions seem to define Odysseus homecoming and accompany his decision to return home in disguise and discover for himself who is truly loyal to him Odysseus return home was full of violence Odysseus unwillingness to compromise and his strong desire to enact vengeance upon the suitors causes conflict Odysseus allows his anger to impose upon his rationality As a result there
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