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Word Count: 770
During the Odyssey many singers are mentioned They told stories of the past and the stories about the gods to entertain the household they were singing for Singers were well respected because they had a divine gift from the Muses Phemios and Demodokos are two examples of singers in the poem Phemios was a singer in the house of Odysseus While Odysseus was away in battle and his journey home Phemios was made to sing at Odysseuss house by Penelopes suitors A herald put the beautifully wrought lyre in the hands of Phemios who sang for the suitors because they made him 53 54 Book I He sang of Odysseus being lost in his homecoming 326 327 Book I This made Penelope upset and she asked Phemios to stop his song 337 344 Book I Then Telemachos reminded her that Phemios was not to blame Why my mother do you begrudge this excellent singer his pleasing himself as the thought drives him It is not the singers who are to blame it must be Zeus is to blame who gives out to men who eat bread to each and all the way he wills it There is nothing wrong in his singing the sad return of the Danaans People surely always give more applause to that song which is the latest to circulate among the listeners So let your heart and let your spirit be hardened to listen 346 353 Book I When Odysseus came back to his house to take revenge on the suitors Phemios is seen again He had been singing for the suitors under their force and feared that Odysseus would take his life for what he might think to be betrayal Phemios caught the knees of Odysseus to beg for his life Then do not be furious to behead me Telemachos too your own dear son would tell you as I do
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