Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Plot, Protagonist, Antagonist and Conflict as of book VIII
I have read up to book VIII in "The Odyssey". My answers will rely only on the facts I have gained from this section of the book and therefore may not be completely accurate for the whole of The Odyssey.
In the Odyssey, the story of a family is intertwined with gods and their intervening powers. Odysseus has been gone since he participated in a war and has never returned. His wife has suitors waiting for her hand and his son decides to follow the goddess Athena’s direction and embark on a mission to find him or any bit of information that remains from him. While Telemakhos is steadily searching out information, his father, after a series of perilous events, finally reaches land where he finds safety and is greeted warmly. Much to his delight, he is then told he will be heading home shortly.
The most obvious protagonist at the beginning of the book is Telemakhos. As the book progresses onward, Odysseus comes into view as a more important protagonist. Athena, the grey eyed daughter of Zeus is also a constant figure helping guide the other two protagonists on.
There seemed to me to be many antagonists in this narrative poetry. The suitors certainly played a part in antagonizing the characters and keeping the story dramatic and gripping. Some other key antagonists were the gods. They were constantly manipulating the direction all the characters were headed physically, mentally, and emotionally. I would also like to argue that Odysseus’ weakness in giving in to the nymph poses a serious problem, which then makes this character trate a antagonist within the key protagonist.
One of the conflicts seen in this story is between the wife Penelope, who simply wants her husband back and the greedy suitors, who want nothing more than to lavish themselves in her riches and someday her beauty. Another is between the gods and Odysseus as I described above. A third conflict can be found between the suitors and Telemakhos as they end up planning on murdering him upon his return.