Dramatic Irony in the Odyssey Essay

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Authors use many literary devices in order to heighten and enhance their works. Dramatic irony, expressions to complementary attitudes understood by the audience but not the characters, can make the emotions stronger in literature. Homer is one of many authors who used this technique well. In The Odyssey, Homer uses dramatic irony in order to enhance the emotional effect of crucial moments in the storyline, especially during the journey of Telemachus, the initial return of Odysseus, and the restoration of Odysseus to his rightful place in the kingdom. During Telemachus’ journey to find his father, Homer includes dramatic irony through Athena’s relationship to the situation which creates a confused mood. After being prompted by Athena, …show more content…
After all, he was upset at his father after his absence in his childhood and wished that he would have came home much sooner.
Telemachus is involved in dramatic irony once again when he first reunites with his father who has been turned into a beggar. Odysseus had been turned into a beggar by Athena in order to protect his identity from everyone he met until the time was right. As Telemachus first enters the room where Odysseus and Eumaios, who Telemachus calls “Daddy,” are located, Odysseus tries to give up his seat to his deserving son. Telemachus says, “Stay where you are, stranger, we can find another seat in our hut” (182). Telemachus shows his kind personality to the beggar as well as the status quo of the inhabitants of Ithaca. Telemachus then says to Eumiaos, “Daddy, where does this stranger come from?” (182). In this scene, Odysseus, as well as the reader, understands that Odysseus is talking to his son. Telemachus, however, thinks he is talking merely to a beggar. Through Telemachus’ incognizance, dramatic irony is created in the reconnection of father and son. Homer uses dramatic irony to create a remorseful mood. He wants Odysseus to have time to see what his kingdom is like before the citizens know that he has arrived. By staying in disguise, he can see the relationship that grew between the swineherd and Telemachus that would be hidden if either the swineherd or Telemachus knew it was Odysseus. Odysseus also sees the