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Para-Narratives in the OdysseyStories in the Frame$
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Maureen Alden

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199291069

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199291069.001.0001

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The Oresteia Story in the Odyssey

The Oresteia Story in the Odyssey

(p.77) 3 The Oresteia Story in the Odyssey
Para-Narratives in the Odyssey

Maureen Alden

Oxford University Press

Telemachus is encouraged to follow the example of Orestes’ return from abroad to take revenge on his mother’s suitors. (Orestes’ matricide is downplayed, so that he offers a pattern which does not compromise Telemachus’ moral standing.) Agamemnon is trapped in an ambush and murdered at a feast by a trick of his wife’s to achieve a cross-over parallel with the suitors, who are tricked (by Penelope), ambushed, and murdered at a feast. The fish-and-net simile used of the suitors’ bodies lying in the hall parodies Agamemnon’s traditional murder in the bath tangled up in a cloth. Penelope’s instructions for the care of her guest, the disguised Odysseus, parody the bath, textiles, and bed/bier which later appear in Aeschylus’ Oresteia.

Keywords:   return, Oresteia, revenge, matricide, murder, trick, bed, ambush, bath, net

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