Dramatic Irony Essay

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.

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Athena does this as if she is fishing and the story about Telemachus’ mother is the bait; Telemachus is very intrigued by the bait and goes after it, falling into Athena’s well-thought out trap.

The reader knows that the reason Athena wants Telemachus to come back is because Odysseus is soon arriving in Ithaca; therefore, dramatic irony is created when Telemachus is never let in on this information that the reader now knows.

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.

The reader questions why Athena, whom Homer is using in this scene to create dramatic irony, would not tell Telemachus that his father is getting freed or even that he is on Calypso’s island.

Instead, she sends him to Sparta to find out information about his father from Menelaus.

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.


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