The Beggar and The Faithful Dog

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The Beggar and The Faithful Dog

  1. Telemachus is back at the palace to see his mother, Penelope. He does not tell her that Odysseus has returned.

  1. Odysseus and the sheep herder, Eumaeus, begin to head toward the palace.

  1. When they arrived at the palace gates Odysseus notices a very old dog laying there. The dog is very skinny and has flies all around him.

  1. Odyssues grew angry that no one at the palace had taken care of the dog, and asked Eumaeus whom the dog belonged to.

  1. Eumaeus said that as a puppy the dog, Argos, had belonged to Odysseus.

  1. Argos heard Odysseus’s voice and did his best to stand up and wag his tail, because he recognized his master’s voice.

  1. Odysseus bent down to pet the faithful dog.

  1. After Odysseus passed into the palace Argos laid back down and died. He had waited his whole life for his master to return.

    • Argos is a symbol of faithfulness and loyalty

Why would there be a story about a dog in the Odyssey?

  1. In the palace Odysseus, disguised as the old beggar, is taunted by the suitors. Penelope stops them saying the old man is welcome in her house.

  1. Later that night Odysseus and Telemachus discuss their plan to get back at the suitors.

  1. Penelope goes to see the old beggar to see if he knows anything about Odysseus’s location. She tells the old beggar that she still loves Odysseus and wishes for his return.

  1. The old beggar tells Penelope that he has heard Odysseus is alive and trying to return home to Ithaca.

  1. In order to thank him for this news Penelope calls the old nanny, Eurycleia, to come and wash the old man’s feet. This is a sign of respect.

  1. After Penelope leaves the nanny starts washing the beggar’s feet. She recognizes a scar on his leg, and realizes that the old beggar is actually Odysseus.

  1. He swears the old nanny to secrecy.

  1. At the end of the night Penelope decides to test the suitors the next day. The one who passes the test will become her new husband.

  1. Odysseus worries about attacking the suitors. He does not want their families to try and attack him in revenge. Athena appears and reassures Odysseus that it is the suitors’ destiny to be killed by Odysseus.

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