Monday, May 16, 2011
In Book 17 Odysseus, disguised as a beggar, encounters his faithful dog Argos, flea-infested and laying on a pile of dung. At the moment the dog recognizes his master he dies. What is the significance of this incident? Another chink in the emotional armor of Odysseus? Another example of the abuse that loyal servants of Odysseus must endure under the suitors? An example of the subservient status of animals in the world of the Odyssey? Are animals the play things, pawns, and victims of humans in the same way that we humans are the playthings of the gods? Is Argos a symbol for Odysseus himself?