The contest is announced by Penelope and as a result, retrieves the bow from a secret store room deep in the palace. The bow is however strung by Telemachus for sport and unfortunately, fails on three attempts. Telemachus is about to succeed accomplish the string when Odysseus prevails upon him to give up (Homer et al 307). As the contest proceeds, a meeting occurs between Philoetius and Eumaeus where Odysseus outlines his plan and asks for their support.
Odysseus suggests to the contest that he wants to give the bow a try and is supported by his lieutenant, Penelope. The weapon is easily stringed by Odysseus who fires the arrow straight through the axes. He, together with his trusted friend Telemachus, stands in unison to face the suitors. On the other hand, we can conclude that Penelope approves of Odysseus winning the contest. This can also mean that Penelope is aware of Odysseus true identity (Homer et al 310). Penelope’s attraction to support Odysseus is seen as an act of hospitality to support the wandering stranger. Furthermore, the ring involved is what the wandering stranger shots his arrow through.
A closer look at the event depicts a known target by Odysseus sitting on a stool at the time. The height is therefore in proportion with hitting the target for such a shot. It is significant to point out the role of Telemachus in the contest, which can be seen as his apparent heir to the reign of the wandering stranger, Odysseus. Penelope introduction of the idea is of great significant and it went ahead to threaten the status of Antinous.
The praise accorded Odysseus by Antinous can be considered hypocritical for it is not genuine. At the closure of the chapter, Antinous request for a postponement of the contest, something that is opposed by Odysseus. Postponement is however minimal when Odysseus asks for a chance at the bow (Homer et al 316). The wandering stranger finally shoots the arrow through the axes. Accentuation of the action is an indication that something more important is about to take place.
Baldwin, P.S. Cliffs Notes on Homer’s The Odyssey. 2000 New Jersey, NJ. John Wiley and Sons
Clay, S.J. The wrath of Athena: gods and men in the Odyssey. 1997 Maryland. Rowman & Littlefield
Homer et al. The Odyssey.2005 Baltimore, Maryland. JHU Press