Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Odysseus vs. Irus

ZEI students rewrite the Odyssey, cont'd. When the beggar Irus got word that there was a newcomer begging in the palace, he was furious. He came to kick out the intruder. But the intruder refused to leave! Soon it was clear there was going to be a battle of beggars. The suitors were delighted with this entertainment. When Odysseus removed his clothes, however, Irus saw his rival's muscular body. He shook with fear. But it was too late to back down.

May's Version

. . . . The suitors around them were also astonished.

"How can an old beggar have such a muscular body?" they wondered.

Those who at first wanted to see a bloody movie, Beggars' Fight, started to tremble and thought about fleeing. Of course the unluckiest of all was Irus: he wanted to run, but his feet were rooted to the spot. All he could do was cry for mercy.

"Have mercy!" he begged. "You must be an 'Odysseus' of beggars."

"You will regret your bad attitude," Odysseus replied. "You insulted me, and today you will learn your lesson--that one must show hospitality to strangers."

As soon as Odysseus finished speaking, his muscles began to get bigger; his pectorals were swelling and his arms were growing. He began almost to look like a balloon in the shape of a man. But he still continued to grow, swelling larger and larger, because he had eaten too much spinach earlier in the morning in preparation for his fight with the suitors. Swelling and swelling, suddenly BOOOM! the balloon exploded. The great hero Odysseus was dead! He had died in his beggar's disguise.

No one in the palace understood what had happened. They were all too amazed at the mystery.

Jenny Lin's Version

Indeed the fight was a cruel nightmare for Irus. At first Odysseus hit him in the face, and he nearly fell to the ground, jabbing Antinous in the arm by accident as he swung backward. When he again stood still, Odysseus prodded him in the chest and kicked him in the stomach.

"Hurray!" Amphinomus yelled and whistled for Odysseus.

"You mad fool!" Melanthius said, and kicked him. "What is Irus doing? C'mon, Irus, kick your rival!"

Irus wanted to surrender and beg for clemency. The fury surged in his heart as he was beaten by Odysseus, who finally gave him a full punch to the chest as he stood hesitating.

Irus was on the ground, Odysseus standing on him as victor.

Ariel's Version

Odysseus saw the beggar's face: it was white as chalk, and the beggar was trembling. But the suitors didn't care, they were still yelling for the fight.

Odysseus spoke to Irus: "Dear brother, let's not fight," he said. "Let's be friends. We can help each other and share what's here."

"What are you talking about, man?" Irus said. "Kill me! Kill me! You don't have to let me go."

Odysseus shook his head. "No, brother," he said, "really I want to be your friend, because I'm lonely, and you're lonely. Please, let's be friends."

Then Irus smiled. "Okay, old man," he said.

But the suitors were angry; they wanted to see the fight. They started to throw things at the two beggars. Just then Penelope appeared and told them to stop and ordered the maids to lead the beggars inside and take care of them.

Jenny's Version

"Let's fight!" Odysseus revealed his sharp teeth.

The two beggars began a fierce fight. Irus gave him a boxing, but Odysseus quickly dodged and gave Irus a sharp kick as fast as lightning. Irus fell like a hurt cat, weak and with no ability.

"You'll regret your foolish treatment of me," Odysseus said. "You'll pay for your cruelty!"

"Old beggar, old beggar!" Irus begged, grabbing Odysseus' knees. "No, no! Noble elder, please don't kill me. I have to take care of my parents and young children. Forgive my foolishness!"

"Don't worry," Odysseus said. "I will take care of them. Now you will get what you deserve."

Suddenly time stopped. Poseidon appeared with a can of spinach and said to Irus: "Irus, try this. It'll make you stronger."

Irus ate it. Almost instantly he towered up into the sky, his right foot becoming as big as the palace itself. He began to stomp on the suitors and all the people of Ithaca.

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