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In Book IV, Telemachus asks Menelaus if he has any information on the fate of Ulysses. According to Menelaus, Ulysses had not returned home because the goddess Calypso has trapped him on her island.

In Book V, the narrative shifts to follow Ulysses who is indeed trapped on Calypso's island.

Why is it important that the information Menelaus tells Telemachus in Book IV matches where the story picks up with Ulysses in Book V?


It emphasizes the seven year span that passes between the two events. Telemachus searches for his father, but there are still many years before they will be reunited.


It creates continuity for the audience: when Telemachus is with Menelaus, Ulysses is with Calypso.


It develops suspense as the audience wonders how Ulysses' journey aligns with what is happening at home in Ithaca.


It develops the trustworthy nature of Menelaus' character. Despite all of the rumors and ill-intentioned visitors to Ithaca, Telemachus finally has information he can use.


It emphasizes the privileged life Telemachus has led as he has grown up on Ithaca versus the challenges Ulysses has faced as he has spent years battling to get home.

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