In Book 14 Eumaeus speaks of odysseus at length to his guest. of what signifiance is this conversation to Odysseus. Whom doe Eumaeus place O higher than?
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Odysseus' lying to Eumaios may seem somewhat unnecessary, but he must test the loyalty of his old swineherd if he is to execute the suitors as planned. He can trust few people, but Eumaios' overwhelming loyalty - he forgoes sleep to take care of Odysseus' herd, and he even treats the "beggar" as if he were, indeed, his lord - proves that he will be a strong ally.