The Odyssey -

The Odyssey
The events following Athena’s
intervention and the happy family
Telemachus Prepares to Travel
• Suitors, especially Antinuous, are angry that Penelope
hasn’t chosen a husband yet and that she even tried to
trick them
– Penelope’s plan: says she will wed when she finishes
weaving a death shroud for Laertes, but at night she
secretly undid her work
• There are bad omens for
the suitors, which they ignore
• Telemachus sets sail to
find word of his father
What Telemachus Learns:
• King Nestor explains what he knows of the journey after
the Trojan War
– Menelaus left immediately, was blown off course, but is
now back in Sparta
– Agamemnon stayed to make a sacrifice, made it home, and
then was murdered by his wife and her new lover
• King Menelaus said a minor god
told him that Odysseus is alive
but marooned on an island
Odysseus and the Phaeacians
• Calypso reluctantly
gives Odysseus supplies
and he leaves her island
• Poseidon, enraged that Odysseus is on his way home,
causes his boat to wreck and he struggles ashore to the
land of the Phaeacians
• The Phaeacians are excellent hosts (food, partying,
games, stories), and eventually Odysseus tells him his
After Odysseus Finishes His Story…
• The Phaeacians are awed by him and immediately give
him presents and more partying before putting him on a
well-stocked ship to return him to Ithaca
• They drop Odysseus and his new treasure on the coast of
Ithaca; Athena disguises Odysseus and tells him to seek
out his loyal swineherd
Home at Last!
• Eumaeus (swineherd) welcomes Odysseus (who is still
disguised) as a guest in his home
• Telemachus returns from his journey, and thanks to
Athena’s guidance he avoids the suitors’ attempted
ambush (this attempt angers Penelope)
• Telemachus and Odysseus are reunited!
• They plan to kill the suitors
Odysseus Returns to the Palace
• Odysseus, disguised as a beggar, heads towards the
• Goatherd (Melanthius) and Antinuous
are mean to Odysseus when
he is disguised as a beggar
• Argos (faithful dog) and
Eurycleia (nurse) are the only ones
who recognize Odysseus
• More bad omens for the suitors,
which they laugh at
The Contest
• Penelope, desperate to end the suitors’ destruction of
her home, proposes a contest: she will marry the man
who can string Odysseus’s bow and shoot an arrow
through the sockets of twelve axe heads lined in a row
• All fail, except, of course, Odysseus
Book 22: Slaughter in the Hall
Family Reunion
• Penelope, afraid to believe it is really
Odysseus, tests him and he proves who he is
• The next day, he goes to see his father
• Meanwhile, the family of the dead suitors are
angry and want revenge
• Laertes kills the ringleader, and then Zeus
sends a sign to stop the fighting – peace now.