Odyssey Exam Notes

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Western University
Classical Studies
Classical Studies 2200
Kendall Sharp

Odyssey Book 1 - Story begins 10 years after the end of the Trojan war - All Greek heroes except Odysseus have returned home - Odysseus is on the island Ogygia with the goddess Calypso, who has fallen in love with him and refuses to let him leave - Athena travels to Ithaca to speak with Telemachus - Athena predicts that Odysseus is still alive and that he’ll return soon to Ithaca - Although Telemachus suspects that his cisitor was a goddess in disguise, he tells everyone that the man was a friend of his father Odyssey Book 2 - When assembly meets the next day,Aegyptius praises Telemachustfor stepping in to his father’s shoes, noting that this occasion marks the 1 time that the assembly has been called since Odysseus left - Penelope said she would choose a new husband as soon as she finished weaving a burial shroud for her elderly father-in-law Laertes - Every night Penelope undid the knitting that she completed during the day, so that the shroud would never be finished - Antinous declares that Penelope should be sent back to Icarius so thus he can choose a new husband for her - Telemachus refuses to throw his mother out and call the gods to punish the suitors - As Telemachus prepares for his trip to Pylos and Sparta,Athena visits him again, this time disguised as Mentor, another old friend of Odysseus - Telemachus doesn’t tell any of the servants of his trip for fear that his departure will upset his mother - He only tells Eurycleia, wise and aged nurse Odyssey Book 3 - At Pylos, Telemachus & Mentor (Athena in disguise) witness a religious ceremony in which dozens of bulls are scarified to Poseidon, the god of the sea - Telemachus goes to talk to Nestor, the city’s king, to ask him about Odysseus buy Nestor has no information about him - When a fight betweenAgamemnon and Menelaus occurred, Menelaus and Nestor went to Greece while Odysseus and Agamemnon stayed in Troy and continue sacrificing the shores of Troy - Telemachus asks Nestor aboutAgamemnon’s fate and he explains thatAgamemnon returned from Troy to find thatAegisthus had seduced and married his wife, Clytemnestra - With her approval,Aegisthus murderedAgamemnon - Orestes retuned (he was in exile inAthens) and killedAegisthus and Clytemnestra and took over the kingdom - Athena stays behind as an eagle to protect Telemachus’s shop and its crew Odyssey Book 4 - In Sparta, the queen and king, Menelaus and Helen, are celebrating the separate marriages of their son and daughter - Helen recalls how Odysseus dressed as a beggar to infiltrate the city’s walls - Menelaus tells the famous story of the Trojan horse, Odysseus’s gambit that allowed the Greeks to sneak into Troy and slaughter the Trojans - Menelaus recalls his return from Troy and says, while stranded in Egypt, he was forced to capture Proteus, the divine Old Man of the Sea and Protheus told him the way back to Sparta and then informed him that the dates ofAgamemnon andAjax - Proteus also told him the news of Odysseus- that he was still alive but was imprisoned by Calypso on her island - Suitors at Odysseus’s house learned of Telemachus’s voyage and prepared to ambush him upon his return Odyssey Book 5 - All gods but Poseidon gather again on Mount Olympus to discuss Odysseus’s fate - Hermes, messenger of the gods, is sent to Calypso’s island to tell her that Odysseus must at last be allowed to leave so he can return home - Odysseus’s crew and boats were all destroyed during his journeys so Calypso helps him build a new boat and stocks it with provisions from her island - After 18 days at sea, Odysseus spots Scheria, the island of the Phaeacians, his next destination appointed by the gods - Poseidon, returning from a trip to Ethiopians, spots him and realized what the other gods have done in his absence so Posidon stirs up a storm which nearly drags Odysseus under the sea, but the goddess Ino comes to his rescue - River up the coast of the island answers Odysseus’s prayers and allows him to swim into its waters - He throws his protective veil back into the water as Ino commanded him to do and walks inland to rest Odyssey Book 6 - That night, Athena appears in a dream to the Phaeacian princess Nausicaa, disguised as her friend - She encourages the young princess to go to the river the next day to wash her clothes so that she will appear more fetching to the men courting her - Next morning, Nausicaa goes to the giver and Odysseus wakes in the forest and encounters them - Athena makes Odysseus look handsome so when Nausicaa sees him again she begins to fall in love with him - Nausicaa gives Odysseus directions to the palace and advice on how to approach Arete, the queen of the Phaeacians, when he meets her Odyssey Book 7 - On his way to the palace, Odysseus is stopped by a young girl (Athena in disguise) - She offers to guide him to the king’s house and shrouds him in a protective mist that keeps Phaeacians form harassing him - Once Odysseus gets to the palace,Athena leaves form Scheria to her city ofAthens - Odysseus finds the palace residents holding a festival in honour of Poseidon When the king and queen are alone with Odysseus,Arete recognizes the clothes that he’s wearing and ones that she herself had made for her daughter Nausicaa - Odysseus tells them the story of his journey from Calypso’s island and his encounter with Nausicaa - Alcinous is so impressed with his visitor that he offers Odysseus his daughter’s hand in marriage Odyssey Book 8 - The next day,Alcinous calls an assembly of his Phaeacian counselors - At the assembly,Alcinous proposes providing a ship for his visitor so that the man can return to his homeland - There’s a feast ad celebration of games in honour of his guest but the king notices Odysseus’s grief and ends the feast so that the games can begin - After the games, Alcinous and each of the young Phaeacian men, give Odysseus gifts to take with him on his journey home - Alcinous asks Odysseus to tell him who he is, where he’s from, where he’s going Odyssey Book 9 - Odyssey tells the Phaeacians the sorry tale of his wanderings - From Troy, the winds sweep him and his men to Ismarus, the city of the Cicones - Odysseus and his crew finally escape, having last 6 men per ship - Astorm sent by Zeus sweeps them along for 9 days before bringing them to the land of the Lotus-eaters, where natives give some of Odysseus’s men the intoxicating fruit of the lotus - As soon as they eat this fruit, they lose all thought of home and long for nothing more than to stay there eating more fruit - Odysseus and his men then sail to the land of Cyclopes, a rough and uncivilized race of one-eyed giants - On mainland, Polyphemus, son of Poseidon, makes a show of hospitality first, but he soon turns hostile - He devours 2 of Odysseus’s men on the spot and imprisons Odysseus and the rest in his cave for future meals - Odysseus devises and executes a plan - The next day, while Polyphemus is outside pasturing the sheep, Odsseus finds a wooden staff in the cave and hardens it in the fire - When Polyphemus returns, Odysseus gets him drunk on wine that he brought along from the ship - Polyphemus asks Odysseus his name and Odysseus says that his name is “nothing” - As soon as Polyphemus collapses with intoxication, Odysseus and a group of his men drive the red-hot staff into his eye so when Polyphemus wakes with a shriek he yells “Nobody’s killing me” - The next morning, Odysseus and his men escape from the cave, unseen by the blind Polyphemus, by clinging to the bellies of the monster’s sheep as they go to graze - With his farmer prisoners now out of reach, the blind giant lifts up a prayer to his father, Poseidon, calling for vengeance on Odysseus Odyssey Book 10 - Achaeans sail from the land of Cyclopes to the land ofAeolus, ruler of the winds - Aeolus gives Odysseus a bag containing all of the winds to guide Odysseus and his crew home - Within 10 days, they are in sight of Ithaca, but Odysseus’s shipmates, who think that Aeolus has secretly given Odysseus a fortune of gold/silver, tear the bag open - The winds escape and bring Odysseus and his men back toAeolia - This timeAeolus refuses to help them, certain that the gods hate Odysseus and wish to do him harm - Lacking wind,Achaeans row to the land of the Laestrygonians, race of powerful giants whose king, Antiphates, and the queen turn Odysseus’s scouts into dinner - Odysseus & remaining men flee toward their ships, but only Odysseus’s ship escapes - From there, Odysseus and his men travel toAeaea, home of witchgoddess Circe but Circe drugs some of Odysseus’s men and turns them into pigs - When Odysseus goes to rescue them, Hermes approaches him in the form of a young man - He tells Odysseus to eat a herb called moly to protect himself form Circe’s drug - Odysseus follows Hermes’ instructions, overpowering Circe and forcing her to change his men back to humans - Odysseus soon becomes Circe’s lover and they live with her in luxury for a year - Odysseus asks Circe for the way back to Ithaca and she says he must sail to Hades to speak with the spirit of Tiresias (blind prophet who will tell him how to get home) Odyssey Book 11 - Odysseus travels to the River of Ocean in the land of Cimmerians - 1 to appear is Elpenor, crewman who broke his neck from falling from Circe’s roof - Odysseus then speaks with the Theban prophet Tiresias, who reveals that Posidon is punishing theAchaeans for blinding his son Polyphemus - He foretells Odysseus’s fate- that he will return home, reclaim his wife and palace from the suitors and then make another trip to a distant land to appease Poseidon - He warns Odysseus not to touch the flocks of the sun when he reaches the land of Thrinacia, otherwise, he won’t return home without suffering much more hardship and losing his crew - Next, he speaks to his mom,Anticleia, who updates him on the affairs of Ithaca and relates how she died of grief waiting for his return - Odysseus now cuts short the tale and asks his Phaeacian hosts to allow him to sleep, but the king and queen urge him to continue, asking if he met any of the Greeks who fell at Troy in Hades - He meetsAgamemnon who tells him of his murder at the hands of his wife Clytemnestra - Next he meets Achilles who asks about his son, Neoptolemus - Next he tries to talk to Ajax but he refuses to speak - Odysseus soon finds himself mobbed by souls wishing to ask about their relatives in the world above - He becomes frightened, runs back to the ship and sails away Odyssey Book 12 - Odysseus returns to Aeaea, where he buries Elpenor & spends 1 last night with Circe - As he sets sail, Odysseus passes Circe’s counsel on to his men - They approach the island of the Sirens and Odysseus, as instructed by Circe, plus his men’s ears with beeswax and has them bind him to the mast of the ship - Once they passed Siren’s island, Odysseus and his men must navigate the straights between Scylla and Charybdis - Scylla is a six headed monster who swallows one sailor for each head - Charybdis is an enormous whirlpool tat threatens to swallow the entire ship - Odysseus next comes to Thrinacia, island of the sun - A storm keeps them beached for a month - Eurylochus persuades other crew members to disobey Odysseus and slaughter the cattle of the sun but when the sun finds out, he asks Zeus to punish Odysseus and his men - AfterAchaeans set sail from Thrinacia, Zeus kicks up another storm, which destroys the ship and sends the entire crew to its death beneath the waves and only Odysseus survives - Storm sweeps him all the way back to Charybdis, which he narrowly escapes for the second time - Eventually Odysseus reaches Calypso’s Island - Odysseus here breaks from the story, stating to the Phaeacians that he sees no reason to r
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