Summary of Odyssey by Homer

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Book 1

So far, the Trojan War has ended by the construction of a horse, the Greek’s method of deception to destroy the city. The plan, devised by Odysseus, involved a small troop of Greek soldiers hiding in a compartment inside the wooden structure. Additionally, the remnants would depart from the Trojan beaches to add to the effect of the Greek surrender. The Trojans accepted it as a present for the Greek surrender, and the soldiers inside signalled the other Greeks, allowing them in the city. The Greeks then destroyed Troy, killing all able-bodied men and capturing women and children.

These events have occured because of the abduction of Helen by Paris from Menelaus. This angered the king who composed an army consisting of the armies of other Greek city states and his own. The Greeks attacked the city but were unable to penetrate the thick walls. Therefore, Odysseus devised the plan of the Trojan Horse to sack Troy.

Important events in this book include the intervention of the muse, in which Homer requests for the daughter of Zeus to provide him with news about the story of Odysseus. In addition, Athena requests for Zeus to aid Odysseus. This enables Odysseus to receive assistance in returning to Ithaca and stopping the suitors from disgracing the family and stealing the throne. Another important event is the behavior of the suitors toward the royal family. The suitors inhabit the palace, feast on the royal cattle, and constantly disturb Penelope to convince her into marrying one of them. This is important as it indicates the consequence of his absence in Ithaca. Also, Athena’s advice for Telemachus is important as she orders him to travel to Pylos to inquire about news of his father.

A possible outcome is that Telemachus would travel to Pylos and inquire about Odysseus whereabouts. However, the leader of the area would not know of his fate.

I believe that Athena and Zeus aid in locating Odysseus is extremely important as it will help restore order in Ithaca. Similarly, I agree with Telemachus’s eagerness to locate his father as he is more concerned about finding his father over seizing power and ruling the country. However I disagree with the suitors method of attempting to take control of Ithaca as they slaughter domesticated animals instead of merely asking for marriage consent.

I can connect to this text as I had previously read a historical fiction book that described the last month of the Trojan War, which preces this epic, from a predominantly Trojan perspective.

The goddess Athena helps Odysseus because she begs Zeus to help him and guides Telemachus to travel to Pylos in attempt to find find his father. Zeus helps Odysseus by agreeing to Athena’s requests to aid the Greek warrior. Telemachus helps Odysseus by traveling to Pylos to inquire about his location. The suitors hinder Odysseus by attempting to control his kingdom. Lord Helios hinders Odysseus by destroying his vessel since men feasted on his sheep.

Book 9

So far, Odysseus has peregrinated around the Mediterranean Sea and was previously held hostage by Calypso. In Book 5, Zeus orders Hermes to tell Calypso to release Odysseus and she helps him with his voyage to the island of Scheria. He is welcomed by King Alcinous who feasts in his honor as described in books 6-8.

These events occurred because Athena had persuaded Zeus into aiding Odysseus. This resulted in the God sending Hermes to inform Calypso about releasing her prisoner.

Important events of Book 9 includes Odysseus’s narration beginning with a description of Calypso and her island. He tells the King that he had been detained by Calypso in her cave and Circe in her hall. He then encounters the Cicones, allies of the Trojans, in Ismarus who defeat the crew after their unsuccessful raid. Then the crew encounters the lotus eaters who poison some men into never wanting to leave the Island. Eventually, the crew lands in an island of the land of Cyclops where they encounter Polyphemus, the son of Poseidon. Since the giant intends on eating the crew, Odysseus disguises as nobody and blinds him. These events describe the journey that Odysseus faced over his past ten years and are therefore important.

A possible outcome is that Poseidon will destroy Odysseus’s fleet of ships as he blinded his son Polyphemus. This is because cyclops begs his father to avenge the men for blinding him.

I disagree with Odysseus decision of raiding the Cicones as the Cicones had a much larger army than them. Therefore, the Cicones would have the advantage and easily defeat Odysseus and his men. I additionally disagree with Odysseus decision to not immediately escape the Cyclops’s cave as it resulted in two men being killed and the rest captured. On the contrary, I agree with Odysseus decision to carry the poisoned men to his ship and the Cyclops decision to call for Poseidon as the God would punish Odysseus and his men.

I can connect to this text to my own life because I had occasionally used deception and trickery to escape situations.

The king of Phaeacians Alcinous helps Odysseus by accepting him into his island of Scheria. Circe and Calypso hinder Odysseus because they hold him captive. The Cicones hinder Odysseus by attacking him and his men. The Lotus Eaters hinder Odysseus by poisoning three of his men. The Cyclops hinders Odysseus by holding him captive in his cave to be eaten. Both Apollo and Athena help Odysseus but Poseidon does not as he would be enraged for the blinding of his son.

Book 10

So far, Odysseus has partially narrated his journey to King Alcinous about his captivation by Circe and Calypso, the unsuccessful raid on the Cicones, the poison from the Lotus Eaters, and the encounter with Polyphemus. These events hinder Odysseus’s return to Ithaca but the interference of the Gods allows for Odysseus to continue his journey.

This happened due to terrible weather and poor decisions made by Odysseus. For instance, heavy winds cause the crew to land in Ismarus and the decision of attacking the inhabitants resulted in casualties. In addition, Odysseus decision to not immediately escape the Cyclops’s cave as it resulted in two men being killed and the rest captured.

Important events in this book include Odysseus and his crew arriving in Aeolus’s, the wind king’s, island who allows them to stay for one month and gifts them with two sacks of winds. However, the curious crew opens the sack of stormy winds and are sent back to the island where Aeolus refuses to help. The crew travels to the land of the Laestrygones, cannibals that hurled boulders sinking all but Odysseus’s ship which then arrives at Aeaea where the goddess Circe performs transformation spells on Odysseus and his crew. Odysseus eventually persuades Circe into releasing them who reluctantly tells him that he must visit the land of the dead and listen to the ghost Tiresias.

The event that might occur next is Tiresias telling Odysseus about his future, including his upcoming journey. This is because prophecies foretell future events.

I disagree with Aeolus’s decision to gift Odysseus with a sack of terrible winds as the crew opened it, thinking it was treasure. I also disagree with the decision made by the crew to open the sack as it resulted in them being sent back to the island of Aeolus. Additionally, I disagree with landing in the island of the Laestrygonians as it resulted in severe casualties and destruction of many ships. On the contrary, I agree with Odysseus decision to save his men from the pig transformation that they had undergone as it allowed for less casualties. Additionally, I agree with Circe’s decision to let Odysseus go as it would enable him to return to Ithaca.

I can connect to this text because I had been provided with opportunities but wasted them resulting in no gain, similar to the opening of the sack as done by Odysseus’s crew.

Aeolus helps Odysseus at first by gifting a wind that would propel the fleet toward Ithaca. The crew hinders Odysseus because they open the sack of dangerous winds and are subjected to transformations by Cirice. The Laestrygones hinder Odysseus because they destroy all but Odysseus’s ship. Eurylochus helps Odysseus by informing him that the men have been transformed. Hermes helps Oddessyus by providing moly to protect from Circe’s enchantment. Circe hinder Odysseus by transforming half of his men into pigs and placing them into a trance.

Book 11

So far, Odysseus and his men have landed on Aenea, the island of Cirice. However, the witch transforms half of the men into pigs, resulting in Odysseus attempting to save them. However, Circe puts them into a trance and eventually after a year Circe is persuaded to release them if they visit the land of the dead and listen to the ghost Tiresias.

This is because Odysseus and his crew had traveled from the island of Aeolus to the land of the Laestrygones which destroyed all but Odysseus’s ship. The ship then sailed to the land of the enchantress.

The important events include the encounter of Elpenor, a deceased crew member who had died of drinking excessively. The corpse requests for a proper burial, which Odysseus promises. He then encounters the spirit of his mother who informs him that she had died from mourning for him, his father Laertes moved to the country also mourning for him, and Penelope and Telemachus continue to mourn for him as well. In addition Odysseus chats with other deceased spirits who were punished for their crimes.

I believe that Circe would free Odysseus and inform him of the dangers that he would face in the future.

I agree with Odysseus decision to sacrifice a black lamb as it summoned the spirits of the dead. In addition, I agree with the appearances of spirits such as Elpenor and Odysseus’s mother as it horrifies Odysseus and increases his need to return to Ithaca.

I can connect this to my own life because in horror novels or movies that I have watched, dead spirits often narrate about current events in different regions or request for a proper burial.

Elpenor hinders Odysseus by requesting for a proper burial and ceremony. However, Odysseus’s mother helps him because she describes current events in Ithaca and stimulates Odysseus’s want to return to his home.

Cite this paper

Summary of Odyssey by Homer. (2021, Mar 22). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/summary-of-odyssey-by-homer/



What are the main points of The Odyssey?
The main points of The Odyssey include the adventures of the Greek hero Odysseus as he journeys home after fighting in the Trojan War, facing challenges from gods and monsters along the way, and ultimately reuniting with his wife and son. The epic poem also explores themes of loyalty, hospitality, and the power of cunning and wit.
What is the story of the Odyssey by Homer?
The Odyssey by Homer is a story about a hero, Odysseus, who goes on a long journey home after enduring many challenges. Along the way, he faces many obstacles, including the wrath of the sea god Poseidon.
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