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The Odyssey Summary

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The Odyssey Summary essay
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Book 1: Athena Inspires the Prince

The story begins ten years after the end of the Trojan War. All of the surviving heroes have gone on home, while Odysseus is trapped on the island of Ogygia. The island bearer Calypso, a sorceress, daughter of Cronus fell in love with Odysseus and kept him, refusing to let him leave. Back in Ithaca, Odysseus kingdom. Penelope, Odysseus’s wife is struggling with the weight of the kingdom. Suitors are mobbing the palace and trying to marry Penelope to be king. Telemachus, Odysseus’s son. Now a young man is forced to believe that his father is dead and the kingdom will fall into the hands of suitors.

Until Athena comes to the rescue. Pallas Athena travels onto Ithaca to speak with Telemachus, disguised as an old friend named Mentes. Athena tells Telemachus that she thinks Odysseus is alive. She tells Telemachus that he has to travel onto Pylos and Sparta for any news of his father.

Book 7: Phaeacia’s Halls and Gardens

On Odysseus’ way to the palace of Alcinous, the king of the Phaeacians. Odysseus meets a young girl that helps him get help from the king and queen of Phaeacia. That girl is actually Athena in disguise. She takes him to the king’s house and puts him in a mist that keeps the Phaeacians from doing any harm to Odysseus while he’s there. The young girl or Athena advises Odysseus to get Arete, the wise queen to help Odysseus on his journey back home. After Athena helps Odysseus to the palace she goes back to her city, Athens.

When Odysseus arrives at the palace he found that the king and queen were holding a festival for Poseidon; the god of the sea, earthquakes, storms, and horses. Odysseus was awestruck by the palaces grandeur and the king’s wealth. Alcinous was suspicious of Odysseus disguised as a god; but when Odysseus explained he wasn’t and how he is a mortal, the king was relieved of those suspicions. Odysseus explains his story and the king and queen agree to help, they promised to see him off in one of their Phaeacian ships.

The wise Arete notices the clothes she made for her daughter, Nausicaa, are worn by Odysseus and she interrogates Odysseus. Odysseus explains how he decided to come alone and is wearing his daughter’s clothes because he came out of the ocean naked; all to not get the Phaeacians daughter in trouble. Alcinous was so impressed with this man that he offered his daughter’s hand in marriage.

Book 8: A Day for Songs and Contests

The next day, Alcinous the king of Phoenicia hosts lavish feasts and games for Odysseus. The Kings bard; Demodocus is blind but he plays the lyre really beautifully and sings songs of different events that had happened. The first song Demodocus played is about the Trojan war, of Odysseus and Achilles. Odysseus starts sobbing. No one knows who Odysseus is, no one knows his identity. No one but the king notices Odysseus crying so the king orders Demodocus to stop playing and get ready for the games.

Odysseus just watches, not participating in the games then this athlete; Broadsea comes up to Odysseus and insults his athletic ability. Odysseus now angered takes the heaviest disc and tosses it all the way to the first stretch. Much farther than all of the others discus throws. This shuts up Broadsea and impresses the athletes. The second song then plays and it’s about Hephaestus; the god of fire and blacksmith, and Aphrodite the goddess of love, how Aphrodite cheats on her husband Hephaestus to go to Ares, the god of war. How Hephaestus sets up a trap for them. Demodocus once again sings another song about the Trojan war and again Odysseus cries, the king notices again then demands who Odysseus is, where he came from and where he was going.

Book 9: In the One-Eyed Giant’s Cave

Where book twelve ended, Odysseus is in the palace of Alcinous. The king, Alcinous demanded to know who Odysseus is, where he is from and where he was heading. So Odysseus replied with “I am Odysseus, son of Laertes, known to the world for every kind of craft– my fame has reached the clouds. Sunny Ithaca is my home.” (Homer, pg 212) Then Odysseus begins to tell the story of how he got to Phoenicia and his long still continuing journey.

Odysseus’s story begins at Ismaros. After the Trojan war ended, The ismarians were allies with the Trojans so they went over to the isle of Ismaros and they killed the men. Took the children and women as hostages. They got into the war with the Ciconians, the people of the city ismaros. There they lost many men, after that they took a voyage to the island of the Lotus-eaters. These Lotus-eaters were very peaceful, they offered lotus’s to Odysseus’s crew and when they ate them all desires of returning home disappear. When you eat the lotus all you want is to stay with the Lotus-eaters and eat Lotus flowers. But Odysseus dragged his comrades away. After that, they land at the island of Polyphemus the Cyclops.

Odysseus and his crewmates went into the cave of the Cyclops, Polyphemus, there were countless flocks of sheep and cheese in the cave. Odysseus’s friends wanted Odysseus to just get the cheese and sheep and leave but Odysseus’s arrogance won, he wanted to meet Polyphemus, he wanted to know if the cyclops was good or bad. Polyphemus turned out to not be so good, he killed and ate half of Odysseus’s crew. After Odysseus and some of the surviving crew manage to escape by creating a stick and stabbing it into Polyphemus’s eye and then holding onto the underbelly of the sheep.

Deceiving the Cyclops, Odysseus on the ship yells out how he defeated Polyphemus and the Cyclops throws a boulder, almost hitting Odysseus. Odysseus yells out angry to the Cyclops “Cyclops– if any man on the face of the Earth should ask you who blinded you, shamed you so–Say, Odysseus, raider of cities, he gouged out your eye, Laertes’ son who makes his home in Ithaca.” (Homer, pg 580)

So Polyphemus prayed to his father “Hear me–Poseidon, god of the sea-blue mane who rocks the Earth! If I really am your son and you claim to be my father–come, grant that Odysseus, raider of cities, Laertes’ son who makes his home in Ithaca, never reaches home. Or if he’s fated to see his people once again and reach his well-built house and his own native country, let him come home late and come to a broken man–all shipmates lost, alone in a stranger’s ship–and let him find a world of pain at home!” (Homer, pg 580)

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FAQ

What are the main events in The Odyssey?
Timelines of Homer's Odyssey Odysseus passes between Scylla and Charybdis. They arrive at the Land of the Lotus Eaters. The crew slaughters Helios' cattle. Odysseus blinds Polyphemus. Zeus kills everyone but Odysseus. Aiolos gives Odysseus the bag of winds. Odysseus arrives on Calypso's island. Odysseus nearly reaches Ithaca. 28 more rows
What is the main idea moral of The Odyssey?
The three most important themes in the Odyssey are hospitality, loyalty, and vengeance .
What is the main story of The Odyssey?
The Odyssey is an epic poem in 24 books traditionally attributed to the ancient Greek poet Homer. The poem is the story of Odysseus, king of Ithaca, who wanders for 10 years (although the action of the poem covers only the final six weeks) trying to get home after the Trojan War .
What is the overall meaning of The Odyssey?
The central theme of The Odyssey is perseverance —portrayed by Telemachus as he journeys to find his father, Athena, as she sees her mission to reinstate Odysseus through Penelope in her attempt not to remarry, and of course, Odysseus as he journeys home.
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