The Odyssey Questions

What is the purpose of the first ten lines of the poem? Homer is asking the muse, goddess of poetry, to inspire him and help him tell a good story
Why had Odysseus not yet returned from the Trojan War? He had gotten lost along the way on his journey and also had been captured
What does Athena do during the meeting on Mount Olympus? Asks Zeus why he is so against Odysseus
At Odysseus’ house in Ithaca, we are introduced to the suitors. What are they doing in the house? Playing with dice and sitting on fur from animals they have killed while the servants are serving them
What words are used to describe the suitors? a. Mobb. Swagger c. Carousingd. Obscenelye. Lounge f. Gorging
How does Athena present herself to Telemachus? As Mentes
Athena tells Telemachus to seek information about his father from which men? Melelas and King Nestor????
Athena gives Telemachus one piece of information about his father. What is it? His father is not dead
What does Athena counsel Telemachus to do to the suitors? To find away to get back in control because the suitors are taking advantage of him and Penelope
How has Telemachus changed since the beginning of Book I, and how does Penelope react? He has gained more confidence because Athena talked to him and willing to fight against the suitors; Penelope was “astonished” that he was more mature?????
Why does Telemahus call the men to assemble? This is his way to tell them that he is in charge and is tired of the suitors taking advantage of him
How has Penelope manage to hold off the suitors’ demands for the past four years? Giving one hints that they will get married but never ends up doing anything about it
What sign does Zeus send to the assembly, and what is its meaning? a. 2 eagles b. that there were people watching overhead?????
What does Telemachus plan to do now? Get on his boat and sail to Sparta and Sandy Pylos
What is Zeus’ command to Calypso? To let Odysseus go
What god or goddess brings Zeus’ command to Calypso? Hermes
What happens to Odysseus on the eighteenth day, just as he cites land? Poseidon gets mad because the gods let Odysseus go so he starts a storm; Odysseus’ boat breaks and eventually has to swim
What help does Ino give to Odysseus? A scarf, and tells him to swim to shore
What happens to Odysseus at the end of Book V? He finally makes it to shore and sleeps in the woods
Odysseus is insulted by Broadsea. What does he accuse Odysseus of being? Why? He was not very athletic so he feels intimidated by Odysseus; doesn’t want to lose to Odysseus in the Olympic Games???
With Athena’s help, what athletic feat does Odysseus accomplish? Discus
Odysseus brags that he is an accomplished athlete but allows one test where the Paeacians would likely win. To which test does he refer? Why? Sprinting; Odysseus is very tired and his legs have lost their spring because he has been on a boat for so long
Why do you think Homer interrupts the narrative to have Demodocus sing about the love of Ares and Aphrodite? Show that Odysseus has a soft side when he cried????
What is the ancient legend/tale to which (King) Alcinous refers? Story of the Trojan Horse
Which encounter do Odysseus and his men have before Polyphemus? Alcinous
Why is it necessary for Odysseus to take some of his men by force away form the land of the Lotus-Eaters? After one would eat the lotus they wouldn’t want to come back to the boat so they could find their way home
What kind of creature does Odysseus encounter in the next land? cyclops
Why does Odysseus lead his men into Polyphemus’ cave? To get information
Why does Odysseus lead his men into Polyphemus’ cave? Starts to eat them (Odysseus’ men) two at a time
How does Odysseus wound Polyphemus? Warms a spear and them puts it in the Cyclops’s eye
How do Odysseus and his remaining men escape from the cave? They tie themselves on the goat’s bellies
How is the craftiness and cunning of Odysseus revealed in this escape? The idea to tie themselves on the bottom of goats so when the Cyclops would open the door he would only think that the goats were going out
Why does Odysseus reveal his name to Polyphemus after his escape? It won’t matter then because Polyphemus won’t be able to get him; and he wants to spite Polyphemus and get him annoyed
What natural phenomenon does Aeolus control? winds
How does Aeolus show goodwill when Odysseus is about to leave? given them a sack with winds in it
Odysseus and his men come within sight of Ithaca. Why don’t they land? They want to open the bag to see what is inside of it, but the bad had wind inside it so it pushed them back to Aeolus’ house
37. Odysseus asks Aeolus for further help. What is his reply? He will not help Odysseus because he is cursed and he needs to get out of his palace
Describe the Laestrygonians. Very big strong monsters
Who helps Odysseus outwit Circe? Hermes
Why does Odysseus visit the house of Hades? Circe makes him, so he can consult the ghost of Tiresias
How does Odysseus gain access to the underworld? Dug a hole for the people who died in the war??????
What does Odysseus promise Elpenor? Odysseus will not forget him
Why does Odysseus not let his mother come near the blood? He wanted to question Tiresias first ?????
What does Tiresias tell Odysseus? What the rest of Odysseus’ life will be
Who comes to speak to Odysseus after all the souls of the women have departed? What does he tell him? Alcornis Odysseus will be murdered by his wife?
Many other heroes speak to Odysseus, and he learns of their fates. What happens to Tantalus? Tantalus would try to get a drink of water but then the water would vanish and up above him were all these fruits
What punishment is Sisyphus enduring? He is trying to get a bolder to stay on top of a hill but it just keeps rolling down
How do the Sirens destroy men, and how do Odysseus and his men avoid destruction? Sirens: lure people over to their island by singing Odysseus avoids: tell his crew members to not let him go whatever he says and puts beeswax in his ears so not to hear the singing
What are Scylla and Charybdis? a. Monstersb. Scylla- tries to get people to come to her cavern and then keeps themc. Charydbis- makes a whirlpool to get men
What happens to Odysseus’ companions? To Odysseus? In Book XVI a. Companions- they eat the animals of the sun god’s islandb. Odysseus- for ten days drifted on the island but finally was able to get onto Ogyia, Calypso’s island
Why does Telemachus not want to bring his gifts from Menelaus to his own house? a. If the suitors attack him he doesn’t want them to take them i. He would rather have Menelaus have them
Who is Eumaeus? Most treacherous of the suitors
What happens when Eumaeus and the beggar meet Melanthius (one of the suitors)? List at least three things Taunted, kicked, and cursed at Odysseus
Who is the first to recognize Odysseus and what happens? Swineherd?????
Why does Athena want Odysseus to beg from the suitors? To test the suitors- “so we can tell the innocent from the guilty.”
Why does Penelope wish to see the beggar? Wants to get information on what happened to her husband
What occurs between Odysseus and Irus? Why? Irus: beggar They fight by boozing because he was being rude to Odysseus and telling him to leave
What reward does the still-disguised Odysseus give Amphinomus for helping him? wine
What does Penelope do that makes Odysseus happy? she tricks the suitors by telling them that Odysseus told Penelope to marry another person when Telemachus started to grow a beard
How does Odysseus come to be a target for the foot stool again? Eurymachus is mad at Odysseus because he said that he could beat him if working on a field and Eurymachus is not as good as he thinks he is
What action does Odysseus take now? In book XIX He makes a plan for how to kill the suitors
How does Euryclea discover Odysseus’ identity? The scar on his leg from when he went boor hunting
What contest does Penelope devise to test the suitors? Using a bow to hit 12 axes
Using a dictionary, define “portent”. something that foreshadows
At the beginning of book XX, why is Odysseus so angry? ????
What two events give Odysseus hope that he is doing the right thing and that his efforts will be successful? a. Athena tells him when he is trying to go to go to sleep that everything will work b. Cristippus missed when he threw the horse shoe at him
What is the difference between the goatherd and the cowherd? a. Goatherd- badb. Cowherd-good ?????????
Why does Theoclymenus call (“wail”) out? He is mad that Cresippus threw a horse shoe at Odysseus
Why does Athena “inspire” the suitors to act even worse, to continue their insulting behavior? So it’ll be easier for them to get beat by Odysseus and Telemachus
Who, other than Odysseus, had the power and strength to string the bow? Telemachus??
To what men does Odysseus reveal his identity? Telemachus????
What is Odysseus’ plan? For killing the suitors Start killing the suitors with the help of the seine and pig herders through bribery while the nurse and Penelope are in their room; then have the women who were also loving on the suitors clean the blood and bodies up and kill them after they finish
Which men does Odysseus spare for the slaughter? (Include name and job) a. Phemius-bard b. Medon-herald
What happens to the disloyal serving women? They had to help clean up the bodies but were then killed by swards
Why, at first, does Penelope not believe that Odysseus is who he says he is? thinks it may be a “fraud” so the person can become king
How does Odysseus finally convince Penelope that he IS Odysseus? By telling her about the bed he made that no one knows about
When do Odysseus and Penelope finally sleep? After they both tell of the hardships they had to overcome
When Odysseus awakens, what is his plan for the day? Have Penelope stay and home and go and talk to his dad
Where does Odysseus go next? In book XXIV his dad’s (Laertes)
Why does Laertes wear rags and not bathe? To not show his identity???????????
What does Athena do when the families of the dead suitors attack Odysseus? make them forget about the killing of the suitors
In the ORAL EPIC, there is much REPETITION. List some lines/phrases that have been repeatedly used by the poet? a. When dawn with her rose-read fingers shown again b. The long enduring Great Odysseys

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