The Odyssey Questions Part One and Two

Who is speaking in this opening scene? Homer
What is a muse? Gods that inspire, Muse the goddess of Epic Poetry.
What happened in Troy? They won the war with the Trojan horse.
Where is Odysseus, the “contender,” trying to go? Go home to Ithaca
Which god is plotting against Odysseus? Poseidon
How long did the Trojan War last? 10 years
How many years has Odysseus spent trying to return home? Almost 10 yrs
Who is Calypso and what is her relationship to Odysseus? A nymph who held Odysseus captive
Who is narrating the story? Odysseus
Who is Hermes and what is his mission? Messenger, brings a message from Mount Olympus telling Calypso to free Odysseus
Of whom is Calypso seemingly jealous? Penelope Odysseus’ wife.
How does Odysseus regard his wife Penelope? He loves her tremendously.
How does Calypso assist Odysseus on his journey home? She builds him a raft.
What tragedy strikes Odysseus at sea? He shipwrecks during a fierce storm.
How is Odysseus received on the island of Scheria, home of King Alcinous? They treat him as a noble guest.
Describe Ithaca. Home Island where Odysseus lives.
From his self introduction, how do you think Odysseus views himself? He thinks highly of himself. (Refer to line 9)
What line signals Odysseus’ flashback to the past, where he begins telling the story of his adventures? (Refer to Line 29/31)
Summarize what happened at Odysseus first stop, Ismaros, land of the Cicones, on his journey home. The attacked the Cicones costal line successfully. The men became drunk and didn’t listen to Odysseus when they told him to retreat. The Lotus Eaters
What danger did Odysseus and his men encounter when they landed on the Lotus Eater’s island? They longed to stay forever and never go home.
What did these people eat? A honeyed plant called the Lotus.
How did Odysseus solve the problem? He tried them down under their rowing benches, ordered the men not to taste the Lotus.
Describe the Cyclops Polyphemos. Son of Poseidon, one eyed giant.
What was the Cyclops response when Odysseus told him of their ship wreck? He wanted to know where the ship and other men where at.
What plan did Odysseus contrive to divert Polyphemos? Get him drunk, blind him and sneak out by hiding under the lambs when he moves the rock.
What is ironic about the use of the name “Nobody” by Odysseus? 1. Odysseus is a hero and he is known by many. 2. When Cyclops is blinded he calls for help and says nobody has hurt him, so his brothers do not come to help him.
After blinding the Cyclops, how do Odysseus and his men escape the cave? Hide under the sheep and leave when Polyphemos opens the cave.
How does Polyphemos hope to avenge his injury from Odysseus? He prays to Poseidon for “O’ to lose all of his men and return to see bad days at home.
How heroic are Odysseus’ acts in this episode? In what ways does this help or endanger his men? Talks to Polyphemos, and thinks up a plan to get them out. He endangers his men when he calls out his real name to Polyphemos.
What customs of Greek society are observed in this story? The mandatory acceptance of gifts/they don’t eat people.
What assistance does King Aeolus’ give Odysseus and why isn’t it successful? A bag of wind Odysseus’ men are envious and want to know what is in the bag. They open the bag and it blows them off course
Summarize what happens on the island of the Laistrygones. Men turned into pigs “O” saves men.
Why were men drawn to Circe? Lured the men to her house with food and wine.
Into what did Circe begin turning Odysseus’ crew? They are turned into pigs.
Why did Circe’s plan fail on Odysseus? Hermes gives Odysseus a magical herb. The Land of the Dead
Why must Odysseus journey to Hades, the land of the dead? To find out how to get home.
How does Odysseus summon the spirit of Tiresias? He brings a black lamb as a sacrifice.
What advice does Tiresias give Odysseus regarding the island of Thrinakia? No matter what happened avoid the cattle.
If Odysseus doesn’t follow Tiresias advice at Thrinakia, what does the spirit foretell? Eating the cattle would bring destruction for his ship and crew.
What advice does Circe give Odysseus when he returns from the underworld? Warns him 1. About the Sirens 2. Tells him to avoid Helios’s cattle. 3.Warns him about Scylla & Charybdis.
Describe the Sirens. What danger do they pose? Lure sailors to their deaths with a beautiful song.
How did Odysseus keep himself and his men safe when going past the Sirens? Placed beeswax in his men’s ears and tied him to the mast.
Describe Scylla and Charybdis. 6 Headed monster, Charybdis dangerous whirlpool.
Which of the two, Scylla or Charybdis, was the lesser of two evils? Why? Charybdis was more dangerous because the whirlpool could destroy the entire ship. Scylla was going to eat 6 men.
Who owns the cattle on the island of Thrinakia? Helios (the Sun God)
Of what consequence does Odysseus warn his men? Do not eat the cattle or something bad will happen.
When and why did Odysseus’ men decide to kill the cattle? When they ran out of Circe’s food they had to eat the cattle.
What threat did Helios make in response to the death of his cattle? He will go to the Underworld and shine there instead.
Who punished Odysseus’ men? How? Zeus sends down a lightning bolt and destroys their ship. The men die except for Odysseus.
Who survives the punishment? Odysseus.
Who helps Odysseus return to Ithaca after twenty years? The Phaeacians
Once in Ithaca, whom does Odysseus visit and how is he disguised? Eumaeus the swineherd.
In Odysseus’ absence, where has his son Telemachus journeyed? Why? He went to find out the fate of his father. To prevent his mom from remarrying.
What news does Athena share with Telemachus? Men have moved into Odysseus’s house, the suitors eat his food/drink his wine and are forcing Penelope to marry one of them. They plan to ambush him
When Telemachus returns to Ithaca, who does he visit first? Why? Eumaeus, Athena tells him to go to see him.
What important Greek value does Telemachus’ and Eumaues’ treatment of the unknown beggar reveal? You must feed and shelter your guests and treat them kindly.

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