The Odyssey (RF 9th grade)

How does Odysseus introduce his name to the Phaeanicians? For a while, he doesn’t identify himself. Then, at a dinner, the king asks his name, and O says Odysseus of Ithaca. Then O tells the king and others what had happened to him since leaving Troy.
What foolish thing did Odysseus’ mean do when they visited the Cicones? O and his men attacked the Cicones. Instead of leaving, they stayed around, and the Cicones attacked them. Many of O’s men got killed.
What is the primary recreation of people in the land of the Lotus Eaters?How do they spend all their time? They eat lotus flowers all the time. That’s all they want to do.
What happens to the 3 crewmen O sends as ambassadors to the land of the Lotus Eaters? How does O rescue them? The crewmen start eating Lotus Flowers and that’s all they want to do. They don’t care about going home. O and his men have to drag them to the ship and tie them onto it to get them to leave.
How would you describe the state of the Cyclops in terms of their agriculture, their technology, and the quality of their education and government? What usually forms the basis of their diet? They’re barbarian-like. Their agriculture and technology are primitive.The quality of education and government are low. They raise sheep. They drink the milk, make cheese and eat the meat.
What technique does the Cyclops use to control the passage of sheep in and out of his cave? Why does this prevent O and his men from safely killing the Cyclops? The Cyclops has a big rock that he closes to prevent the sheep from wandering in and out of his cave. O and his men can’t kill the Cyclops because they can’t move the rock without him.
What god does O invoke as he asks the Cyclops for a gift? Why is this god appropriate? Zeus. He’s the most powerful of the gods.
Why does O lie and say that his ship was smashed when the Cyclops asks its location? So the Cyclops doesn’t kill all his men or wreck his ship.
What does the Cyclops do to 2 of O’s men? He bashes them on the floor to kill them and then eats them raw.
What does O tell the Cyclops his (O’s) name is? Why does this turn out to be clever and humorous? Nobody. When the other Cyclops ask who is harming him, he says “Nobody,” so they leave without helping him.
What is the Cyclops’ name? Polyphemus
What “favor” does the Cyclops grant O after being served the wine? He’s going to kill O last.
What does the Cyclops do after drinking the wine? He asks for more and then falls asleep.
How or where do O’s men injure the Cyclops? Why didn’t they just stab him in the heart? How does this connect with the way they escape the cave? They stab him in the eye. They didn’t want to kill him. They need him to move the rock so they can get out of the cave.
To add insult to injury, what do O’s men take with them on the ship as they make their escape? The Cyclops’ sheep.
What does O do when he thinks he’s safely out to sea? Why is that a bad idea (i.e., how does the blind Cyclops attempt to sink O’s ship)? O taunts Polythemus by telling him his real name. O throws a boulder at the ship and calls to his father, Poseidon, god of the sea, for vengeance.
What personality trait do you suppose motivates O’s desire to reveal his true name to the outsmarted Cyclops? What does this suggest is another weakness of intelligent people? How does that revelation of his name cause problems for the voyage home? Arrogance and pride. Intelligent people want people to know how smart they are. Poseidon knows O’s name and causes problems for him and his ship on the voyage home.
Who is the father of the Cyclops named Polyphemus? Why is that bad news for someone trying to sail home? His father is Poseidon, god of the sea. Poseidon can change the conditions in the water to make it more difficult for sailors.
How does Hermes help O? What does he look like? Hermes gives him a magic herb so Circe can’t turn him into a pig and tells O to draw his sword to stop her. Hermes looks like a young man.
What advice does the witch Circe have for O? She tells him not to sail directly home. He must go to the land of Death and consult Teiresias to chart a sailing course.
What 3 dangers in the sea still await O? How does this represent a tough decision for him, according to Circe? The Sirens, Scylla, Charibdus. Scylla will kill at least 6 of his men, but if he fights, even more will die.
What is Scylla? What traits make her dangerous? She’s a 6-headed beast who eats people with all 6 mouths.
Why must O seek the ghost of Theban Teiresias? He needs help finding out how to appease Poseidon so he can get home.
What location had the prophet Teiresias warned the crew about? What did he warn them NOT to do in this location? What god would be annoyed if the crew violated this command? Teiresias warned them about Helios and the Island of the Sun. He warned them not to kill the cows. Zeus would be annoyed.
What kind of sacrifice does O offer the dead? A bucket of black sheep’s blood
What does Teiresias tell O he must do to rid himself of the anger of Poseidon? Make a sacrifice to Poseidon.
What epic simile does the poet use when he describes the way Scylla devours the sailors? Compares Scylla to a fisherman plucking fish from the ocean.
What is Charybdis? What makes it dangerous? It’s a whirlpool that sucks ships in and destroys them.
What are the sirens? What trait makes them dangerous? The sirens are half bird and half woman with beautiful voices. Their beautiful singing causes sailors to sail toward them and into danger.
What trick does O come up with to prevent his men from being tempted by the Sirens’ song? Why doesn’t he do the same trick for himself? Why does he choose instead merely to be tied down to the mast? [What trait does this show of O’s personality and how does this relate to his earlier desire to visit the Cyclops?] He puts beeswax in his men’s ears so they can’t hear the song. O wants to hear the song so chooses to be tied to the mast. He’s arrogant and thinks he’s very clever – more so than other men.
What normally happens to people who hear the sirens’ song? They sail too close and then die on the island.
When Zeus sends a storm to punish O and his crew, the wind blows them back into a dangerous area. Where? Charybdis – the whirlpool
What is O doing while his mean decide to cook a few of Helios’ cows? He’s sleeping.
Why should the bow-stringing component of an archery contest prove problematic for the wimpy suitors of Penelope? Because only Odysseus can use the bow.
What servant is willing to help O with his plot to defeat the suitors? His faithful swineherd, Eumaeus.
Why does O want to make sure that all the serving girls and his wife Penelope are out of the archery hall and locked away in their rooms as the contest takes place? Why does he want the servants to collect all the other weapons in the house and lock them away? He doesn’t want the women to be hurt. He doesn’t want the suitors to be able to fight back.
Why does O want Philoetius to bar the courtyard door, then bolt it, then tie a rope around the bolt? So he knows no one will be able to get out.
How does Antinous react to O’s request to try stringing the bow? Why are his accusations about O being a “scrounging stranger” or “freeloader” particularly ironic, given the situation? Antinous makes cruel remarks to O (he’s dressed like a beggar). Antinous and the other suitors have been living off Penelope’s (O’s) estate, killing her livestock, drinking her wine, eating her food, acting like freeloaders.
What is ironic about Penelope’s words in defense of O while he is disguised? She says that she believes O is on his way home and will return. It’s ironic because he has returned.
What omen does Zeus send when O prepares to shoot through the lined-up axheads? A clap of thunder.
After shooting the target successfully, what (or whom) does O shoot next? Why do you suppose O chooses him? He shoots Antinous. He probably chooses Antinous because of the nasty way he treated O when he asked to string the bow and shoot.
When all the suitors are speechless, only Eurymachus finds the courage to speak. Where does Eurymachus point all the blame for the suitors’ crimes? Why is that particularly convenient, given the circumstances? Eurymachus says that Antinous was to blame. It’s convenient because Antinous is dead and can’t deny it.
What does Athena do to O while he is cleaning up just before he is reunited with his wife?
What test does Penelope use to see if O really is her husband or an imposter? She tells a servant to bring out the bed and make it up. O knows that’s impossible because the bed is part of the house and can’t be moved.

You Might Also Like