The Odyssey Study Guide

Epic A long narrative poem about gods and heroes
Suspense Curiosity or uncertainty about the outcome of a literary work
Foreshadowing The use of clues that suggest events that have yet to occur
Moral A lesson taught by a literary work
Myth A tale that explains the causes of natural events
Who told his men not to worry as he hurled insults at the Cyclops? Odysseus
Who are the beautiful creatures that lure sailors to their death while singing to them? Sirens
Who is the monster that lives next to Charybdis and ate 6 men? Scylla
Who locked Odysseus in his house, then threw a mountain at him? Cyclops
Who became angry when his cattle were eaten? Helios
Who sunk Odysseus’ ship because the other gods complained about him? Zeus
Who is the suitor who won’t give Odysseus food? Antinous
Who is Odysseus’s son who fights with him? Telemachus
Who warned Odysseus to tie himself to his mast? Circes
Who had a test that Odysseus had to pass before she’d admit he was her husband? Penelope
Who is the author of The Odyssey? Homer
Where is Odysseus’s home? Ithaca
Who is the seductive nymph who Odysseus stayed with for seven years? Calypso
Who is Odysseus’s father? Laertes
Who is the goddess that protected Odysseus? Athena
Who is the six-headed monster and the whirlpool? Scylla and Charybdis
Who is the god that kept Odysseus from returning home? Poseidon
Who did Homer pray to for inspiration? Muse
Who is Zeus’s winged messenger? Hermes
Who is the blind prophet in the land of the dead? Tiresias
Why is Odysseus sailing around the Mediterranean Sea? How long is he there? Odysseus is sailing for 10 years around the Mediterranean Sea because he was fighting in the Trojan War.
Why does the Cyclops hate Odysseus so much? The Cyclops hates Odysseus because it is in their nature, and Odysseus stabbed him in the eye.
Describe Scylla and Charybdis. Scylla is a six-headed monster and Charybdis is a sea monster.
What happened to Penelope while Odysseus was gone? Penelope waited for Odysseus to return. She declined the suitors’ requests for marriage.
How does Penelope put off the suitors? She pretends to weave a burial shroud for Laertes.
Why does Odysseus hate Antinous? How does he get his revenge? Odysseus hates Antinous because he was the ringleader among the suitors and was mean to the beggar. Odysseus gets his revenge by killing him.
Why doesn’t Penelope recognize Odysseus? Penelope doesn’t recognize Odysseus because Odysseus was disguised as a beggar, and she thought he could have been an impostor.
What is Penelope’s test? How does Odysseus pass? Penelope made the maid make Odysseus’s bed and had it moved from the bedchamber into a hall. Odysseus passed the test by explaining that one of the bed posts was made from a living olive tree, and it could not be moved unless by a god. Only he and Penelope knew this.
List 5 places that Odysseus visits while traveling. Land of the Cyclops, Scheria, Land of the Lotus-Eaters, Land of the Laestrygonians, and Aeaea
List 5 Greek gods or goddesses mentioned in the story. Athena, Hermes, Poseidon, Zeus, Helios

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