King of Ithaca--Odysseus displays the essential traits of an epic hero: He gains fame through his intellect and cunning, using both to help the Greek army destroy Troy.
Sing to me of the man, Muse, the man of twists and turns driven time and again off course, once he had plundered the hallowed heights of Troy.
See Important Quotations Explained The narrator of the Odyssey invokes the Muse, asking for inspiration as he prepares to tell the story of Odysseus. The story begins ten years after the end of the Trojan War, the subject of the Iliad. All of the Greek heroes except Odysseus have returned home.
Odysseus languishes on the remote island Ogygia with the goddess Calypso, who has fallen in love with him and refuses to let him leave. Meanwhile, a mob of suitors is devouring his estate in Ithaca and courting his wife, Penelope, in hopes of taking over his kingdom.
His son, Telemachus, an infant when Odysseus left but now a young man, is helpless to stop them. He has resigned himself to the likelihood that his father is dead. With the consent of Zeus, Athena travels to Ithaca to speak with Telemachus. She then tells him that he must make a journey to Pylos and Sparta to ask for any news of his father.
Like Homer with the Iliad, the bard sings of the sufferings experienced by the Greeks on their return from Troy, and his song makes the bereaved Penelope more miserable than she already is.
Antinous and Eurymachus, two particularly defiant suitors, rebuke Telemachus and ask the identity of the visitor with whom he has just been speaking. Although Telemachus suspects that his visitor was a goddess in disguise, he tells them only that the man was a friend of his father.
Book 2 When the assembly meets the next day, Aegyptius, a wise Ithacan elder, speaks first. Antinous blames the impasse on Penelope, who, he says, seduces every suitor but will commit to none of them.
He reminds the suitors of a ruse that she concocted to put off remarrying: Penelope maintained that she would choose a husband as soon as she finished weaving a burial shroud for her elderly father-in-law, Laertes.
But each night, she carefully undid the knitting that she had completed during the day, so that the shroud would never be finished. If Penelope can make no decision, Antinous declares, then she should be sent back to Icarius so that he can choose a new husband for her. The dutiful Telemachus refuses to throw his mother out and calls upon the gods to punish the suitors.
At that moment, a pair of eagles, locked in combat, appears overhead. The suitors balk at such foolishness, and the meeting ends in deadlock. As Telemachus is preparing for his trip to Pylos and Sparta, Athena visits him again, this time disguised as Mentor, another old friend of Odysseus.
She encourages him and predicts that his journey will be fruitful. She then sets out to town and, assuming the disguise of Telemachus himself, collects a loyal crew to man his ship. Telemachus himself tells none of the household servants of his trip for fear that his departure will upset his mother.
He tells only Eurycleia, his wise and aged nurse.
She pleads with him not to take to the open sea as his father did, but he puts her fears to rest by saying that he knows that a god is at his side. Books 1—2 The Odyssey is an epic journey, but the word journey must be broadly understood.Penelope of the Odyssey Penelope, the wife of Odysseus, can be compared in various ways to the other characters in Homer’s poem The Odyssey - Penelope of the Odyssey introduction.
Many are the ways Penelope exemplifies the ideal woman, in that she conforms to the values and beliefs of her society. The cultural role of women in the Odyssey In Homer’s Odyssey the cultural relevance of a preferred woman’s role in society generally stands out in the roles of the female characters of Athena and Penelope simultaneously rejecting the negatively viewed characteristics of Calypso and Circe.
A summary of Themes in Homer's The Odyssey. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of The Odyssey and what it means.
Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans. The first issue we need to look at is the nature of "The Odyssey" as a poem. Most modern scholarship agrees that it was composed orally for oral performance, and did not attain the fixed form in.
These women include characters such as Queen Arete, Nausicaa and, above all, Odysseus’ wife Penelope.
Homer uses these characters to depict the several ways in which women were viewed by society. The first type of woman, the bad, disrespectful woman is portrayed through two characters. The Odyssey has a lost sequel, the Telegony, which was not written by Homer. It was usually attributed in antiquity to Cinaethon of Sparta.
In one source, [ which? ] the Telegony was said to have been stolen from Musaeus of Athens by either Eugamon or Eugammon of Cyrene (see Cyclic poets).