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The Odyssey version 1

A readers theater by Kathy Applebee
(The events are ordered as they occur, not as in the original text)



Eurycleia, the nurse


Sailor 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6






Cyclops 2



Melantheus, a free loading



Penelope, Odysseus wife

Telemachus, Odysseus son

Eurymachus, a free loading
Antinous, leader of the

Princess Nausicaa
King Alcinous
Queen Arete

2010 Kathy Applebee Find royalty free Christian Drama skits at my Fools for Christ website at
http://tiny.cc/rkaz2 Find interactive Bible games at http://guest.portaportal.com/applebeebible

Eumaeus, loyal herder

Laretes, Odysseus father

Irus, a bad beggar

2010 Kathy Applebee Find royalty free Christian Drama skits at my Fools for Christ website at
http://tiny.cc/rkaz2 Find interactive Bible games at http://guest.portaportal.com/applebeebible

ATHENA: Father, you and the other gods should never allow a mortal king to be kind or just.
ZEUS: Why not?
ATHENA: Look where being kind and just got. Odysseus. Instead of a reward he has lost his
ships and crew, is stuck on Ogygia, and his son's life is in jeopardy. The war has been over for
ten years. Why such misfortune?
ZEUS: Poseidon is angry because he blinded his son, Polyphemus. But you are correct. It is a
poor reward for admirable character.
ATHENA: Since Poseidon is temporarily absent, may I help Odysseus return home?
ZEUS: You originally cursed him? Why are you changing your mind?
ATHENA: I have noticed his characters and values and have decided to forgive him
ZEUS: I agree. He is a man of character with a good reputation. I hold him in high regard. How
will you help him?
ATHENA: I will disguise myself and visit Odysseus son Telemachus. Together we will search
for news of his father.
NARRATOR: Meanwhile, back in Ithaca
ANTINOUS: Telemachus, why have you called this assembly? You arent the ruler here (aside)
and I hope you never will be.
TELEMACHUS: To get some help to search for my father, Odysseus.
EURYMACHUS: Youll get no help from me. Hes dead, Im sure.
ANTINOUS: Nor from me or the other suitors.
MELANTHEUS: Were still mad over the trick your mother Penelope pulled on us.
ANTINOUS: Saying shed choose one of us to marry to become king as soon as she finished
weaving her father-in-laws burial shroud. Teen pretending to weave it for three years.

EURYMACHUS: And then pulling out all she wove at night so shed never finish. Good thing
that disloyal maid told on her.
TELEMACHUS: What my mother lacks in brawn, she makes up for in brains.
ANTINOUS: She seduces every suitor but will commit to none of us.
TELEMACHUS: (aside) May the gods pay them back for not helping me. And for breaching the
laws of hospitality. They have turned our home into their own private party hall feasting and
drinking at our expense.
EURYCLEIA: Why are you packing for a trip, Telemachus?
TELEMACHUS: Dont tell my mother, shed only worry. I go in search of news of my father.
EURYCLEIA: I may be old but I am wise. Do not take to the open sea as your father did.
TELEMACHUS: Dont worry about me, my old wise nurse. A goddess travels with me. (to
NESTOR) Hail, King Nestor, companion of my father. It is I, Telemachus, son of Odysseus.
NESTOR: Welcome Telemachus. Let me extend my hospitality. Your father traveled with
Agamemnon who was murdered by his wife Clytemnestra and her boyfriend Aegisthus. I hope
your father doesnt suffer the same.
TELEMACHUS: It has been ten long years without my father and these so called suitors for my
mothers hand in marriage are driving us nuts.
NESTOR: Clytemnestra and her boyfriend Aegisthus would have taken over Agamemnons
kingdom had not Orestes, who was exiled in Athens, returned and killed them both. Such a
shame the Trojan War lasted so long because Paris breached the hospitality of King Menalaus.
TELEMACHUS: Running off with your hosts' wife is a serious breach.
NESTOR: I traveled home with Menelaus. You should visit him in Sparta. Ill send my son
Pisistratus with you.
TELEMACHUS: Thank you.
MENELAUS: Welcome, Telemachus. You are the image of your father.
TELEMACHUS: Do you know what has happened to my father?
MENELAUS: Last I heard, he was imprisoned by Calypso on her island.

HELEN: Dont worry. Hes a clever man. He dressed as a beggar to infiltrate the walls of Troy.
MENELAUS: And he thought up the Trojan horse, a giant but hollow gift for the Trojans. Little
did they know our soldiers were hidden inside.
HELEN: It allowed them to sneak into Troy and win the war.
MEANWHILE back in Ithaca
EURYMACHUS: That dirty rotten scoundrel Telemachus has sneaked off.
ANTINOUS: I say we ambush him when he returns.
EURYMACHUS: And kill him.
PENELOPE: Oh no! My son is in danger. I could lose him and his father.
ATHENA: Dont sweat it. Ive got his back.
NARRATOR: So Odysseus and all his ships set off for Ithaca.
SAILOR 1: Weve arrived at Ismarus, in the land of the Cicones.
SAILOR 2: Lets sack the town.
ODYSSEUS: I think we should leave.
SAILOR3: No way.
SAILOR: We want treasure!
ODYSSEUS: Too late. Here come the survivors to attack us. Try to get to the ships.
SAILOR 2: Bad news. Six men off each ship died.
SAILOR 1: More bad news. Zeus has sent a terrible storm.
SAILOR 3: Luckily we can make it to the land of the Lotus-eaters.
ODYSSEUS: The people seem harmless.
SAILOR 3: And these lotuses are delicious.

SAILOR 1: I never want to leave.
SAILOR 2: Me either. Forget home. Im staying here the rest of my life.
ODYSSEUS: Ill have to tie them to the ship to get us out of here.
SAILOR 4: Odysseus look somebody has left out huge cheeses on that island.
SAILOR 5: And goats and lambs are in that cave.
ODYSSEUS: Lets get them.
NARRATOR: While plundering the cave, it became dark as night.
ODYSSEUS: Why has the cave suddenly gone dark?
SAILOR 4: Its that huge guy with a single eye in his forehead.
SAILOR 4: Hes as tall and rugged as a mountain.
SAILOR 5: And hes blocking the door with a boulder.
ODYSSEUS: Shhhh. He hasnt seen us.
POLYPHEMUS: Whos talking? Whos there?
ODYSSEUS: Just a few Greeks, blown off course on our way home from Troy. Please treat us
like guests or suffer the wrath of Zeus, protector of guests.
POLYPHEMUS: Im a Cyclopes, much stronger than Zeus. I'll show you hospitality by eating
you and your men raw. Good night. (make snoring sounds)
SAILOR 6: Kill him while he sleeps.
ODYSSEUS: No, well never move the boulder. Well have to trick him. Lets sharpen that
stick to a point. Then Ill offer him that strong wine. Here you go, Polyphemus. Try some of our
POLYPHEMUS: Good wine. More! Who are you, Greek?
ODYSSEUS: My name is Nobody.
POLYPHEMUS: I like you, Nobody. Ill eat you last. Now for sleep.

ODYSSEUS: Now, blind him!
POLYPHEMUS: My eye! My eye!
CYCLOPS 2: What has happened, brother Cyclops? Is someone harming you?'
POLYPHEMUS: It's Nobody!
CYCLOPS 2: 'Then for the love of our father, Poseidon, keep the noise down!'
POLYPHEMUS: You Greeks think youre smart. Youre not so smart. Ill sleep in the doorway
and you wont escape.
ODYSSEUS: (whispering) Yes, we will. Men, Ill tie three goats together and hide each of you
under a set of goats. Well just sneak right past when he feels the goats going out.
POLYPHEMUS: I wish you goats could talk, so you could point out those Greeks.
ODYSSEUS: Were all out. Run for the ships. (taunting) Nananana, Mr. Polyphemus Cyclops.
We got away.
SAILOR 5: The Cyclops is throwing a boulder.
SAILOR 6: The waves have almost wrecked us n the shore
ODYSSEUS: Hey stupid. If someone asks who did this, the name is Odysseus!
POSEIDON: So Odysseus is trying to get home with the help of some gods. Ill make him pay
for what he did to my son. Ill give him a voyage hell never forget. With my trident, Ill stir the
sea into a fury and batter him with a squall.
SAILOR: Odysseus, big trouble. The storm has destroyed out mast and sail. Odysseus? Where
did you go?
SAILOR 2: Man overboard!
SAILOR: Weve got him.
LEUCOTHEA: Odysseus, take my veil, tie it around your waist as a charm against drowning and
swim for shore. Just make sure you throw it back into the sea.
SAILOR 2: Never mind. The ship is breaking to pieces.

ODYSSEUS: Get to the island of Aeolus - Keeper of the Winds. Ill tell him tales of our
adventures this far.
AEOLUS: Great stories. Ill provide a steady breeze to blow you home. Take this leather bag. It
holds an assortment of storm winds in case you need one later on.
SAILOR 2: Odysseus, awake. We can see Ithaca! Were nearly home.
SAILOR 3: Hey, whats in that bag?
SAILOR 4: Probably treasure. Lets open it and find out.
SAILOR 1: Stupid idea. This hurricane that came out is blowing us back to Aeolus's island.
ODYSSEUS: Het, Aeolus, old buddy. Can you help us out again?
AEOLUS: No. Get lost.
SAILOR 5: Check out this place. Its day all the time in the land of the Laestrygonians.
SAILOR 6: Its also dangerous all day. Theyre bombing our ships with boulders.
SAILOR 4: And eating the survivors for lunch.
ODYSSEUS: Row for your lives men. Were the only ship that has made it out.
SAILOR 1: Im not going ashore at the next place.
SAILOR 2: Me either.
EURYLOCHUS: Ill reconnoiter.
SAILOR 6: Huh?
EURYLOCHUS: Look around, check things out.
SAILOR 3: Stay out of trouble.
EURYLOCHUS: Odysseus, bad news. We found a stone house in the middle of a tangled wood
surrounded by the meekest lions and wolves you have ever seen. We heard incredible singing.
ODYSSEUS: Who or what?

EURYLCHUS: A woman named Circe. She invited us in. I had a feeling she was bad news and
stayed outside. She gave the others food and honeyed wine mixed with a pinch of something
magical. Then she waved her wand and turned them into pigs.
HERMES: Odysseus, before you go to save your men, take this sprig of Moly. Zeus sends it as
protection against her potions.
ODYSSEUS: Hello Circe.
CIRCE: Hello yourself. Have a drink.
CIRCE: Foolish man. I raise my wand and
ODYSSEUS: And nothing. I raise my sword to your throat. Restore my men
CIRCE: Fine. Hermes warned me an Odysseus would be coming. You must be he.
EURYLOCHUS: Odysseus, the gods and your wits have saved us again.
ODYSSEUS: Circe, we must be going.
CIRCE: So soon?
ODYSSEUS: Its been months.
CIRCE: You must not sail home directly. Detour to the land of Death to consult the blind prophet
Tiresias. He alone can help you chart your course.
ODYSSEUS: Then we shall set off to the furthest edge of Ocean's stream to the land where all
journey when they die. Here their spirits endure a fleshless existence.
CIRCE: You must re-animate the dead with blood.
ODYSSEUS: Thank you for everything. It was a fun year. Now off to the land of the dead. Ill
offer a sacrifice and talk to blind Tiresias.
TIRESIAS: Odysseus, you will reach home. But do not touch the cattle on the Island of the Sun.
EURYLOCHUS: How did things go in the Underworld?
ODYSSEUS: I held all the other shades at bay with my sword until Tiresias had drunk the blood
of the sacrificial lamb.
EURYLOCHUS: What other ghosts were there?

ODYSSEUS: Famous men and women. Achilles, best fighter of the Greeks at Troy, Ajax, King
Minos, poor Tantalus sitting in a pool of water overhung by bunches of grapes. Whenever he
reached for the grapes, they rose just beyond his grasp, and whenever he bent down to drink, the
water sank out of reach.
EURYLOCHUS: Is it true Sisyphus, is there, struggling eternally to push a boulder over a hill
only to have it roll back down whenever it reaches the top?
ODYSSEUS: Yes. I was soon mobbed by souls wishing to ask about their relatives in the world
above so I left in a hurry. But not before Tiresias warned us not to touch the cattle on the Island
of the Sun but reassured me I would reach home.
SAILOR 3: I would have like to spoken to some. Then what?
ODYSSEUS: We must pass the Sirens, those dreadful women whose irresistible but deadly
sweet singing lures sailors to their doom. I will plug the crews ears with wax, so you cant hear
them and be lured to your death.
EURYLOCHUS: Ill plug your ears.
ODYSSEUS: No. My curiosity must be satisfied. Tie me to the mast. Dont untie me until
were past, no matter what I say.
SAILOR 4: Weve passed the Sirens but another danger looms.
SAILOR 5: Charybdis is swallowing the sea in a whirlpool, then spitting it up again.
ODYSSEUS: Move the ship next to that cliff and well skirt around Charybdis
SAILOR 6: More bad news. Scylla has exacted her toll. Each of her six slobbering mouths
grabbed a sailor and wolfed him down.
ODYSSEUS: Land on the island of the Sun but no matter what you do, dont sacrifice the suns
SAILOR 4: Im sick of these sea rations.
SAILOR 5: We have been eating them and nothing but them for a month.
EURYLOCHUS: Odysseus has fallen asleep. I say we slaughter the finest of the sacred cattle of
the Sun god Helios and have some beef for dinner.
ZEUS: Bad idea. Tiresias warned you not to touch these cattle. Ill send one of my thunderbolts
to smash your very last ship.

ODYSSEUS: I alone have survived, washing up on Calypsos shore where Ill be for seven long
years. But now I must fast forward to Phaeacia with civilized and kind folks devoted to Zeus. It
is a tempting paradise of orchards that bear fruit year-round and fields of plenty.
this shore. I need a nap.
NAUSICAA: Who is this man, asleep behind a bush? What a hunk.
ODYSSEUS: Youre pretty hot yourself.
NAUSICAA: (aside) Hes endearing, sly and suave as well as handsome. (to Odysseus) Hey
baby, come by my palace. Meet my parents.
ODYSSEUS: Im not exactly dressed to meet a king and queen.
NAUSICAA: You can have these clothes.
ODYSSEUS: Ok. Hail King Alcinous and Queen Arete.
ALCINOUS: Are you one of the gods?
ODYSSEUS: I am a mortal, longing to return home.
ARETE: I recognize the clothes you wear as those I gave my daughter. Whats up with that?
ODYSSEUS: Never mind that. Watch me win the discuss competition.
ALCINOUS: What an athlete. Wanna marry my daughter, Nausicaa?
ODYSSEUS: I would be honored but I cant. Im already married. Im Odysseus, King of
Ithaca, trying to get home.
ARETE: What happened to you?
ODYSSEUS: It is a long story.
ARETE: Give us a short version.
ODYSSEUS: I fought in the Trojan War, coming up with the idea to hide the men in a giant
wooden horse. Ive been trying to get home for years but Poseidon has it in for me. Plus I ran
into a few other problems. I need to get home to Ithaca.
ALCINOUS: My sailors will take you home.

ODYSSEUS: At last, home, on the shores of Ithaca. Now where is that swineherd Athena told
me to find?
EUMAEUS: Welcome bedraggled stranger. Ill fix us a feast and you can sleep in my bed.
EUMAEUS: Let me tell you my lifes story. I was born a kings son, but my nursemaid, who
had been kidnapped herself, kidnapped me to get back home. I was raised by a woman named
Penelope when he father in law bought me as a slave.
ATHENA: Telemachus when you get home you will have to avoid an ambush by Penelope's
TELMACHUS: Hey Eumaeus, our loyal servant, I need you to tell my mom Im home safe. Hi
there, strange man. Are you one of the gods?
ODYSSEUS: No. Im your father, returned after these twenty years.
TELMACHUS: Im afraid I have some bad news, dad. The guys trying to marry mom
outnumber us 50 to 1. We might need reinforcements.
ODYSSEUS: Aren't Zeus and Athena reinforcement enough? Ill disguise myself as a beggar and
go to the castle.
MELANTHEUS: You stupid beggar, get out of here.
ODYSSEUS: A crust of bread, I beg you.
ANTINOUS: No bread for you, just this footstool to clobber you.
EURYMACHUS: Good shot. You hit him in the back. Now Ill try.
IRUS: Not before I beat him up. Get out. There are only enough scraps for one beggar and that
would be me. I run errands for the suitors.
ODYSSEUS: There are pickings enough for the two of us.
SUITORS: Fight! Fight! Fight!
ODYSSEUS: Let me use my tunic as a boxers belt.

EURYMACHUS: That beggar has the muscles of a body builder.
ANTINOUS: Beat the muscle man up, Irus.
ODYSSEUS: Not today. Ill just break his jaw and let him love.
PENELOPE: Youre quite an athlete and fighter. My maid will give you a bath.
EURYCLEIA: I know who you are! Youre Odysseus. I recognize that scar above your knee.
ODYSSEUS: I got it when I was gored by a wild boar when hunting on Mount Parnassus as a
young man. But tell no one who I am.
PROPHET: I see the walls of this mansion dripping with you suitors blood.
SUITORS all laugh at him.
PENELOPE: I have this final contest. This stout bow was left behind by Odysseus when he
sailed for Troy. Whoever strings this bow and sends an arrow straight through twelve ax heads
lined in a row--that man will I marry.
ANTINOUS: So be it. The bow symbolizes physical superiority and will show who is capable
of leading Ithaca. (aside) Too bad I cant string it...
MELANTHEUS: This is too hard to bend. I cant string it.
EURYMACHUS: No one can do it.
TELEMACHUS: Ill try. I almost have it. (aside) I could probably get it on a fourth try but I
see my father signaling me to stop.
ODYSSEUS: Let me try.
EURYMACHUS: Im not going to have some beggar show me up.
Telemachus: You must.
ODYSSEUS: This is how the feat is done.
PENELOPE: Hes done it. He has strung the bow and shot through the axe heads.
ODYSSEUS: Telemachus, arm yourself.

TELEMACHUS: Athena has given us the battle. The suitor and traitors are all dead.
ODYSSEUS: Dress in your finest and dance, so that passers-by won't suspect what's happened.
These men will have relatives with murder on their minds.
PENELOPE: How can I be sure you are really Odysseus and this isnt some trick?
ODYSSEUS: I carved the bedpost of my bed myself from the living trunk of an olive tree and
built the bedroom around it.
PENELOPE: It is you.
ODYSSEUS: Father, you should not be laboring like a peasant.
LARETES: Now that your home son, well beat those bad men away.
TELEMACHUS: Ill help. Im pretty much a man now.
ATHENA: Stop the fighting and live in peace.