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· Odyssey - means journey or adventure

- sequel of the Iliad and written by Homer

· Odysseus - protagonist · Eurycleia - old nurse
· Penelope - wife · Sysiphus - god; father of Odysseus
· Anticleia - mother of Odysseus · Laertes - foster father
· Eumaeus - swineherd · Argos - dog

· Ulysses - Latinized name of Odysseus

· Laertes acceped Odysseus as his son because he is extraordinary.
· Ithaca was the homeland of Odysseus.
· After the Fall of Troy, the ships sailed back to Greece.
· Poseidon and Athena were their allies during the war but they turned
into enemies because the Greeks forgot to honor the gods and boast-
ed that they defeated Troy without their help.
· Athena got mad at the Greeks when Cassandra, who was in her tem-
ple, lay violent hands on her.
· Odysseus bragged about winning Troy to which Poseidon replied:
“Man is nothing without the gods.”
· As a result:
- Menelaus was blown all the way to Egypt.
- Agamemnon returned to Mycenae but was killed by
Clytemnestra and Aegisthus.
- Odysseus had another ten-year journey.
- All the people in Ithaca thought that Odysseus was already
dead. As a result, Penelope, his wife, gained lots of suitors even
from the other islands.
· There were 70 suitors who were rude. They wasted Odysseus’ riches
and slayed his cattles.
· Penelope promised them that she would pick someone to marry when
she finishes weaving a shroud for Laertes. Every night, she undid her
work until she was caught in the act by one of the slaves and was
forced to finish it.
Adventures of Odysseus
First Trip:
· Island of Ismarus
- The people here are called Ciconians or Cicones.
- They fought a lot, engaged into skirmish and they are barbaric.
They did not extend hospitality.
Second Trip:
· Land of the Lotus-Eaters
- The people did nothing but eat lotus.
- A lotus can make a person in a dream-like state. They get into
a deep sleep and have dreams. When they wake up, they
would eat lotus again.
- Some of Odysseus’ men ate it and wanted to stay in the island.
So, Odysseus forced and dragged them to return to the ship
because they were aggressive.
Third Trip:
· Land of the Cyclopes
- They went in side a giant cave filled with cheese and milk.
- There were many sheeps because the owner was a shepherd.
- Polyphemus, the owner and the shepherd who stays in the
cave, saw the men. Odysseus introduced themselves as the
Greeks and that they were sent by Zeus. Polyphemus got angry
and ate one of the servants for his dinner.
- Odysseus wanted to kill him so he sharpened the tip of the
wooden staff of Polyphemus and stabbed him in the eye. He at
tacked Polyphemus by giving him wine to make him drunk.
- Polyphemus cried for help, but when others asked him who
attacked him, he said Nobody. (“Nobody! Nobody attacked
me!) This was the name that Odysseus gave when he attacked
him to trick him.
- Odysseus and his men escaped by clinging under the sheeps or
by dressing up as a sheep.
- When they reached the ships, Odysseus screamed his last
insult which enraged Polyphemus. (“It is you who caused
yourself to be blind.) As a result, he threw them a huge boul-
ders which luckily didn’t wreck the ship.
- Since Poseidon was the father of Polyphemus, what they did
gave the god more reason to hate them.
Fourth Trip
· Island of Aeolia/ Aeolian Islands
- The owner of this island is King Aeolus, the god of the winds and
a cousin of Poseidon.
- Odysseus met Aeolus when he was getting water. The water was
split because Aeolus was blowing it. Aeolus introduced himself as
the god of the wind.
- Aeolus helped Odysseus. He gathered all the strong and harm-
ful winds into a bag to help Odysseus sail back to Ithaca. The
warning was not to open the bag unless he’s at his homeland.
- To protect the bag, Odysseus kept himself awake by pouring
water on his face. However, he slept on the ninth day.
- Odysseus’ men doubted the bag and thought that the bag was
filled with gold so they opened it. They were sent back to the
Land of Aeolia, whose people were too angry to help them
- Penelope and Anticleia felt something that Odysseus was going
and is near home.
Fifth Trip
· Island of the Laestrygonians
- The people living here were not welcoming. They were canni
bals and barbaric.
- Here, Odysseus lost six men.
Sixth Trip:
· Island of Aeaea
- The island which was considered to be the place where
the sorceress Circe lived. She has the power to transform men
into beasts or animals like tigers, lions, monkeys, dogs (canine),
feline (cats), bovine (cows), and pigs (swine).
- Odysseus sent Eurylochus, a trusted man, to check if the place
was safe. Upon reaching the place, they were offered
something to eat, but Eurylochus did not eat because he saw
that the men who ate were transformed into pigs.
- Odysseus went to the palace and met Hermes, the messenger
of the gods, who was instructed by Poseidon to guide Odysseus.
- Hermes gave Odysseus a moly plant on which Odysseus was
doubtful at first because it was poisonous.
- Odysseus fought Circe but when she tried to use on Odysseus
her magic, it had no effect because of the moly plant.
- Circe fell in love with Odysseus. She wanted him to take her to
bed in exchange for transforming his men back to being human.
- They spent a year happily with Circe and it was her who told
them what to do next.
- Polites, a pig, was being chased by the men but the pig was
resisting because he was a man. After learning that, he was
transformed back to normal.
Seventh Trip:
· Land of the Dead/ Underworld
- Odysseus must find Teiresias, the prophet, to know how to get
- Odysseus killed a sheep and filled a pool with its blood to
attract the ghost of Teiresias.
- Other ghosts were attracted to the blood so Odysseus fought
them off with a sword until Teiresias showed up.
- Teiresias appeared, drunk the blood, and told them not to harm
the cattle of the Sun, the most beautiful cattle in the world.
- A bunch of dead people such as Achilles said “Hi”, as well as
Ajax who was still salty at Odysseus. Odysseus got weirded out
and left.
Eight Trip
· Island of the Sirens
- Sirens were bird-like creatures (half woman and half bird) with
beautiful voices. Whoever hears them sing will die. They have
enchanting voices which attract sailors to join then in the deep
est part of the sea.
- They covered their ears with beeswax, except for Odysseus
who wanted to hear the sirens because people say that the si
rens’ songs give knowledge to those who hear it
- He ordered his men to tie him on a mast of the ship, so when he
hears the sirens, he wouldn’t go to them.
- Once he heard the singing, he begged and pleaded but the
crew never untied him since they have their waxes on. They
were able to pass through safely.
Ninth Trip:
· The Passage Between Scylla and Charybdis
- Scylla was a snaky six-headed monster with a long neck who
would snatch six men too close to her. She was transformed by
Circe out of jealousy with Glaucus.
- Charybdis was a whirlpool, and the entire ship would sink if
they were too close.
- Obviously, they picked Scylla and six of Odysseus’ men
were killed much to their dismay.
Tenth Trip:
· Island of the Sun
- The men were hungry so they killed and ate the cattle of the
sun, while Odysseus was off on his own.
- When they left the island, Apollo destroyed the ship and all
died except Odysseus.
- Odysseus clang on the wreckage until he washed up on the
shore of Calypso’s island.
· Athena who was angry at Odysseus felt sorry for him.
- Athena favored Odysseus the most but that changed when the
Greeks enslaved Cassandra. However, in the end, she still felt
sorry for him and decided to help him.
· While Poseidon was in Ethiopia, Athena had a meeting with the Olym-
pians to discuss Odysseus’ state who was currently at Calypso’s home.
· The Olympians agreed to help Odysseus. Zeus then sent Hermes to
fetch Odysseus or to tell Calypso that Odysseus has to sail back home.
· Athena went to Ithaca disguised as a seafaring man to talk to
· Telemachus told the man (Athena) about his father and the suitors.
· Athena advised him to seek for news about his father to make a man
out of him and to keep him away from the suitors who were plotting to
kill him. He could get the information from Nestor and Menelaus.
· Telemachus made an assembly with the suitors about his plan but
they just laughed at him.
· Athena, in the form of Mentor, comforted him and promised that a
sail would be ready for him.
· They set to sail to Pylos, Nestor’s land. Unfortunately, Nestor had no
idea where Odysseus was.
· Next, they went to Sparta where Menelaus greeted them with
hospitality. Helen of Sparta walked by which distracted them for a
· Menelaus told his story of when he was in Egypt, in the Pharos Island, a
sea goddess told him that her father, the sea god Proteus, can tell him
how to leave the island by catching him. Each day, Proteus would lay
down on the sand with seals, always on the same place. Menelaus dug
four holes and three of his men and him hid there. They seized Proteus
when he laid on the sand but he kept changing shape. The god then
gave up and told that Odysseus was trapped in Calypso’s island.
· They stayed in Sparta for some time.
Eleventh Trip:
· Island of Ogygia
- Odysseus was Calypso’s love slave for seven years.
- In Zeus’ orders, Hermes told Calypso to help Odysseus make
a raft and give him equipment for his journey home. Calypso
was saddened while Odysseus was overjoyed.
- Odysseus journeyed for 17 days with fine weather.
- When Poseidon got back from Ethiopia, he saw Odysseus and
got mad. He formed a violent storm that might have caused
Odysseus’ death if the hero had not followed the sea goddess
Ino’s advice of abandoning the raft. Ino was the daughter of
Cadmus and is Semele’s sister, the mother of Dionysus.
- Odysseus washed up in an island naked.
Twelfth Trip
· Phaeacia Island
- The king, Alcinous, and his wife Acrete had a daughter named
- Nausicaa and her maids were doing laundry by the river. Once
they had finished, they took baths and laughed loudly.
- The maids were terrified upon seeing a naked man who
appeared to them except for Nausicaa.
- Nausicaa then ordered the maids to bathe and cloth Odysseus.
- They set forth to the city but Nausicaa ordered Odysseus to fall
back and go to the castle alone because it would be
scandalous if the Phaeacians saw the princess with a handsome
- Odysseus entered the castle and begged for the king and
queen’s help.
- Next day, in front of all the Phaeacian chiefs, Odysseus told his
ten-year journey. After telling his story, the king assured him that
he would get back to Ithaca.
- When they sailed home, Odysseus fell asleep and woke up not
recognizing his own home, Ithaca.
- A young man, which was Athena’s disguise, told Odysseus that
he was already in Ithaca.
- Athena changed back to her own form and greeted
Odysseus and told him about the suitors. They made a plan.
After 20 Years of Journey/ Return to Ithaca
· Odysseus was disguised as a beggar and stayed at Eumaeus’ place,
his trusted swineherd.
· Athena ordered Telemachus to sail back home from Sparta.
· Odysseus changed back to himself and met the 20-year old
Telemachus who didn’t recognize him.
· Odysseus went to his palace the next day as an old beggar.
· His dog, Argos, was able to recognize him. It wagged its tail and died.
· Telemachus hid the weapons of war.
· Odysseus found the suitors bloated after a big meal and they made
fun of Odysseus who was disguised as a beggar.
· Penelope showed up complaining about not having enough gifts.
She talked to the beggar but Odysseus did not reveal his identity yet.
He only told Penelope that he had seen her husband alive.
· Penelope summoned Eurycleia, Odysseus’ nurse since babyhood, to
wash his feet.
· Eurycleia recognized a scar that Odysseus got from a wild boar when
he was still a boy. So, Odysseus forced her to keep quiet.
The Fate of the Suitors
· Next morning, Penelope brought down Odysseus’ old bow and
challenged the suitors. Whoever could string it and shoot an arrow
straight through 12 rings could be her husband.
· However, no one was strong enough to accomplish the task except
for the old beggar to which the suitors complained.
- The servants shut all doors while Odysseus, who was now back to his
self, show down all the suitors except for one - the musician.
- The servants rejoiced and told Penelope that her husband was back.
- She tried to test him by asking him to move their bed to a better spot.
He replied by saying that their can not be moved because it was built
on a tree stump rooted in the ground.
- Penelope was then convinced that her husband was back.
With that, the long odyssey of Odysseus had ended.