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Unformatted text preview: Summary: Book 1 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 I thaca 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 I thaca to speak with Telemachus. Assuming the form of Odysseuss old friend Mentor, Athena predicts that Odysseus is still alive and that he will soon return to I thaca. She advises Telemachus to call together the suitors and announce their banishment from his fathers estate. She then tells him that he must make a journey to Pylos and Sparta to ask for any news of his father. After this conversation, Telemachus encounters Penelope in the suitors quarters, upset over a song that the court bard is singing. 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. To Penelopes surprise, Telemachus rebukes her. He reminds her that Odysseus isnt the only Greek to not return from Troy and that, if she doesnt like the music in the mens quarters, she should retire to her own chamber and let him look after her interests among the suitors. He then gives the suitors notice that he will hold an assembly the next day at which they will be ordered to leave his fathers estate. 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. Summary: Book 2 When the assembly meets the next day, Aegyptius, a wise I thacan elder, speaks first. He praises Telemachus for stepping into his fathers shoes, noting that this occasion marks the first time that the assembly has been called since Odysseus left. Telemachus then gives an impassioned speech in which he laments the loss of both his father and his fathers homehis mothers suitors, the sons of Ithacas elders, have taken it over. He rebukes them for consuming his fathers oxen and sheep as they pursue their courtship day in and day out when any decent man would simply go to Penelopes father, Icarius, and ask him for her hand in marriage....
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- Fall '07
- The Odyssey, The Iliad, Hospitality, Fate, Odysseus, Telemachus, Penelope, Athena, Zeus, Poseidon, Achilles, Aeolus, Alcinous, Amphinomus, Antinous, Arete, Calypso, Circe, Charybdis, Demodocus, Elpenor, Eumaeus, Eurycleia, Eurymachus, Halitherses, Hermes, Laertes, Menelaus, Mentor, Nausicaa, Nestor, Philoetius, Polyphemus, Pisistratus, Scylla, Sirens, Tiresias, Book 1, Book 2, Book 8