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homerodyssey - P lot Summa ry T he Odyssey Of Homer The...

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Plot Summary – The Odyssey Of Homer The tale begins on Mt. Olympus where Athena draws Zeus' attention to Odysseus whose journey has been halted on the island of Calypso. Zeus sends Hermes to have Odysseus released and Athena goes to Ithaca. In Ithaca she assumes a disguise and convinces Telemachus to go on a journey seeking news of his father. Telemachus calls an assembly announcing that the suitors who have besieged his house and have eaten his food for years are in the wrong. He goes to see Nestor at Pylos and Nestor does not know anything recent about his father. Nestor advises him to go to Sparta to see Menelaus. When he gets to Sparta, Menelaus tells him that the last thing he heard about Odysseus was that he was trapped on the island of Calypso. They feast together and talk into the night. Athena reminds Zeus to send Hermes to Calypso and he tells her that Odysseus may leave but under strict conditions: he has to build his own raft. Calypso isn't happy about the command and Odysseus has problems believing her. Once he has built his raft, she gives him food and sends him off. He sails for seventeen days and then his raft is destroyed by Poseidon. He is aided by a nymph and floats for two days to land. He is found by Nausikaa and told to go to the house of her father Alcinous. Alcinous hears part of his tale and secures passage for him back to Ithaca. There are athletic games and feasts at which a minstrel sings. The minstrel's songs make Odysseus cry and this makes Alcinous even more curious about his situation. Alcinous asks Odysseus if any of his relatives died at Troy and Odysseus begins his tale. He tells them how he left Troy and lost some men in a botched raiding party. Soon after this they came near the land of the Lotus eaters where some of his men were almost lost to the enchanting flower. Then came the island of the cyclops. Odysseus led his men in to investigate and were trapped by Polyphemus, one of the cyclops. They had to blind him and sneak out in order to get away from him. They came to the island of the King of the winds, but when they approached Ithaca with his gift of the storm winds restrained, Odysseus men opened the bag of the winds thinking it was treasure sending them all the way back to the same island. The king refused to help them again. They ended up at Circe's island where the witch turns some of his men into pigs. With the help of Hermes, Odysseus resisted her magic and impressed her. His men were restored and they remained on her island for a year. When they left, Circe told them they had to go to the land of the dead first. At the land of the dead they spoke with Tiresias who told them how to get home. They also spoke with many relatives and dead heroes. After they left the land of the dead, they returned to Circe's island and then made their way home. Even though they made it through Scylla and Charybdis, the men insisted on stopping at the island where the cattle of the sun were kept.
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Here they eventually disobeyed Odysseus and killed the cattle. This resulted in the
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