Book VI: How Odysseus appealed to Nausicaa, and she brought him to her father’s house


Athena appears in Nausicaa’s dream, telling her to go to the river and wash clothes.  Nausicaa and her maids meet Odysseus at the river, and all but Nausicaa are frightened of his rough appearance.  He begs her to help him and she agrees.  He bathes and follows Nausicaa’s instructions for asking her parents for assistance.

  1. What “subliminal” message does Athena give to Nausicaa while she lies sleeping?
  2. Why doesn’t Nausicaa run away?
  3. Is it pure luck that Nausicaa helps Odysseus? Explain.
  4. What does the fact that Odysseus won’t bathe in front of the girls tell us about his character?
  5. Does Nausicaa believe her parents will help Odysseus?
  6. Why won’t Nausicaa let Odysseus ride in her cart?
  7. What instructions does she give Odysseus?

Book V: Heremes is sent ot Calypso’s Island; Odysseus makes a raft and is carried to the Coast of Scheria


Athena again pleads to Zeus for Odyssesus’ release.  Zeus sends Hermes to Calypso with orders that she release Odysseus.  Calypso grudgingly complies.  Odysseus is given much trouble by Poseidon, but with the help of Leucothea and Athena, he finally reaches the land of the Phaiacians, where he collapses – exhausted.

  1. Who is Hermes?  What is his mission? What can he do with his wand?
  2. What is Calypso’s reaction to having let Odysseus go?
  3. What si the main problem Odysseus faces while traveling by sea?
  4. What happens to Odysseus at the end of Book V?

Book IV: What happned in Lacedaimon


Telemachos and Megapenthes arrive at and are welcomed into the home of Menelaos and Helen.  Menelaos tells Telemachos of his travels with Odysseus and that Odysseus is trapped on an island by Calypso.  Meanwhile, Antinoos has learned that Telemachos has embarked on his journey and plots with the other suitors to kill him upon his return to Ithaca.  Penelopeia learns of Telemachos’ leaving and is upset.

  1. What clues cue Menelaos and Helen that Telemachos is Odysseus’ son?
  2. What is Menelaos’ opinion of Odysseus?
  3. Describe Antinoos’ plan to destroy Telemachos.

Book III: What happened in sandy Pylos?


Following Athena’s advice, Telemachos visits King Nestor of Pylos to get information about his father.  Athena accompanies him disguised as an old family friend, Mentor.  Nestor tells Telemachos stories about Odysseus.  Telemachos continues his search on horseback with Nestor’s son Pesistratus.

  1. What is Nestor’s opinion of Odysseus?
  2. Describe Nestor’s reaction when he realizes that Telemachos’ companion is Athena.

Book II: How the council met in the marketplace of Ithaca; and what came of It


In a town meeting, Telemachos announces his intentions to locate his father and rid his house of the suitors.  He is met with ridicule and doubt, especially from Antinoos who confronts Telemachos twice.  Athena helps Telemachos prepare for his joureny, and he sets out in secret that night.


  1. Describe the trick that Penelopeia plays on her suitors.
  2. What specifically does Athena do to help Telemachos in Book II?

*How to –


Answer all the questions in one comment.  Please number or (better) include part of the question in the first sentence of your answer and space between answers.

Book I

Athena appeals to Zeus for permission to help Odysseus reach home.  Odysseus’s home in Ithaca is overun with suitors who are tyring to win Penelope’s hand.  With teh help of Athena disguised as Mentes, Telemachos fins the courage to confront the suitors.

  1. Where is Odysseus?
  2. What or whom is Athena disguised as?
  3. Why do Telemachos and his mother need Odysseaus?
  4. Why does Odysseus’s wife have suitors?
  5. What does Athena advise Telemachos to do?

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Hello.  This is our Odyessey Blog.  This is the space where we will “talk” about the book.  Instead of paper and pencil question and answers, I will post questions here and you will respond.  Then, you will read what others have said and comment on their responses.  In essence, we will do a Socratic Seminar electronically and with teacher directed questions.  Sound good?  Any questions?