Book X: The Island of the Winds; the Land of the Midnight Sun; Circe


Odysseus tells of his visit to Aiolia, where Aiolos Hippotades, manager of the winds, helps Odysseus and his crew get home.  He puts wind in a bag that Odysseus carries on board his ship.  Unfortunately, his curious crew decides to open the bag, and the released winds drive them away from home.  The arrive at the land of the Laestrygonians, who eat most of Odysseus’s crew before his ship escapes.  Then they land on the island of Aiaia, the home of Circe.  She traps some more men and turns them into pigs.  Odysseus, with the help of Hermes, gets her to release his men and help him reach home.  She instructs him to visit Hades, where he will meet Tiresias, who will tell him how to get home.

  1. Who is the god of wind?  What favor does he do for Odysseus and his men?  Why?
  2. What is the mistake of some of the crew?  What happens?  How do even more men die after the “bag incident”?
  3. What does Circe do to some of Odysseus men?  How does he get her to release them?
  4. What final instructions does Circe give Odysseus?

Book IX: How Odysseus visited the Lotus-Eaters and the Cyclops


Odysseus tells Alcinous who he is and what things have happened to him sine he left Troy.  He tells of his adventures in Ismarus, in the land of the Lotus-Eaters, and the in the land of the Cyclopes.  He describes the Cyclopedias as “violent and lawless”, they have some trouble with one – men are killed and Poseidon’s vendetta against Odysseus begins.

  1. What was the effect of the Lotus plant?
  2. How heavy is the door of the Cyclops’ cave?  What is the first villainous thing the Cyclops does?
  3. Why doesn’t Odysseus kill the Cyclops when he has the chance?
  4. What name does Odysseus give the Cyclops?  How does this work as a good “trick”?
  5. How so they manage to get out of the cave?
  6. What foolish thing does Odysseus do?  What does this say about his character and his long exile?
  7. What did the soothsayer predict to the Cyclops?
  8. What does the Cyclop ask his father to do?

Book VIII: How they held games and sports in Phaiacia


The next day Alcinoos sends the boys of the town to construct a ship for Odysseus’ voyage and gathers the men for a day of entertainment.  Demodocos sings of famous men, including Odysseus.  When Alcinoos sees Odysseus crying during the minstrel’s story, he commences the games and dancing to keep his guest happy.  At dinner, Odysseus again weeps when Demodocos sings about the Trojan War.  At this point, Alcinoos finally demands to know the identity of his guest.

  1. Describe the activities that King Alcinoos arranges to entertain Odysseus.
  2. Who is Demodocos?
  3. How is King Alcinoos helpign Odysseus to get home?
  4. What is Odysseus’s reaction whenever Demodocos sings about the Trojan War?  Why do you think he does that?

Book VII: what happened to Odysseus in the Palace of Alcinoos


Odysseus arrives at the palace of Alcinoos and Arete.  He begs for their help in getting home.  They feed him, ask about his situation, and agree to give him the help he needs.

  1. What craft are the Phaiacians best known for?
  2. How is Odysseus treated as a guest?

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 –


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