The Odyssey books 1-12

odysseus (main character) Son of Laertes and Anticleia, husband of Penelope and father of Telemachus. A cunning, shrewd and eloquent hero. Came up with the idea of the Trojan horse which led the Greeks to victory against Troy. king of ITHICA.
penelope The wife of Odysseus and a symbol of devotion and fidelityfor 10 years while Odysseus fought the Trojan War she resisted numerous suitors until Odysseus returned and killed them
telemachus Odysseus’s son. An infant when Odysseus left for Troy, He is a natural obstacle to the suitors desperately courting his mother, but despite his courage and good heart, he initially lacks the poise and confidence to oppose them.
muse daughter of Zeus and
antinous The most arrogant of Penelope’s suitors. Antinous leads the campaign to have Telemachus killed. Unlike the other suitors, he is never portrayed sympathetically, and he is the first to die when Odysseus returns.
calypso The beautiful nymph who falls in love with Odysseus when he lands on her island-home of Ogygia. Calypso holds him prisoner there for seven years until Hermes, the messenger god, persuades her to let him go.
zeus King of gods and men, who mediates the disputes of the gods on Mount Olympus. He sometimes helps Odysseus or permits Athena to do the same.
poseidon God of the sea. As the suitors are Odysseus’s mortal antagonists, Poseidon is his divine antagonist. He despises Odysseus for blinding his son, the Cyclops Polyphemus, and constantly hampers his journey home.
athena Daughter of Zeus and goddess of wisdom, purposeful battle, and the womanly arts. Athena assists Odysseus and Telemachus with divine powers throughout the epic, and she speaks up for them in the councils of the gods on Mount Olympus. She often appears in disguise as Mentor, an old friend of Odysseus.
circe The beautiful witch-goddess who transforms Odysseus’s crew into swine when he lands on her island. With Hermes’ help, Odysseus resists Circe’s powers and then becomes her lover, living in luxury at her side for a year.
lotus eaters people who feed Odysseus’ men with lotus plants to make them forget Ithaca-odysseys now has to drag his men off the island after they eat the lotus plant
achaens Ithaca people
agamemnon Son of Atreus, brother of Menelaus, husband of Clytemnestra, and king of Mycenae. Elected commander in chief of the Greeks in the Trojan War. When war was over, he sailed home where he was murdered by Aegisthus and Clytemnestra. Odysseus speaks to his spirit in Hades.
in medias res “in the middle of things”-in the middle of two story lines
epithet any word or phrase applied to a person or thing to describe an actual or attributed quality
epic simile a simile developed over several lines of verse
Hermes messenger of the gods-don’t steal-CLEVER
king alcinous wise, powerful, strong leader, promises odysseus he will help him get home-odysseus tells him his whole story.
polyphemus(cyclops) One of the Cyclopes (uncivilized one-eyed giants) whose island Odysseus comes to soon after leaving Troy. Polyphemus imprisons Odysseus and his crew and tries to eat them, but Odysseus blinds him through a clever ruse and manages to escape. In doing so, however, Odysseus angers Polyphemus’s father, Poseidon.
nobody the name odysseus gives to polyphemus when in his cave so he wouldnt tell his brothers who was really in his cave. but after odysseus blinds him he tells polyphemus the truth which was not smart of odysseus to do.
aeolus ruler of the island of aeolia/ king of the winds who put the north, south, and east winds in a bag, giving odysseus the favorable west wind to return home/ cast them out when the released winds blew them back to the island
eurylochus comrade of Odysseus on the voyage home from Troy; one who told Odysseus that their comrades were turned into swine by Circe; also provoked men to eat Helios’ cattle
tiresias A Theban prophet who inhabits the underworld. Tiresias meets Odysseus when Odysseus journeys to the underworld in Book 11. He shows Odysseus how to get back to Ithaca and allows Odysseus to communicate with the other souls in Hades.
anticleia Odysseus’ mother who he sees in the realm of the dead. This is where we first see Odysseus’ character change — he asks his mother whether Penelope has remained faithful to him all these years.
scylla 6-headed monster who eats six of Odysseus’ men
charybdis (Greek mythology) a ship-devouring whirlpool lying on the other side of a narrow strait from Scylla
sirens Sea nymphs whose beautiful and mysterious music lures sailors to steer their ships toward the rocks.-odysseus is the one man who lives to hear the music
Why does Odysseus wants to leave Calypso on her island? Odysseus wants to leave Calypso on her island because he want’s to return to his wife Penelope and Ithaca. It’s hard for Odysseus to leave Calypso’s island because she seduces men to keep men from attaining their goals. Odysseus is allowed to leave because Athena and Zues send Hermes to Calypso to persuade her to let Odysseus go.
How does Odysseus escape Polyphemus? Odysseus escapes Polyphemus by offering him wine and once Polyphemus was drunk Odysseus and his men sharpened a log and stabbed him in the eye. Odysseus knew he wouldn’t be able to open the stone slab so once Polyphemus moved the slab because he was blinded Odysseus and his men left the cave.
What did Eurylochus’ men turn into after drinking Circe’s wine and what happened afterwards? Eurylochus’ men turned into animals after they drank Circe’s wine.Odysseus had to sleep with Circe to have his men turned back into men but there is no such thing as time in Circe’s temple so they lost track of time and spent longer then they intended to at her temple.
What does Tiresias determine about Odysseus’ fate? Tiresias reveals that Poseidon is punishing the Achaeans for blinding his son Polyphemus. He predicts Odysseus’ fate that he will return home, reclaim his wife and palace from the suitors and the make another trip to a distant land to appease Poseidon. He warns Odysseus not to touch the flocks of the sun when he reaches the land of Thrinacia or else he won’t return home without loosing all of his crew and suffering though more hardships
How does Odysseus survive the dangers posed by the Sirens, Scylla, and Charybdis? Odysseus survives the dangers posed by the Sirens, Scylla, and Charybdis because following advice given to him from Circe. She tells him to put wax in his ears and to tie himself to the mast of the ship. She helps him avoid the threats of Scylla and Charybdis by advising Odysseus to steer closer to Scylla then to Charybdis because she said its better to mourn six men then your whole crew.
What is Odysseus’ weakness? Odysseus’s weakness is being very prideful but thats because of how his culture is with most Acaeans.
What are 5 epithets odysseus is known as? Odysseus is known as the cunning man because he is very boastful with saying how heroic he is all the time. He is also known as the one who is loved by sues because Zues helps him out throughout out his hardships on his journey. Odysseus is also known as the great glory of the Achaeans because what he has done no other Achaean has done before. He is also known as the great teller of tales because his journey was so long people always wondered weather he would ever come back and the fact that he did makes everyone interested in his tales. Odysseus is also known as the man of pain because of how long he had to be kept from everything he loves.
Why is it important to Odysseus for Polyphemus to know he outwitted him? How did this lead to consequences? Odysseus makes sure that Polyphemus knows who outwitted him when he escaped because one of his cultural traits is being very prideful which led to bad consequences from poseidon later on giving him hardships when he is trying to return home.
In Penelope’s archery contest, through how many axes must Odysseus fire his arrow? 12
Which plant makes the sailors forget their desire to return home? Lotus
How does Athena disguise herself to make preparations for Telemachus’s journey? A mentor
Who is Argos? Odysseus’ old dog
Who has an affair with Eurymachus? Melantho
Menelaus is king of which city? Sparta
Eurycleia recognizes Odysseus based on what distinguishing feature? A scar on his leg
How is Odysseus able to listen safely to the Sirens’ song? He is tied to his ships mast and has bee’s wax in his ears
Who begs Odysseus to bury him? Elpenor
How did Odysseus’ mother die? Grief, by walking into the ocean and drowning
What happens to the disloyal maids after they clean the blood from the great hall? They are hanged
What does Tiresias warn Odysseus not to harm on his voyage? The cattle of the sun
Who kills Antinous’s father? Laertes
In about what year was the Odyssey composed? 700 B.C.E.
Who transforms Odysseus’s sailors into pigs? Circe
Odysseus left Penelope bound for what city? Troy
Which goddess often assists Odysseus and Telemachus, and speaks up for them in the councils of the gods on Mount Olympus? Athena
Why does Poseidon despise Odysseus? Odysseus blinded his son.
Who does Zeus send to rescue Odysseus from Calypso? Hermes
How long does Odysseus spend on Calypso’s island? Seven years
Harried Harassed
Appalled Filled with dismay
Profusion Abundance
Ardor Passion
Assuage To calm or pacify
Adversary An opponent or enemy
Ponderous Heavy in a clumsy way
Travail Painful effort
Beguiling Charming or pleasing
Foreboding A sense of approaching evil
Abominably In a hateful way
Meditation The practice of peaceful actions

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