The Odyssey Review

Homer author of odyssey
Hubris arogance; excessive self pride
Epic a long poetic composition usually centered upon a hero
Muse a guiding spirit used for inspiration
Who are the lotus eaters and what danger do they represent to odysseus They were people who made the crew addicted to lotus and made them stay longer
How does the encounter with the lotus eaters affect the crew it makes them lazy
How does Odysseus show his leadership with the lotus eaters He makes the crew leave the island
Why does the crew go to the cyclops cave They went for livestock and were curious
How does Odysseus feel about the Cyclops lifestyle They think they are disgusting savages
Who is the Cyclops father Posseidon
What is the cyclops real name Polyphemus
How are they trapped in the cave and how do they escape They put a rock over the opening get him drunk and blind him and strap themselves to the bottom of the sheep
What mistake does odysseus make upon departing He gives himself away
Why does odysseus have to go to the underworld To meet tiresia so he can tell them which direction to go in
What are the 3 people he meets there Tiresia, Anticlea, Elpenor
What are the prophecies that Odysseus learns in the underworld Sirens will sing, go to the cattle of the sun god, and to go down a straight
who and what are the sirens Things that sing and lure you in and end up destroying you
Why are the sirens dangerous Because they lead you to rocks and you crash
How does the ship get past the sirens They put stuff in their ears but odysseus has to listen
Why must the ship sail near the 2 monsters To go home
Scylla a six headed dragon that will eat the men
Charybdis monster at the bottom of the whirl pool
Why are the suitors present around Penelope Because they want to marry
What challenge does Penelope set forth to the suitoes They have to shoot arrows through the cross bowls
what is the prize to the contest marriage
Why doesn’t Penelope immediately accept Odysseus back? Tired of Odysseus lack of commitment
Odysseus As the title character and cause for much of the play, Odysseus must fight a slew of angry Gods on his return trip from the years-long attack of Troy. As the King of Ithaca, Odysseus misses his wife Penelope and son Telemachus back home. He is incredibly intelligent and powerful, and after a bad encounter with a Cyclops, draws the ire of Poseidon. However, Athena favors him and ensures he succeeds.
Telemachus Odysseu’s son and the Prince of Ithaca. He was a baby when Odysseus left for Troy and is now twenty years old as the story begins. He does his best to keep the suitors at bay in his home but grows angrier with age. He eventually travels to visit friends of his father and returns to help his father remove the suitors.
Penelope Odysseus’s wife and the Queen of Ithaca. Penelope tries her best to keep the suitors at bay while she awaits her husband’s return. She uses the excuse of finishing Laertes’ funeral shroud and unraveling it every night to make them wait.
Athena The daughter of Zeus and representative of wisdom and intellect as a Goddess. Athena helps Telemachus and Odysseus throughout the poem, constantly speaking for him on Olympus and lending help on Earth.
Poseidon As the God of the Sea, Poseidon takes on the role of the divine enemy when Odysseus blinds Polyphemus, Poseidon’s Cyclops son. He takes it upon himself to thwart his return journey to Ithaca, eventually shipwrecking him multiple times.
Zeus As the King of the Gods, Zeus is the mediated voice of Olympus and must ultimately decide whether Odysseus shall be permitted to return. He occasionally allows such help by Athena.
Antinous He is the figurative leader and most obnoxious of Penelope’s suitors, ultimately plotting to have Telemachus killed. He is the first and most angrily killed when Odysseus takes his revenge.
Eumaeus The swineherd who helps Odysseus when he first returns to Ithaca, helping him get back into his Palace and reunite with Telemachus. He does not at first realize that the beggar is Odysseus, but offers him food and shelter anyways.
Calypso The nymph and purveyor of Ogygia, the island where Odysseus is stranded at the start of the epic. She is able to keep him there for seven years before Hermes finally arrives and makes her release him.
Polyphemus Shortly after leaving Troy, Odysseus arrives on the island of Polyphemus, a Cyclops and son of Poseidon. After he tries to capture Odysseus and his crew and eat them, Odysseus is able to trick and blind the Cyclops, enraging Poseidon.
Circe Circe is a witch and goddess who turns the crew into a herd of swine before taking Odysseus as her lover and having him by her side.
Laertes The decrepit, elderly father of Odysseus, Laertes lives just outside the Palace on a farm in Ithaca and offers advice to his grandson. When Odysseus returns, he regains much of his earlier energy and helps to kill Antinous’s father.
Tiresias Odysseus travels to the underworld and meets with Tiresias, the prophet to gain insight into his return journey to Ithaca and how he should approach it.
Agamemnon The story of Agamemnon, told in the Illiad is retold when Odysseus travels to the underworld and meets his spirit. He was murdered by his wife and her lover when he returned from Troy, offering an inverted version of Odysseus’s current plight.
Nausicaa The Princess of the Phaeacians, Nausicaa is the one who finds Odysseus when he shipwrecks on Scherias. She ensures that he is welcomed by her parents and helped after he gives his story.
Alcinous kind of the Phaeacians to whom Odysseus tells his story
Cronus Titan ruler of the universe father of Zeus
Perimedes Member of Odysseus crew
Eurylochus another member of the crew
Sirens Creatures whose songs lure sailors to their deaths
Charybdis enormous and dangerous whirl pool
Lampetia nymph
Hermes herald and messenger of the gods
Eurynome housekeeper for Penelope
Eurymachus suitor
Amphinomus suitor

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