The Odyssey Study Guide

Who wrote the Odyssey? Blind poet, Homer.
In what year was the Odyssey composed? 700 B.C.E.
How long did it take Odysseus to complete his journey back to Ithaca? It took him 20 years; 10 years fighting in the Trojan War and 10 years finding his way back home due to his mishaps with immortal Gods.
In order, where did Odysseus travel to after the Trojan war? (the ones we read about) Troy, Island of the Cicones, Island of the Lotus Eaters, Island of the Cyclopes, Island of Aeolus, Island of Laestrygonians, Aeaea (Circe’s island), The Underworld, Island of the Sirens, Scylla and Charybdis, Island of Helios, Ogygia (Calypso’s island), Island of Phaecians, and Ithaca.
Eurycleia is the… Aged nursemaid who remained loyal to Penelope and Telemachus.
What is Penelope supposedly weaving at the beginning of the epic? A shroud for Laertes.
What prophecy did Odysseus withhold from his men? That Ulysses will be the only one to survive and return Ithaca.
What happened when Odysseus and his crew arrived in the island of Cicones? His men raided the island and the Cicones’ army attacked his crew, then Ulysses had lost six benches of his men during the battle.
After the island of Cicones, Odysseus lands on the island of the lotus eaters. What happens? He sends out two of his men to scout. Then, they were found eating the lotus, and he tied the two men up and forced them into the ship against their will and sails away.
Which plant makes his shipmen forget their home? And what is the effect of eating lotus? The lotus. The after effect of eating a lotus is it makes them lose grip of reality.
Why does Odysseus lead his men into Polyphemus’ cave? To get information
How does Odysseus take advantage of the cyclops? He gets the cyclops drunk with his wine.
Why does Odysseus only blind Polyphemus (cyclops) rather than killing him? Polyphemus was the only one who can move the boulder from the entrance.
When Polyphemus asks Odysseus what his name was, what did Odysseus say? He said his name was Noman/Nobody.
What happened when the cyclops screamed for help? He screamed, “Noman/Nobody is hurting me!” But, the other cyclopes thought he was foolish that “no man” was hurting him and ignored his calls for help.
Even though the Cyclops had been warned about Odysseus, he did not expect him to be so…..? Clever.
How do Odysseus and his remaining men escape from the cave? They tie themselves on the sheep bellies
Why does Poseidon despise Ulysses? Because Ulysses had blinded Poseidon’s son, Polyphemus.
What does Aeolus give Ulysses? A bag of all the bad winds.
Why won’t Aelous help Ulysses? He refuses to go against the Gods.
When Ulysses/Odysseus left Aeolus, he arrived at the island of Laestragonians. What happened when he arrived? Since the Laestragonians were cannibals, they ate all but one ship of Odysseus’ men.
Where does Circe live? The island, Aeaea.
Who transforms Ulysses’ sailors into pigs? It was the nymph, Circe.
Who does Ulysses make love to on his way back to Ithaca? He made love to the nymph, Circe.
From what we see Circe do to Ulysses’ men, we can assume that her pet wolves and mountains lions are — Men that are transformed into animals.
Who is Tiresias? A blind seer who gives Ulysses advice in the Land of the Dead.
Who does Ulysses want to speak with first when he goes to the underworld? Why? Tiresias, the blind prophet. He wanted to know what to expect in his upcoming voyage.
Why does Tiresias tell Odysseus to take the Scylla route? Because he would only lose six of his men rather than all of his men.
What does Tiresias warn Odysseus/Ulysses not to harm on his voyage? The cattle of the sun.
How does Ulysses save his crew from the Siren’s song? He plugged their ears with bee’s wax.
How is Ulysses able to listen safely to the Sirens’ song? He has his men bind him to the ship’s mast.
What does Circe and the sirens have in common? They tempt and destroy men.
Why did Ulysses not warn his crew about Scylla? His crew would have panicked and endanger the ship.
The two monsters that Ulysses encountered on his voyage were: Charylbdis and Scylla.
What’s the difference between: Scylla and Charybdis? Scylla is the giant sea monster with six heads.Charybdis is a giant whirlpool.
After Odysseus and his men encountered Scylla, they arrived to Thrinacia, island of the sun god’s cattle. What happened? Odysseus fell asleep and his men were starving and ate the cattle of the sun. So, Zeus/Jupiter killed all of his men for ignoring what Tiresias had said.
Who was the nymph that offers Ulysses immortality? Calypso.
Why does Ulysses tell Calypso that he wishes to return to Penelope? He longs to see his home again.
Hermes/Mercury tells Calypso to let Ulysses leave his island because ______? Zeus/Jove has ordered it.
Which swineherd helped Ulysses? Eumaeus.
How does Ulysses prove his identity to Penelope? By telling her how he built their bed.
To get help from the swineherd and the cowherd, Odysseus did what? He offers them wives, cattles, and houses.
Why did Telemachus sail to Pylos? To find out any news about his father.
Odysseus enters his home dressed as a beggar in order to _____? To find out who is still loyal and if anything in his home has changed.
When Ulysses reveals himself to his son, his son is in denial because_____? He thinks that only a God can do such a transformation.
Who saved Ulysses from Circe’s tricks? Hermes.
How does Penelope put off her choice for a new husband? She weaves a dress which she unravels during the night. She refuses to marry again until the dress will be finished.
Helen is the wife of which king? King Melanaous .
When Ulysses got back home, Minerva was disguised as a(n) _______? old woman
How does Elepenor die? He fell off of Circe’s roof drunk.
What gift does Telemachus accept from Menelaus? A silver mixing bowl.
Which two characters provide a point of comparison for Odysseus and Telemachus? Agamemnon and Orestes.
What did Ajax do to bring disaster upon the homecoming Greek fleet? He raped Cassandra.
By informing the Cyclops of his true name and the fact that he and his men have escaped, Odysseus/Ulysses…? Had an endangered his men.
Before Ulysses revealed himself to his father, what did he do? He complimented him on his gardening.
What does Athena/Minerva do during the meeting on Mount Olympus? Asks Poseidon why he is so against Odysseus
To what civilized people, did Ulysses tell his story of his wanderings? The Phaeacians.
What is the name of the swineherd that helped Ulysses? Eumaeus.
The suitors look down on Odysseus/Ulysses when he first appears because they think he is ….? An old beggar.
Who is the leader of the suitors? He plans to kill Telemachus. Antinous.
Where did Telemachus hide the suitors’ armour? He hid them in the storage room.
Which of Telemachus’ actions best demonstrates his obedience to his father? His silence when Antinous confronts Ulysses.
In Penelope’s archery contest, through how many axes must Ulysses fire his arrow? A total of 12 axes.
Who is the real beggar that wants to beat up Ulysses? Irus.
When Antinous is killed, the suitors immediately assume that…. Antinous’ death was by accident.
Who joins Odyseeus in his fight with the suitors? The cowherd, swineherd, and Telemachus join his fight.
What is one result of Odysseus’ initial exchange with the suitor Antinous? Penelope summons the “beggar” Odysseus and questions him.
How does Eurycleia recognize Ulysses? By a scar on his leg.
The episode in which Penelope invites the old beggar to her room is important because it______? Allows suspense to build
Penelope suggests moving Odysseus’ bed in order to discover if he….? is who he claims to be.
Why did Telemachus execute the maids? Association with the suitors.
What happens to the disloyal maids after they clean the blood from the great hall? They are hanged.
What does Athena do when the families of the dead suitors attack Odysseus? She makes them forget about the killing of the suitors.

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