The Odyssey: A Breakdown of Events

a breakdown of what happens in each book

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Book 1

  • assembly of the Gods - Athene tries to persuade Zeus to free Odysseus
  • Telemachus gets a visit from Athene who is disguised as Odysseus' friend Mentes in the palace in Ithaca, which is over-run by suitors
  • Mentor/Athene tells Telemachus to call together suitors and announce their banishment s/he also suggests Telemachus travels to Pylos and Sparta to find information on his father
  • Penelope comes downstairs to hear bard singing song about Troy, she's upset, but Telemachus rebukes her, showing newfound confidence
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Book 2

  • Telemachus calls assembly and gives a bold speech about his father and the suitors
  • Antinous challenges Telemachus, Telemachus calls to the Gods to kill suitors
  • An omen from Zeus is seen - a pair of eagles interpreted as a warning for the suitors
  • Athene disguises herself as Mentor to support Telemachus before his journey
  • Athene disguises herself as Telemachus and collects a crew of men
  • Telemachus only tells Eurycleia, his loyal nurse, where he is going
  • Athene joins in the journey disguised as Mentor
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Book 3

  • Telemachus, Mentor (Athene disguised) and the crew arrive at Pylos
  • Mentor encourages Telemachus to talk to Nestor the King
  • Nestor has no information on Odysseus as he went on a different fleet
  • Telemachus asks about Agamemnon's fate and Nestor tells him the story of how Agamemnon got killed by his wife's lover
  • Nestor sends his son Peisistratus with Telemachus to continue the journey
  • Athene turns into an eagle before entire court of Pylos
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Book 4

  • Menelaus and Helen are celebrating the marriages of their son and daughter when Telemachus and crew arrive they also recognise his likeness to his father
  • Helen and Menelaus tell stories of Odysseus from Troy
  • Menelaus talks of his own return from Troy saying while in Egypt he met Proteus who said Odysseus was imprisoned by Calypso
  • Meanwhile, the suitors learn of Telemachus' voyage and plot to kill him
  • The herad Medon finds out about their plot and tells Penelope
  • Penelope worries about Telemachus' fate but Athene sends a phantom of her sister telling Penelope Athene will look after Telemachus
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Book 5

  • Recap of Athene speaking to the Gods on Olympus and begs Zeus to intervene
  • Zeus sends Hermes to Ogygia to free Odysseus
  • Hermes talks to Calypso who says that male Gods are allowed to capture women but female Godesses can't keep men
  • She has to rebuke though because it's Zeus' orders
  • Calypso gives him material to build a boat and gives him provisions from her island, she swears and oath that she is not tricking Odysseus and watches O sail away.
  • After 18 days at sea Odysseus spots Phaeacia
  • Just as Odysseus spots land Poseidon, who was in Ethiopia, whips up a storm that almost drowns Odysseus as he is mad at Zeus for helping him
  • The Godess Ino comes to Odysseus' rescue giving him a veil to keep him safe
  • Athene puts it in Odysseus' mind to pray to the river God and allows Odysseus to Pheacia
  • Odysseus throws Ino's veil back into the sea, not looking into the sea, as Ino instructed.
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James Frost


this would be reasonable if you included an actual breakdown of all the books rather than the first five.

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