Odyssey - Book 16 Summary

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  • Created on: 07-04-10 13:19
  • Telemachus comes to the swineherd's lodge where Eumaeus gives him a father's welcome and whines that Telemachus seems to prefer the suitors to him.
  • Telemachus says he has come for word of his mother, enters the lodge, and rejects the Odysseus-beggar's offer of a seat. Instead he takes a seat that Eumaeus prepares for him. They then eat leftover meat, bread and wine. Only then does Telemachus ask where the stranger comes from.
  • Eumaeus says the stranger comes from Crete and claims to have drifted, coming most recently from a Thesprotian ship. Eumaeus adds that the beggar is counting on Telemachus for care and shelter.
  • Telemachus says he can't offer lodging, but he'll give a shirt, cloak, sword, and sandals. If Eumaeus is willing to keep him, Telemachus will also send rations of food. He then explains that the beggar shouldn't come to the palace because the suitors will be too abusive.
  • The beggar-Odysseus says it's painful to hear about the suitors and wonders why it goes on. If he were younger, he'd do something about it.
  • Telemachus says he's right, but there are no brothers or cousins to help. He tells Eumaeus to tell his mother that he is safely home, but not to let anyone else know because the suitors are plotting his death. When Eumaeus asks about telling Laertes, Telemachus says he should ask Penelope to send her housekeeper secretly. Eumaeus then goes off to do as told.
  • Athene appears and transforms Odysseus to his old self and tells him to tell Telemachus who he is.
  • Telemachus takes some persuading because the sudden shape-shifting makes him think Odysseus, whom he hasn't seen since he was…


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