Odyssey - Book 8 Summary

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  • Created by: z
  • Created on: 06-04-10 17:25
  • Odysseus (still an unnamed stranger) and his host Alcinous going to the Phaeacian assembly. Alcinous instructs the Phaeacians to provide a black ship and a crew of 52. All should come to his palace for a feast with the minstrel Demodokos singing and playing his harp.
  • After the 52 get the ship fitted out, they join the palace feast with the leaders and rulers of the Phaeacians who had been at the assembly. Demodocus, who is blind, has been seated with his harp, bread and wine. The gathered men eat and then the minstrel sings about a clash between Odysseus and Achilles. Realizing he is crying, Odysseus pulls his cloak over his face. Alcinous, who sits beside Odysseus, is the only one to notice the weeping. Alcinous stops the minstrel and says it's time for the athletic events, which here are a pentathlon consisting of boxing, wrestling, broadjumping, a footrace, and discus throwing. The handsome Euryalus wins the wrestling.
  • After the pentathlon, one of the king's sons, Laodamas, who won the boxing, wants the stranger to name the sport in which he excels. Odysseus tries to get out of it, saying he's too old. Euryalus insults Odysseus saying he must have no skill and his ties to the sea are only those of a merchant looking for gold.
  • Odysseus…

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