Odyssey Book Summaries


Odyssey Book Summaries

Book 4- Telemachy

·         Menelaus and Helen in Sparta

Menelaus shows good xenia

Helen recognises Telemachus as Odys’ son and is the first to speak of his resemblance

Everyone is very sad so Helen puts an Egyptian drug in the wine to take all their sorrow away

·         Stories about Ody

Ody dressed as a beggar in Troy – Helen recognises him – link to the end when he returns to Ithaca in disguise

Odys’ quick thinking inside the Trojan horse

·         Old man of the sea (his name is :Proteus)

Eidothae the old man of the sea’s daughter helps Menelaus to ask the old man of the sea how he and his men can get home, he also tells him where Ody is.

Book 5- Calypso’s Island (name of the island : Ogygia)

·         Calypso (a nymph)

Keeps him captive for 7 years (sex slave?) all he does is sit and cry on the beach and sleeps with Calypso (‘you can’t refuse a goddess’ hmm, yeah?)

·         Hermes

Sent by Zeus to tell Calypso to let Ody continue his journey home

·         Raft

Calypso says that she won’t help Odysseus leave, but she gives him wood to build a raft, food and drink and even a wind to set him out on his journey (way to go not helping him!)

Book 6- Phaeacia/Scherie

·         Nausicaa’s dream

You’re the right age for marriage now – go do some washing

·         Washing pools

Odysseus is naked, Nausicaa is described as Artemis. When all the maids that are with Nausicaa run away Athene gives Nausicaa courage to address the stranger.

Book 7- Phaeacian Palace

·         Mist

Athene shield Odysseus with mist so that he is not noticed as a stranger in Phaeacia. He is led by Athene, disguised as a young girl carrying a water jar, she tells him that he should go straight to Arete, the Phaeacian’s queen, and supplicate to her if he wants to get home as she settles all disputes

·         Palace

Odysseus makes his entrance to the palace in the mist and the mist clears as he is in front of Arete and grasps and supplicates to her.

Alcinous (king of the Phaeacians) is not very used to giving xenia and so is a little slow to give it

Book 8- Phaeacian Games

·         Feast

·         Sports

Odysseus throws the javelin the furthest

·         Songs

Aphrodite, Ares and Hephaestus

Stories of Troy- which upon hearing Ody weeps


Book 9 (After the Trojan War)

·         Cicones (Ismarus)

Odysseus and his men raided their city

-  But they stayed for a picnic on the beach and the remaining Cicones gathered reinforcements and attacked Odys’ men. They should have listened to Odysseus.


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