Synopsis Exposition A mosaic depicting Odysseusfrom the villa of La OlmedaPedrosa de la VegaSpain, late 4th-5th centuries AD The Odyssey begins after the end of the ten-year Trojan War the subject of the Iliadand Odysseus has still not returned home from the war because he angered the god, Poseidon. Odysseus' son Telemachus is about 20 years old and is sharing his absent father's house on the island of Ithaca with his mother Penelope and a crowd of boisterous young men, "the Suitors", whose aim is to persuade Penelope to marry one of them, all the while reveling in Odysseus' palace and eating up his wealth. Odysseus' protectress, the goddess Athenarequests to Zeusking of the godsto finally allow Odysseus to return home when Odysseus' enemy, the god of the sea Poseidonis absent from Mount Olympus to accept a sacrifice in Ethiopia. Then, disguised as a Taphian chieftain named Mentesshe visits Telemachus to urge him to search for news of his father.
Then, disguised as a Taphian chieftain named Mentesshe visits Telemachus to urge him to search for news of his father. He offers her hospitality; they observe the suitors dining rowdily while the bard Phemius performs a narrative poem for them. That night Athena, disguised as Telemachus, finds a ship and crew for the true prince.
The next morning, Telemachus calls an assembly of citizens of Ithaca to discuss what should be done with the suitors. Telemachus is scoffed by the insolent suitors, particularly by their leaders AntinousEurymachusand Leiocritus. Accompanied by Athena now disguised as Mentorhe departs for the Greek mainland and the household of Nestormost venerable of the Greek warriors at Troy, now at home in Pylos.
Telemachus also hears from Helen, who is the first to recognize him, that she pities him because Odysseus was not there for him in his childhood because he went to Troy to fight for her and also about his exploit of stealing the Palladium, or the Luck of Troy, where she was the only one to recognize him.
Menelaus, meanwhile, also praises Odysseus as an irreproachable comrade and friend, lamenting the fact that they were not only unable to return together from Troy but that Odysseus is yet to return.
Both Helen and Menelaus also say that they returned to Sparta after a long voyage by way of Egypt. There, on the island of PharosMenelaus encountered the old sea-god Proteuswho told him that Odysseus was a captive of the nymph Calypso.
The story briefly shifts to the suitors, who have only just now realized that Telemachus is gone. Angry, they formulate a plan to ambush his ship and kill him as he sails back home.
In the course of his seven years in captivity on Ogygiathe island of Calypsoshe has fallen deeply in love with him, even though he has consistently spurned her offer of immortality as her husband and still mourns for home.
Odysseus builds a raft and is given clothing, food, and drink by Calypso. When Poseidon learns that Odysseus has escaped, he wrecks the raft but, helped by a veil given by the sea nymph InoOdysseus swims ashore on Scheriethe island of the Phaeacians.
Naked and exhausted, he hides in a pile of leaves and falls asleep. He appeals to her for help.
She encourages him to seek the hospitality of her parents, Arete and Alcinous or Alkinous. Odysseus is welcomed and is not at first asked for his name, but Alcinous promises to provide him a ship to return him to his home country.
He remains for several days, and is goaded into taking part in a discus throw by the taunts of Euryalusimpressing the Phaecians with his incredible athletic ability.
Afterwards, he hears the blind singer Demodocus perform two narrative poems. The first is an otherwise obscure incident of the Trojan War, the "Quarrel of Odysseus and Achilles "; the second is the amusing tale of a love affair between two Olympian gods, Ares and Aphrodite.
Finally, Odysseus asks Demodocus to return to the Trojan War theme and tell of the Trojan Horsea stratagem in which Odysseus had played a leading role. Unable to hide his emotion as he relives this episode, Odysseus at last reveals his identity.
He then begins to tell the story of his return from Troy. After a failed piratical raid on Ismaros in the land of the CiconesOdysseus and his twelve ships were driven off course by storms.Odysseus, in The Odyssey, is much more complicated.
He lives by his wiles as well as his courage. He lives by his wiles as well as his courage.
He is an intellectual. Odysseus is probably best known as the eponymous hero of the Odyssey. This epic describes his travails, which lasted for 10 years, as he tries to return home after the Trojan War and reassert his place as rightful king of Ithaca.
The Odyssey (/ ˈ ɒ d ə s i /; Greek: Ὀδύσσεια Odýsseia, pronounced [initiativeblog.com] in Classical Attic) is one of two major ancient Greek epic poems attributed to Homer.
It is, in part, a sequel to the Iliad, the other work ascribed to Homer. Odysseus: Epic Hero? The question has been raised as to whether or not Odysseus, the hero of Homers The Odyssey, is an epic hero. An epic Hero portrays many classic properties, including being very strong and courageous.
When it proves effective, Odysseus lies (even to his own family), cheats, or steals in ways that we would not expect in an epic hero. Although he is self-disciplined (refusing to eat the lotus), his curiosity is sometimes the root of his trouble (as with the Cyclops).
Without all these qualities, Odysseus would not be considered a hero. However, because Odysseus manages to superbly display his heroic qualities in everything he does, he is considered to be one of the greatest epic heroes ever created.
Words Cited. Fitzgerald, Robert. The Odyssey. New York: Viking, Print. “Hero.” Def. 1.