Table of Contents for Odyssey

Background 8(18)
The Story of the Iliad and The Odyssey
Main Characters in the Odyssey
Story Within a Story
The gods agree Odysseus must return home. The goddess Athena appears to Telemachus and tells him to drive his mother's suitors from his house
The Assembly of Ithaca meets. Telemachus tells the suitors to leave, and they laugh at him. He then sails for Pylos in search of his father Odysseus
Telemachus is welcomed by Nestor at Pylos but hears no news of Odysseus. He continues his journey to Sparta
In Sparta, Menelaus gives Telemachus hope that his father may be alive. Meanwhile, back in Ithaca, the suitors plan to murder Telemachus when he returns
Hermes is sent by Zeus to tell Calypso to let Odysseus go. Odysseus builds a raft and sets sail. The raft is broken by a storm, and Odysseus finally goes ashore on the land of the Phaeacians
Exhausted, Odysseus hides under a tree and sleeps. He is awakened by the voices of Nausicaa and her maidens. Nausicaa invites him to the house of her father, King Alcinous
King Alcinous and Queen Arete make Odysseus welcome
Alcinous gives a banquet for Odysseus
Odysseus reveals who he is. He begins the story of his adventures with the Cicones, the Lotus-eaters, and his escape from the Cyclops
Odysseus tells of his visits to the island of Aeolus, to the savage Laestrygonians, and to Circe
Odysseus describes his voyage to the underworld, called Hades. He meets the spirit of the prophet Teiresias and talks with the ghosts of his mother and his old friends
Odysseus tells of his return to Circe and how he escaped the Sirens. He tells of the horror of the monster Scylla and the whirlpool Charybdis, the slaughter of the sacred cattle, and Zeus's punishment
Odysseus ends his story. King Alcinous gives him gifts. Odysseus sails for home. For his safety, the goddess Athena changes him into on old beggar
In the hut of the swineherd Eumaeus, Odysseus learns what has happened during the many years he has been gone
In Sparta, Telemachus says farewell to Menelaus and returns home to Ithaca. First, he too goes to Eumaeus's hut
Telemachus sends Eumaeus into the town to tell Penelope of his return. Odysseus then reveals himself to his son Telemachus
Telemachus is welcomed home by Penelope. Odysseus, in the clothes of a beggar, at last returns to his own house. He is laughed at and hit by Penelope's suitor Antinous, and Telemachus becomes angry
Odysseus is insulted by a beggar named Irus, with whom he then fights. Odysseus beats Irus soundly
Penelope speaks with her husband Odysseus (not knowing who he is). He tells her that Odysseus will return. His old nurse, Euryclea, washes his feet and recognizes him by a scar on his leg
In the morning, Odysseus is again laughed at by the suitors. He makes his plans for the upcoming battle with the suitors
Penelope brings out Odysseus's bow as a test of strength. The suitors are unable to string it. Odysseus then strings his bow and shoots it
Odysseus and Telemachus begin to kill the suitors. All of the suitors are murdered, and the unloyal housemaids hanged
Euryclea tells Penelope the good news of Odysseus's return. Penelope, convinced at last, kisses her husband
The ghosts of the suitors gather in the house of Hades. Odysseus goes to find his father Laertes. The men of Ithaca want to murder Odysseus because of the killings, but the goddess Athena stops the fight and makes peace