The Odyssey Questions and Answers

The Odyssey

Odysseus demonstrates heroic qualities in book eight when he attends the Phaeacian assembly at Alcinous's court. The finest Phaeacian young men display their athletic abilities, and Odysseus enjoys...

Latest answer posted January 16, 2020, 6:51 pm (UTC)

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The Odyssey

Odysseus faces a number of challenges on his way home, including: sailors captivated by the lotus-eaters a battle with Polyphemus, a cyclops a storm sent by Poseidon an encounter with a witch being...

Latest answer posted October 1, 2017, 3:10 am (UTC)

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The Odyssey

In book 11 of the Odyssey, Teiresias cautions Odysseus about the negative consequences of his past and future actions. The prophet warns Odysseus specifically about Poseidon’s revenge for the...

Latest answer posted October 2, 2020, 3:09 pm (UTC)

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The Odyssey

Odysseus travels to the Land of the Dead to speak with the prophet Tiresias. When he gets there, he makes a blood sacrifice so that the spirits of the dead will emerge from the depths of Hades. One...

Latest answer posted December 16, 2020, 8:04 pm (UTC)

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The Odyssey

In regards to Greek tragedies, hubris is defined as excessive pride or confidence, which is a serious character flaw that leads to the demise of many heroic men. In Homer's classic epic The...

Latest answer posted March 28, 2020, 12:08 pm (UTC)

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The Odyssey

Odysseus lost six men from the crew of each ship to the Ciconians at Ismarus; they were attacked at night by the survivors of the town they'd sacked. He then lost six men total when they were...

Latest answer posted June 12, 2016, 4:51 pm (UTC)

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The Odyssey

An epithet is a word or phrase that describes a chief trait of a person or thing. Homer uses epithets frequently in the Odyssey. This repetition of what come to be stock phrases create a sense of...

Latest answer posted February 23, 2021, 11:15 am (UTC)

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The Odyssey

Among other things, Odysseus has the reputation of being a cunning trickster. His trickery is on display when it comes to dealing with the fearsome Cyclops Polyphemus. Polyphemus is holding...

Latest answer posted January 21, 2021, 11:02 am (UTC)

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The Odyssey

Odysseus shows bravery many times throughout the course of the Odyssey. Here are a few of those examples. During his encounter with the Cyclops (Polyphemus), Odysseus and his men get stuck in a...

Latest answer posted November 24, 2019, 1:37 pm (UTC)

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The Odyssey

Odysseus's dealings with Polyphemus, the Cyclops, go a long way in terms of showing how Odysseus is both clever and heroic. When it becomes clear that Polyphemus is savage and brutal and will...

Latest answer posted February 10, 2016, 8:11 pm (UTC)

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The Odyssey

Odysseus is a good leader because he is willing to keep his eyes on the goal no matter what. He does not allow himself to be seduced or distracted from his course perpetually, whether he is on...

Latest answer posted September 26, 2019, 9:46 pm (UTC)

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The Odyssey

Poseidon, who supported Troy in the Trojan War, is angry at Odysseus for being a powerful Greek warrior who helped defeat his favored side. Odysseus is also a source of anger for being under the...

Latest answer posted February 18, 2021, 10:51 am (UTC)

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The Odyssey

In truth, Odysseus's character doesn't undergo much of a change throughout his epic voyage. At the end of the poem, he's as much of a wily, fearless hero as he ever was. Nonetheless, some subtle...

Latest answer posted May 29, 2020, 7:42 am (UTC)

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The Odyssey

Generally speaking, I think there is a strong argument that, as a result of his long journey and intense suffering, Odysseus learns to better appreciate and value his family and home on Ithaca. One...

Latest answer posted March 19, 2021, 6:48 pm (UTC)

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The Odyssey

Odysseus is a great leader, and a hero. You can find some excellent answers on these topics in the eNotes links below, which can help guide you in your studies. Following are some quotes from The...

Latest answer posted October 7, 2019, 2:17 am (UTC)

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The Odyssey

The primary reason why Odysseus does not sail directly home to Ithica following the Trojan War is due to the fact that he provokes the wrath of Poseidon and Helios. On Odysseus's journey home, he...

Latest answer posted July 17, 2019, 3:58 pm (UTC)

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The Odyssey

In Book 11 of The Odyssey, The Kingdom of the Dead, Odysseus visits the underworld to consult with the prophet Tiresias. Circe instructs him to visit Tiresias so he can find out about his future,...

Latest answer posted January 19, 2016, 3:56 pm (UTC)

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The Odyssey

After Odysseus and his men blind the Cyclops, they sail away from the island. Just as it seems they are going to get away, Odysseus shouts back to Polyphemus, taunting the monster and telling the...

Latest answer posted September 29, 2017, 4:34 pm (UTC)

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The Odyssey

In book 10, Odysseus learns from Circe that he and his men must visit the Underworld to receive important information from Tiresias, the blind prophet. Although Circe leaves careful instructions,...

Latest answer posted May 8, 2019, 2:20 pm (UTC)

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The Odyssey

In addition to the characteristics noted in the question, I think Odysseus displays extreme levels of brutality and bloodthirstiness in the Odyssey, particularly in book 22 when he takes his...

Latest answer posted March 12, 2021, 11:18 am (UTC)

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The Odyssey

In Book IX of The Odyssey, Odysseus begins the tale of his wanderings, starting with the journey's second part, that from Ogygia through Phaeacia. Odysseus begins by describing the departure from...

Latest answer posted January 10, 2015, 4:34 am (UTC)

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The Odyssey

At the beginning of Book Five, Athena petitions Zeus to intervene in Odysseus's dire situation and reminds him that Odysseus is being held prisoner by the nymph Calypso while the unscrupulous...

Latest answer posted May 28, 2020, 10:21 am (UTC)

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The Odyssey

For a question such as this, it would be useful to question by what standard we are measuring Odysseus as a hero. Modernity tends to define history along modern morals, and while there are certain...

Latest answer posted May 2, 2021, 12:02 am (UTC)

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The Odyssey

The Iliad and the Odyssey are epic poems composed by the Greek poet Homer. They are complex works with many interwoven plot lines, highly developed characters, and fascinating settings, so a...

Latest answer posted February 12, 2021, 6:44 pm (UTC)

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The Odyssey

After a grueling twenty-year journey, Odysseus finds peace at the end of the epic poem. When he returns home to Ithaca, he finds one hundred suitors in his home, as Teiresias's prophecy forewarned....

Latest answer posted January 19, 2020, 8:40 pm (UTC)

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The Odyssey

Throughout The Odyssey, Odysseus is constantly beset by challenges. Some of these come from the wrath of the gods. Poseidon, in particular, has a grudge against Odysseus after he blinded his...

Latest answer posted May 22, 2021, 2:46 pm (UTC)

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The Odyssey

Odysseus demonstrates heroic behavior when he and his crew stop in the Land of the Lotus Eaters. Wary, he sends only three men to scout the island and find out who lives there and what the...

Latest answer posted April 1, 2016, 12:33 pm (UTC)

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The Odyssey

Athena visited Telemachus disguised as Mentes, son of Anchialus, and the leader of the Taphians. She claimed that she was on a voyage to Temesa for purposes of trade. She further informed...

Latest answer posted December 22, 2015, 3:55 pm (UTC)

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The Odyssey

Penelope's suitors plan to kill Telemachus as he returns from his voyage to find Odysseus. She finds out about the plot when Medon, a herald, overhears their plans and comes to alert her about the...

Latest answer posted November 12, 2017, 12:46 am (UTC)

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The Odyssey

The protagonist of Homer's The Odyssey is Odysseus. Odysseus's heroic ability (or most important characteristic) is his great intelligence. His intelligence proves the saying "brains [intelligence]...

Latest answer posted October 10, 2013, 2:02 am (UTC)

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The Odyssey

Reading the Odyssey reveals a world far more existentially brutal than that of the modern West. Its attitudes towards women are particularly unsettling. There is a double standard at play in the...

Latest answer posted March 22, 2021, 6:04 pm (UTC)

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The Odyssey

It is worth noting that, even within his adventure with Polyphemus, Odysseus shows his arrogance in more ways than one. Note that it was Odysseus who was insistent on staying in the cave in the...

Latest answer posted May 8, 2021, 9:25 pm (UTC)

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The Odyssey

Achilles is discontent in the underworld, longing for life on earth. He says that Odysseus shouldn't try to "reconcile" him to death: Achilles would gladly go back to earth in the humblest of...

Latest answer posted May 2, 2020, 1:25 pm (UTC)

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The Odyssey

In Homer's The Odyssey, Odysseus is portrayed as a cunning, discerning man who exercises caution when he returns home to Ithaca after twenty years. Once Odysseus arrives home, Athena cleverly...

Latest answer posted February 23, 2020, 2:45 pm (UTC)

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The Odyssey

Odysseus has not returned from the Trojan war. He has been gone twenty years now, and his wife Penelope and son Telemachus still believe he will return. They are slowly beginning to think that...

Latest answer posted January 25, 2015, 2:28 pm (UTC)

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The Odyssey

There are several similes in Book 5 of The Odyssey. In line 14 of Book 5, Athena says that Odysseus was "as kindly as a father to his children" as a leader of Ithaca. Later, as Odysseus is in a...

Latest answer posted September 28, 2016, 12:27 am (UTC)

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The Odyssey

The exposition (or introduction) of Homer's The Odyssey introduces the character of Odysseus being discussed by Athena and Zeus, her father. She wants to know why Odysseus has not been able to...

Latest answer posted June 1, 2012, 7:29 am (UTC)

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The Odyssey

The Odyssey is an epic poem written by Homer in ancient Greece, mostly likely close to the end of the 8th century BC. In 1995, director Mario Camerini released a film adaptation of Homer’s epic...

Latest answer posted January 2, 2020, 6:14 pm (UTC)

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The Odyssey

In Book Nine of the poem, we encounter a heroic crisis for Odysseus. While it is clear that Odysseus is smart, this particular section of the poem reveals Odysseus' ego. Because of his hubris,...

Latest answer posted January 12, 2016, 6:13 am (UTC)

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The Odyssey

There was no way for Odysseus to get the men home without passing between the Scylla and Charybdis. Therefore, he is going to have to get his crew through that narrow passage. If he allows the...

Latest answer posted March 14, 2011, 4:19 pm (UTC)

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The Odyssey

Odysseus shows great cunning in dealing with the fearsome Cyclops Polyphemus. First of all, he's smart enough not to tell the Cyclops his real name, at least not until he's managed to escape from...

Latest answer posted November 19, 2019, 7:29 am (UTC)

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The Odyssey

King Alcinous, along with his wife queen Arete, ruled the land of the Phaeacians. In the Odyssey, the exemplify the ultimate "good hosts." Greek culture values "xenos," which means hospitality...

Latest answer posted January 23, 2014, 8:36 pm (UTC)

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The Odyssey

Odysseus is warned by Circe to stay away from the island of Thrinacia and the cattle which live there because they belong to Helios, the Sun God. She states that there are seven herds with fifty...

Latest answer posted May 30, 2016, 5:41 am (UTC)

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The Odyssey

It was a literary convention in Greek epic poems and other classic works for the poet to begin his tale by calling upon a muse, to invoke her aid in telling the story. As goddesses, muses were...

Latest answer posted February 2, 2011, 8:19 am (UTC)

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The Odyssey

Odysseus meets the ghosts of these three people in book eleven of Homer's epic poem, The Odyssey. Elpenor is the first of the ghosts Odysseus meets in his journey to the land of the dead. When...

Latest answer posted December 23, 2017, 4:50 am (UTC)

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The Odyssey

Odysseus wants to visit the Cyclops out of pure curiosity. He knows that he has the protection of the gods and he believes himself to be more than human so he does not fear entering Polyphemus'...

Latest answer posted April 11, 2008, 12:55 am (UTC)

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The Odyssey

To add a bit more to Cybil's post. The liquor is very good, so the Cyclops will want more of it. Since Odysseus and his men are trapped inside the cave, they cannot kill the Cyclops, so they...

Latest answer posted May 7, 2009, 10:17 pm (UTC)

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The Odyssey

Odysseus and his men find themselves in a tight spot when they encounter Polyphemus, the giant one-eyed cyclops and barbaric being. Polyphemus, much stronger than any of them, traps the men in his...

Latest answer posted May 15, 2020, 8:35 pm (UTC)

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The Odyssey

Note the two answers above. In addition, though, note that Athena could, supposedly, tell Telemachus that his father is safe, and protect Telemachus with her godly powers. But that's aside from...

Latest answer posted May 15, 2007, 12:59 am (UTC)

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The Odyssey

The plot of Homer’s The Odyssey involves the story of a Greek war hero named Odysseus who, returning home to the island of Ithaca following the end of the Trojan War, diverts the path of his ship,...

Latest answer posted September 4, 2013, 2:23 am (UTC)

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