The Odyssey Book 3 Summary and Analysis

Homer

Book 3 Summary and Analysis

New Characters
Nestor: the aged counselor of the Greeks during the Trojan War

Peisistratus: the youngest son of Nestor

Summary
Telemachus’ ship arrives safely on the Greek mainland at the city of Pylus. This is the domain of Nestor, the aged counselor of the Greek forces at Troy; he is renowned for his wisdom and strategy. The Pylians are in the midst of celebrating a feast dedicated to Poseidon, the Earthshaker. Seeing Telemachus and Athene (still disguised as Mentor) approaching from the shore, Nestor’s sons greet them heartily and invite them to the feast. Foremost among the sons in greeting the new arrivals is Peisistratus, Nestor’s youngest son who is close in age to Telemachus.

After the meal is finished, Telemachus explains his journey to Nestor, who is more than willing to swap endless stories with the son of his dear friend, Odysseus. Nestor informs Telemachus that while Odysseus had begun to accompany Menelaus and him when they departed from Troy, Odysseus later turned back to perform sacrifices with Agamemnon, who had remained at Troy for that purpose. Nestor, the great warrior Diomedes, and Menelaus had remained together on their journey home.

Telemachus questions Nestor concerning Agamemnon’s assassination and Menelaus’ conspicuous absence during such an event. Nestor explains that Menelaus’ ships were scattered by storm winds, and that half his fleet drifted to Egypt and to other faraway lands beyond the sea. Meanwhile, Aegisthus, who had not gone to the war, remained behind in Mycenae to seduce Clytemnestra, Agamemnon’s wife. Having slain Agamemnon, Aegisthus ruled Mycenae for seven years before being cut down by Agamemnon’s son, Orestes. It was while Orestes was burying his hated mother and her lover that Menelaus returned home in the eighth year of his wanderings.

Because Menelaus had traveled the world for so long, Nestor suggests that Telemachus visit...

(The entire section is 813 words.)