Illustration of Odysseus tied to a ship's mast

The Odyssey

by Homer

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Book 20 Questions and Answers

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Study Questions
1. Why is Odysseus pensive throughout the long night?

2. Why is he finally able to fall asleep?

3. What does Penelope fervently long for in her hopeless anxiety?

4. Why does Eurycleia hurry the servants more emphatically than usual?

5. What decision made by Philoitius proves his loyalty to Odysseus?

6. What is the “gift” bestowed upon Odysseus by Ctesippus?

7. How does Telemachus answer Agelaus concerning Penelope’s decision?

8. What is unusual about the suitors’ sudden laughter?

9. How does Theoclymenus interpret it?

10. What do the suitors suggest Telemachus do with Odysseus and Theoclymenus?

1. He doubts his ability both to defeat the suitors and to survive the consequences of the act.

2. Athene reassures him.

3. She hopes for death.

4. The day celebrates a public festival.

5. Philoitius decides to keep his oxen in Odysseus’ service rather than seek out a new liege.

6. Ctesippus bestows upon Odysseus an ox’s hoof.

7. He tells Agelaus that he tries to persuade Penelope to marry one of them, but he refuses to force her to do so.

8. It is divinely inspired.

9. He sees it as a mark of darkness and doom.

10. They suggest that Odysseus and Theoclymenus be shipped off to be sold as slaves.

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