Book 1 Questions and Answers
1. Where is Odysseus located at the poem’s commencement?
2. Which of the Olympian deities is his nemesis?
3. What did Odysseus do to inspire the god’s wrath?
4. What is the correlation of family members between Agamemnon’s family and Odysseus’ household?
5. As whom does Athene disguise herself when she visits Telemachus?
6. Who are the chief suitors in Odysseus’ house?
7. Why does Phemius’ song disturb Penelope?
8. Who is Odysseus’ father?
9. Where is he located during the time of Book I?
10. What is Eurycleia’s association with both Odysseus and Telemachus?
1. Odysseus is on Calypso’s island.
2. His nemesis is Poseidon.
3. He wounded Polyphemus, Poseidon’s son.
4. The correlation is as follows: Agamemnon = Odysseus; Clytemnestra = Penelope; Orestes = Telemachus.
5. Athene disguises herself as Mentes.
6. The chief suitors are Antinoös and Eurymachus.
7. The song reminds her of Odysseus’ own wanderings.
8. Odysseus’ father is Laertes.
9. Laertes is on his farm removed from the main city.
10. Eurycleia was their nurse.
Book 2 Questions and Answers
1. What are the two reasons that Telemachus calls the Ithacans to assembly?
2. Who are Telemachus’ outspoken advocates in the assembly?
3. What is the chief means employed by Penelope in order to stall the suitors?
4. What is the sign read by Halitherses during the assembly?
5. How does Halitherses interpret the sign?
6. What personae are assumed by Athene in Book II?
7. How does Telemachus manage to acquire a ship and crew?
8. Why does Eurycleia protest against Telemachus’ proposed journey?
9. What promise does he exact from her?
10. What ritual do the sailors perform once the ship has taken to the sea?
1. He wants them to remove the suitors from his home, and he wants them to supply him a ship for his voyage.
2. His two advocates are Mentor and Halitherses
3. She stalls them by undoing the work of Laertes’ shroud.
4. Two eagles battle overhead.
5. He interprets this to mean that the suitors are in danger from a returning Odysseus.
6. She becomes both Mentor and Telemachus on separate occasions.
7. Athene gathers them together for him.
8. She does not want him to share his father’s fate.
9. She will not announce his departure.
10. They pour a libation to Athene to protect them on their journey.
Book 3 Questions and Answers
1. What is the name of the first kingdom visited by Telemachus on his travels?
2. What is Nestor’s family celebrating when Telemachus arrives at their city?
3. Which son of Nestor befriends and accompanies Telemachus on his journey?
4. When did Nestor and Odysseus part company?
5. Where was Menelaus when Agamemnon was assassinated?
6. What activity was Orestes engaged in when Menelaus finally returned to Greece?
7. Whom does Nestor suggest Telemachus visit?
8. In what manner does Athene take her leave of Telemachus and Nestor?
9. How does Nestor react toward her departure?
10. What occurs in the morning before Telemachus continues on his journey?
1. The first kingdom Telemachus visits is Pylus.
2. They are celebrating a feast for Poseidon.
3. Peisistratus befriends and accompanies Telemachus.
4. Odysseus turned his ships back toward Troy to console Agamemnon.
5. He was still wandering in his ships.
6. He was burying Clytemnestra and Aegisthus.
7. He suggests that Telemachus visit Menelaus.
8. She turns into a vulture.
9. He rejoices, proud of her visitation.
10. Nestor’s people sacrifice to Athene.
Book 4 Questions and Answers
1. What is the festive occasion in Menelaus’ palace when Telemachus arrives?
2. Who is the first to recognize Telemachus in Sparta?
3. Why does Peisistratus wish the weeping to end?
4. How does Helen stop everyone’s sorrow?
5. What foreshadowing takes place in Helen’s story?
6. How is Helen presented in Menelaus’ tale of the Trojan Horse?
7. How does Menelaus know of Odysseus’ fate?
8. How did Menelaus learn how to capture Proteus?
9. Why doesn’t Telemachus accept Menelaus’ gift of horses?
10. How do the suitors react when they learn of Telemachus’ voyage?
1. The occasion is the weddings of Megapenthes and Hermione.
2. Helen is the first to recognize Telemachus.
3. He is reminded of his deceased brother, Antilochus.
4. She uses a drug she obtained in Egypt.
5. Helen depicts Odysseus as a spy disguised as a beggar.
6. She is helping the Trojans against the Greek warriors, including Odysseus.
7. He captured and interrogated the knowledgeable sea god, Proteus.
8. He was informed by Proteus’ daughter, Eidothea.
9. Ithaca is not conducive to the breeding of horses.
10. They are angry and vengeful.
Book 5 Questions and Answers
1. Who informs Calypso of Zeus’s will?
2. What is Calypso’s reaction to this information?
3. What is Odysseus’ usual activity during the day on Calypso’s island?
4. What gift does Calypso offer Odysseus to convince him to remain with her?
5. How else does she seek to dissuade him from his journey?
6. By what means does Odysseus leave the island?
7. What causes the storm winds to descend upon Odysseus?
8. What gods aid him in his distress at sea?
9. What island does he land upon?
10. What is the name of the people who reside there?
1. Hermes informs Calypso of Zeus’s will.
2. She is sad but obedient.
3. He weeps on the shore of the sea.
4. Calypso offers Odysseus immortality.
5. She warns him of the many dangers still awaiting him.
6. Odysseus leaves on a raft of his own making.
7. The storm winds are the result of Poseidon’s wrath.
8. Odysseus is aided by Leukothea and Athene.
9. Odysseus lands on the island of Scheria.
10. The inhabitants of Scheria are the Phaeaceans.
Book 6 Questions and Answers
1. Who were the Phaeaceans’ former neighbors?
2. Why does Nausikaa decide to wash the palace laundry?
3. What is she too embarrassed to mention to her father?
4. What is unique about the dance performed by the Phaeacean women?
5. How is Odysseus awakened?
6. What is the handmaidens’ reaction to his appearance?
7. What is Nausikaa’s reaction to his appearance?
8. What decision must Odysseus make concerning his approach to Nausikaa?
9. What is the main reason that Odysseus appears godlike to the Phaeacean ladies?
10. Why is Nausikaa afraid to bring Odysseus into the city with her?
1. The Phaeaceans’ former neighbors were the Cyclopes.
2. Athene inspires her to do it.
3. She is embarrassed to tell her father her desire for marriage.
4. The Phaeacean women toss a ball back and forth while they dance.
5. The girls scream in excitement when the ball goes astray.
6. They flee in terror.
7. Nausikaa stands her ground.
8. He must decide whether to keep his distance or approach her and grasp her knees in supplication.
9. Athene enhances his appearance.
10. It might appear scandalous to some of the Phaeaceans.
Book 7 Questions and Answers
1. Whom does Odysseus meet on his way to Alcinoös’ palace?
2. How does Odysseus make his way to the palace without being noticed?
3. What advice does Athene give Odysseus concerning his supplication?
4. Why does Odysseus pause outside the palace?
5. What is the Phaeaceans’ reaction to Odysseus’ sudden appearance?
6. What does Odysseus do immediately after beseeching Arete?
7. What tale does Odysseus narrate briefly for the Phaeaceans?
8. Why does he tell this story?
9. What does Alcinoös propose concerning Nausikaa?
10. What extraordinary ability do...
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Book 8 Questions and Answers
1. What entertainment do the Phaeaceans find at Alcinoös’ feast?
2. What task is undertaken by Alcinoös’ herald throughout Book VIII?
3. What is the first story told by Demodocus?
4. What is Odysseus’ reaction to Demodocus’ tales of Troy?
5. Why is Odysseus annoyed while at the athletic field?
6. What action is taken by Odysseus to disprove Euryalus’ accusatory insults?
7. How does Hephaestus learn about his wife’s lewd conduct?
8. How does he confirm his suspicions?
9. Which of Demodocus’ characters sympathizes most with the adulterous gods’...
(The entire section is 170 words.)
Book 9 Questions and Answers
1. With how many ships does Odysseus depart from Troy?
2. Whom do they encounter first?
3. Whose land does Odysseus encounter after being blown off course for nine days?
4. What is the curse associated with that land?
5. What is the race and lineage of Polyphemus?
6. What outrage does he visit on his guests?
7. Why doesn’t Odysseus kill Polyphemus?
8. What does he do to the Cyclops instead of killing him?
9. Why does Polyphemus stop the great ram on its way out of the cave?
10. What are the long-term consequences for Odysseus’ treatment of Polyphemus?...
(The entire section is 189 words.)
Book 10 Questions and Answers
1. Why does Aeolus rudely banish Odysseus from his island?
2. What calamity does Odysseus’ fleet meet among the Laistrygones?
3. How does Odysseus learn of his crew’s transformation by Circe?
4. How is he able to resist her magic?
5. Why does Odysseus refuse to partake of Circe’s meal?
6. What is Eurylochus’ reaction to Odysseus’ news concerning his conquest of Circe?
7. How long does Odysseus remain on Aeaea?
8. What disturbing news does Circe break to Odysseus concerning his journey home?
9. What happens to Elpenor?
10. How do the men react to...
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Book 11 Questions and Answers
1. Whom does Odysseus first meet in the Underworld?
2. What advice does Teiresias offer Odysseus concerning his future stay on Thrinacea?
3. Why didn’t Anticlea initially recognize Odysseus?
4. How did Anticlea die?
5. Why did the souls of the deceased queens appear to Odysseus?
6. Whose death does Agamemnon add to the list of Clytem-nestra’s crimes?
7. What comforting news does Odysseus relate to Achilles?
8. Why doesn’t Ajax Telamonius approach Odysseus?
9. What is the curse of Tantalus?
10. Of what does Odysseus’ presence in Hades’ realm remind...
(The entire section is 199 words.)
Book 12 Questions and Answers
1. What aid does Circe lend Odysseus before he departs from Aeaea?
2. How do Odysseus’ men become immune to the Sirens’ singing?
3. Why is Odysseus tied to the mast?
4. What choice must Odysseus make when passing though the perilous sea cliffs?
5. What decision does he make?
6. In what way does Odysseus ignore Circe’s advice concerning Scylla?
7. Why does Odysseus stop on Thrinacea, despite the many warnings he has been given?
8. Where is he when his men devour the cattle of Helius?
9. In what way does Helius coerce Zeus to punish Odysseus’ men?
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Book 13 Questions and Answers
1. What does Alcinoös suggest to the Phaeaceans after Odysseus ends his tale?
2. What is Odysseus’ mood during the next day of feasting?
3. What does Odysseus do while aboard the Phaeacean vessel?
4. In what strange way do the Phaeacean seamen drop Odysseus off at Ithaca?
5. Why is he unable to recognize his surroundings when he first perceives Ithaca?
6. What nervous activity does Odysseus perform concerning his treasure?
7. In what guise does Athene appear to Odysseus?
8. What important news does she deliver to him while she is in that guise?
9. What is...
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Book 14 Questions and Answers
1. What happens to Odysseus as he approaches the swineherd’s dwelling?
2. What actions on the part of the suitors affect Eumaeus personally?
3. What warning does Eumaeus give the disguised Odysseus before revealing his master’s name to his guest?
4. What events have prompted Eumaeus to make this warning?
5. What island does Odysseus’ narrator claim as his home?
6. In what country did his narrator first meet disaster after the Trojan War?
7. Where did his narrator hear of Odysseus during his wanderings?
8. Why does Odysseus tell his false story about the Greeks at Troy?...
(The entire section is 200 words.)
Book 15 Questions and Answers
1. To what danger does Athene alert Telemachus when she appears to him?
2. How does Helen read the portent of the eagle and the goose?
3. What does Telemachus request of Peisistratus as they approach Pylus?
4. Why does Theoclymenus wish to accompany Telemachus on his journey home?
5. In what way does Odysseus again test Eumaeus?
6. What was the swineherd’s status before he was a servant?
7. What changed that situation?
8. What happened to the Phoenician bondswoman in Eumaeus’ story?
9. What does Theoclymenus do that prompts Telemachus to change his mind concerning...
(The entire section is 199 words.)
Book 16 Questions and Answers
1. Why is Eumaeus so excited to see Telemachus?
2. Upon what errand does Telemachus send Eumaeus?
3. What prompts Odysseus to reveal his identity to Telemachus?
4. Why is Telemachus frightened by his father’s appearance?
5. Whom does Odysseus assert will aid Telemachus and him in his struggle against the suitors?
6. With what part of Odysseus’ plan does Telemachus disagree?
7. How do the suitors learn of Telemachus’ return?
8. What prompts the suitors to disagree with Antinoös’ proposal?
9. Of what does Eurymachus falsely reassure Penelope?
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Book 17 Questions and Answers
1. Why does Telemachus tell Peraeus to hold onto Menelaus’ presents?
2. What does Theoclymenus promise Penelope?
3. Whom does Eumaeus call upon to grant Odysseus’ homecoming and the subsequent destruction of Melanthius?
4. Why does the dog Argos react to Odysseus’ presence?
5. What is ironic about Athene’s desire to have Odysseus test the suitors?
6. According to Antinoös, why do the other suitors give so freely to Odysseus?
7. Why does Penelope wish to see the disguised Odysseus?
8. Why does Eumaeus wish to dissuade Penelope of the interview?
9. Why does...
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Book 18 Questions and Answers
1. Why does Iros want to expel Odysseus from the palace?
2. Why does he begin trembling before the fight?
3. What advice is given vainly to Penelope by Eurynome?
4. What does Athene do about Penelope’s refusal?
5. How do the suitors react to the goddess’s actions towards Penelope?
6. What does Penelope prompt the suitors to do when she speaks to them?
7. In what way does Odysseus threaten the maidservants?
8. How does Odysseus respond to Eurymachus’ slanderous insults?
9. Whom does Eurymachus hit with the footstool?
10. What calms the suitors down at...
(The entire section is 175 words.)
Book 19 Questions and Answers
1. What action is taken by Odysseus and Telemachus after the suitors depart?
2. Who scorns Odysseus for the second time when she sees him in the great hall?
3. When does Odysseus’ persona claim to have entertained Odysseus in Crete?
4. How does Odysseus seem to authenticate his story?
5. What does he suggest about Odysseus’ homecoming?
6. Why does Eurycleia feel sympathy for Odysseus’ persona?
7. How did Odysseus receive his name?
8. What inflicted him with the wound that formed his scar?
9. How is Odysseus represented in Penelope’s dream?
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Book 20 Questions and Answers
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...
(The entire section is 196 words.)
Book 21 Questions and Answers
1. Why didn’t Odysseus take his bow with him to Troy?
2. What were the two parts of Penelope’s proposed competition?
3. Why are the suitors surprised at Telemachus’ ability to set up the axes?
4. Why does Telemachus assert that he should take part in the competition?
5. What makes him fail?
6. What is Leodes’ lament after he fails to string the bow?
7. How does Antinoös try to simplify the competition after Leodes’ failure?
8. What most perturbs Eurymachus concerning his failure to string the bow?
9. Why is Eumaeus initially unable to bring Odysseus the...
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Book 22 Questions and Answers
1. Which suitor is the first to taste Odysseus’ vengeance?
2. What offer is made by Eurymachus to stave off Odysseus’ attack?
3. How do the suitors begin obtaining weapons and armor?
4. How does Odysseus put a stop to this?
5. How do Eumaeus and Philoitius imprison Melanthius?
6. Why are the suitors’ spears unable to find their marks?
7. Why does Odysseus ignore Leodes’ plea?
8. Whom does he spare from the slaughter?
9. Whom do Odysseus’ men execute after destroying the suitors?
10. What does Odysseus use to sterilize his hall thoroughly?...
(The entire section is 162 words.)
Book 23 Questions and Answers
1. How does Penelope initially react to Eurycleia’s announcement?
2. After she believes that the suitors have been slain, whom does Penelope believe has accomplished the task?
3. Why does Telemachus rebuke Penelope in the great hall?
4. For what reason does Odysseus initially believe Penelope doubts his authenticity?
5. What does he do to rectify the situation?
6. How does Odysseus stall the people from discovering the truth concerning the suitors?
7. What causes Penelope to accept Odysseus’ identity?
8. What fear caused her to withhold her acknowledgement for so long?...
(The entire section is 204 words.)
Book 24 Questions and Answers
1. Who leads the suitors to Hades’ realm?
2. Why does Agamemnon recognize Amphimedon?
3. In what activity is Laertes engaged when Odysseus finds him?
4. What decision must Odysseus make before approaching Laertes?
5. What reaction does he stir in his father?
6. What does Eupeithes suggest to the assembled Ithacans?
7. What news does Medon bring to the assembly?
8. What does Athene request of Zeus?
9. How is Laertes able to destroy Eupeithes?
10. What does Athene stop Odysseus from doing when the Ithacans flee from him?
(The entire section is 176 words.)