The Odyssey – Short Summary

Calypso (nearing the end of his journey – 7 years) •Odysseus has been trying to get home for ten years. •Athena tells her father Zeus that she wants to free Odysseus from Calypso’s island. So Zeus sends Hermes, the messenger god, to free him. •When Hermes arrives, Odysseus is sitting on the beach crying because he can’t get home. •Calypso says she is releasing him because she can’t stand to see him so upset. She tells him this so he might change his mind about leaving. •Calypso offers Odysseus immortality if he stays. •Poseidon prevents Odysseus from arriving home by sending a storm upon him.

Phaeacia (nearing the end of his journey) •Odysseus lands in Phaeacia where he is treated like a god, because Greeks treated all guests kindly. •Odysseus begins to cry when they start to sing a song about Troy because it reminds him of all his men who didn’t make it. •Odysseus describes Ithaca as the most beautiful place on earth. •Odysseus begins to tell the Phaeacians about his journey after the Trojan War, starting with the battle at Cicones: Cicones (the beginning of his journey) •At the battle of Cicones, Odysseus’ men got pushed back onto their ships because they thought they were mighty by invading Cicones. Odysseus lost 6 benches of men per ship. •The gesture or ritual they perform is that they cry out 3 times per person who was lost. •Zeus raised a storm that lasted 9 days. Lotus Eaters •The race of men that occupied the coast was the Lotus Eaters. •They treated Odysseus and his men with kindness and offer lotus. •When they ate the lotus, they never wanted to leave. •To keep his men from eating the lotus, Odysseus tied them to benches and set sail again. Cyclops: Polyphemus •The Cyclops is Poseidon’s son. He represents brute forces. •We know of the

Cyclops’s strength because he has a boulder as a doorway. •The warning Odysseus gave the Cyclops was that he had to be nice to guests. The Cyclops said he didn’t care about Zeus. •Odysseus lies and tells the Cyclops that the ship is broken. •The Cyclops eats some of Odysseus’ men. •But, Odysseus can’t kill the Cyclops because only the Cyclops can move the boulder to the doorway. •Odysseus makes a spear to throw at the Cyclops’ eye. •Odysseus offers the Cyclops wine. The Cyclops said that his “gift” in return will be that he will kill him last. Odysseus tells the Cyclops that his name is “Nobody. ” •The Cyclops goes around to the other Cyclops and says, “Nobody’s hurt me! ” •Odysseus and his men escape from the cave by tying themselves to the bottom of rams. •Cyclops promises that he will be nice to him, but Odysseus taunts him. •The Cyclops prays to his father, Poseidon, that he will never see his home. LOCATION ORDER 1. Troy 2. Cicones 3. Lotus Eaters 4. Cyclops 5. Aeolia 6. Laestrygonians 7. Aeaea (Circe) 8. Land of the Dead (Teiresias) 9. Sirens 10. Scylla / Charybdis 11. Thrinakia (Helios) 12. Calypso 13. Phaeacia 14. Ithaca