The Odyssey: Book 1 and Book 2

By: Alissa Coyle

Book One

The Beginning of Book 1

In the beginning of The Odyssey, it starts off ten years after the end of the Trojan War. Odysseus was trying to save his own life and bring all of his men home, but he couldn't save his men and they all left in joy and eating the cattle of the Sun-god Apollo, so the god prevented them from ever reaching home. All of the Greek heroes except the ones that had died and Odysseus had returned home. Odysseus had been left alone on Calypso's island and Calypso wanted to marry Odysseus.

Book 1 cont.

Meanwhile, while Odysseus is stuck on the island, the gods on Mount Olympus are discussing about Odysseus. Athena begs her father, Zeus, to allow Odysseus to return to his home safely. But, the problem is, is that Odysseus has an enemy amongst the gods- Poseidon, the god of the seas. Poseidon is angry at Odysseus for blinding his son.

Zeus agrees with Athena and Hermes is sent to Ogygia to command Calypso to free Odysseus.

Book 1 cont.

Telemachus's home is overrun by his mother's suitors. The suitors have taken over his house and they're partying on all of his inheritance and are demanding that his mother, Penelope, take one of them as a husband.

Athena dresses up disguised as a mentor waiting to talk to Telemachus. He noticed her and sat "him" down on a throne with a footrest and brought his chair near hers.

Book Two

Beginning of Book Two

Telemachus was having troubles with trying to control the suitors considering that they were older and more powerful than he was. He decides to follow after Athena's advice and tries to become his "father's son".

"Hear me, men of Ithaca. Hear what I have to say. Not once have we held assembly, met in session since King Odysseus sailed in the hollow ships. Who has summoned us now—one of the young men, one of the old-timers? What crisis spurs him on? Some news he’s heard of an army on the march, word he’s caught firsthand so he can warn us now?" (Fagles; pg. 19)

"It’s not the suitors here who deserve the blame, it’s your own dear mother, the matchless queen of cunning. Look here. For three years now, getting on to four, she’s played it fast and loose with all our hearts, building each man’s hopes—dangling promises, dropping hints to each—but all the while with something else in mind..." (Fagles; pg. 21)

Penelope was going to find another husband now that Odysseus hasn't been home for 10 years since the Trojan War has been finished. So she tried to make a deal with the suitors, but still trying to have hope that Odysseus would come back.

"...she set up a great loom in the royal halls and she began to weave, and the weaving finespun, the yarns endless, and she would lead us on: ‘Young men, my suitors, now that King Odysseus is no more, go slowly, keen as you are to marry me, until I can finish off this web…" (Fagles; pg. 21)

"Her very words, and despite our pride and passion we believed her. So by day she’d weave at her great and growing web—by night, by the light of torches set beside her, she would unravel all she’d done..." "...Then, when the wheeling seasons brought the fourth year on, one of her women, in on the queen’s secret, told the truth and we caught her in the act—unweaving her gorgeous web." (Fagles; pg. 21)

Telemachus told the people at the meeting that if he hears that his dad is alive and is heading home then he'll wait another year, but if he hears that he is dead, then he will let his mother marry another man.

Mentor told them that most people that Odysseus ruled don't even remember him now because he has been gone so long.

After the meeting was over, Telemachus went down to the beach and prayed to Pallas. Athena came to his prayer and reassured and encouraged him and told him that he should go on the voyage to go and try to find his father.

Later on, him and Athena and some other people, set voyage and went to go and try to find Odysseus.

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