The Odyssey Project

Books 19-21


Suitors: A large group of men that have been hanging around Odysseus' house for years eating his food and drinking his wine, trying to get Penelope to pick one of them to marry since they believe Odysseus to be dead.

Odysseus: Husband of Penelope and father of Telemachus. Still pretending to be a beggar Odysseus goes into his home and goes around to test all of the suitors and maids. At the end of book 21 he proves to everyone that he is Odysseus by shooting the bow that none of the suitors could even bend.

Telemachus: Son of Penelope and Odysseus. Plots with Odysseus of how to kill the suitors and tells the maids to put all of the weapons and armor into the armory, so that the suitors won't be able to get to it when they start their plan.

Eurycleia: One of the oldest and most trusted maids in Odysseus' house and the first one to realize who Odysseus is on her own.

Penelope: Wife of Odysseus and mother of Telemachus. She's being overrun by suitors who want to take Odysseus' place as her husband. She's trying to stall them for such a long time because she doesn't want to marry any of them.


"Now Odysseus was sitting by the hearth, but soon turned towards darkness; for suddenly into his mind there came the thought that in touching him she might detect the scar and thus the facts be known." I think that this quote is important because it is how a lot of people found out the it is Odysseus and how he proved to some of them that it was actually him (like his father, the swineherd, and the cowherd, etc.).

Major Theme

I think that the major theme for these books is pay attention to omens because back then omens were a really big deal and there's so many omens that come in all different forms and interpretations.

For example in the Odyssey there were two major omens. The first was something Penelope sees in her dream, "'I have twenty geese about the palace who pick up corn out of the water, and I amuse myself with watching them. But from the mountain came a great hook-beaked eagle and broke the necks of all and killed my geese.'", in her dream the eagle represented Odysseus and the suitors were the geese so her dream meant that Odysseus was going to return and kill the suitors.

The second was while the suitors were planning how to kill Telemachus: "Now for Telemachus the suitors had been plotting death and doom. But toward them, on the left, a bird came flying, a soaring eagle, clutching a timid dove.'" In this omen the eagle again is Odysseus and the dove represents Telemachus so this omen shows that Odysseus is going to return and that he is going to save Telemachus from the suitors plans.