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Odysseus' Journey Home

Odysseus' ship.

       Odysseus is a primary concern in The Odyssey. He shows that one man can face "god like" forces and
eventually achieve victory and success. While this section does not describe Odysseus' entire journey from the minute he left Ithaca
to fight in the Trojan War, to when he killed the suitors back at his home, this does show a great deal of what happened in between.
This section describes how Odysseus defeated the various monsters during his journey and made it back home to Ithaca after twenty years.

I. From Calypso to Phaeacia (Books 5-8)

       Athena convinces Zeus to tell Calypso to let Odysseus off her island. Although Calypso is very reluctant, she eventually agrees. Odysseus builds a raft and sails out into the ocean. Just before he arrives at an island, Poseidon, the god of the sea who has been very mad at Odysseus, destroys his raft. Odysseus barely makes it to shore. He then collapses from fatigue. When he wakes up, he sees young girls washing their clothes in a river. He begs one of them for food. She gives him food and tells him that she is Nausicaa, daughter of King Alcinous. She tells Odysseus that he is on Phaeacia. After Odysseus eats and bathes, Nausicaa leads him to the palace. He begs the queen, Arete, for a ship to go home. Before she answers him, King Alcinous seats Odysseus at the table and gives him a large feast. Later, Odysseus is promised a ship to travel home. The next day, there is an “Olympics” being held in Phaeacia. Laodamas challenges Odysseus to play. Odysseus refuses. Then a man named Broadsea makes fun of him. Odysseus gets very angry and throws a discus much farther than anyone else threw it. All the Phaeacians are amazed. That night, during dinner, a bard sings a song about the Trojan War. Odysseus cries nonstop. Alcinous notices and orders the bard to stop. He then asks Odysseus who he is.

II. Odysseus' Story (Books 9-12)

III. Ithaca at Last (Book 13)

       Now that Odysseus is finished with his story, has has one last feast with King Alcinous. He then recieves many gifts and, finally, he gets on a ship. The Phaeacian crew brings him home to Ithaca. At first, he doesn’t think that it is really Ithaca, but soon Athena comes and tells him that it is. Odysseus takes a moment to rejoice, and then Athena disguises Odysseus as an old beggar and tells him to go to the home of his swineherd, Eumaeus.

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