Chapters 11-12

Chapter 11: In the land of the dead, Odysseus meets Elpenor first, who is sad that his body was not buried. Elpenor tells him where his body has washed up on shore, and asks him to bury it when he reaches that area.Odysseus then meets Tiresias, who was a prophet from Thebes. Tiresias prophesizes that Odysseus will die while sailing, but at an old age and not from a war. Odysseus meets his mother, whom he did not know had died during the time he had been away from Ithaca. His mother Antikleia tells him about the unkind suitors who are wasting his fortune and being rude to his wife and son.
After Alkinoos and Arete, the rulers of the Phaiakians, interrupt Odysseus to praise his storytelling ability, Odysseus continues his story. Odysseus meets Agamemnons ghost, who was killed by his wife when he returned from the Trojan War. He also meets Achilles, the hero of the Iliad, who is now the leader of the dead souls. They all reminisce about the Trojan War, and mourn as well. The final person Odysseus meets is Hercules, who although he was half-god, eventually died. Odysseus returns to Circes island, and from there they set sail for Ithaca again.


Chapter 12: Circe warns Odysseus about the Sirens, evil monsters that he will encounter on his travels. The first Siren that they pass is Skylla, who is a monster that lives in a cave. Six men die, but Odysseus ship is able to pass by Skylla. Then, they pass by Charibdis, the other Siren, who is a sea-storm kind of monster. After this, they land on Thrinaka. They have very little food, and attempt to fish and hunt. Although they were warned not to, Odysseus and his men eat the sacred cattle of Helios. After they have set sail again, a storm comes, and Odysseus loses all of his crew and the final ship in the storm, but he is able to take refuge at Calypsos island, where she keeps him as a well-treated prisoner until the events were set in motion that landed him in Phaiakia.

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Chapter 13: Finished with his story, the Phaiakians offer Odysseus a ride home on their ships that are blessed by Poseidon so that they travel faster than any normal ship. The Phaiakians sail him to Ithaca very quickly, and leave him asleep on the shore. Poseidon is angry that the Phaiakians have helped an enemy of his, and so he turns their boat to stone, but spares their city because Zeus tells him to.When Odysseus wakes up, he thinks that he is not in Ithaca, but Athena appears to him in a disguised human form and tells him that he is. Odysseus lies to her when she asks him who he is and where he comes from. She then reveals himself to her, and praises and chastises him for his artful lying. Athena explains that Poseidons anger kept her from helping him more than she had. Odysseus sets up in a nearby cave, and Athena helps him become more deceptive by changing his appearance so he can travel in Ithaca unrecognized.
Chapter 14: Odysseus travels to the home of Eumaios, who was a loyal servant and pig shepherd for Odysseus. Eumaios offers him food and a place to stay, and proves his loyalty to the disguised Odysseus. Odysseus lies to Eumaios when asked who he is and where he comes from. He pretends to be a veteran of the Trojan War, on the Trojan side, who had troubles in Egypt. He even pretends that he has heard news that Odysseus has died. Eumaios doesnt quite believe Odysseus, but still treats him well, sharing what food and comfort he has.Odysseus asks for some clothing in a tricky way, by telling a story, and Eumaios willingly gives it to him and lets Odysseus sleep in his bed, while he sleeps with his pigs.
Chapters 15-16
Chapter 15: Meanwhile, Athena finds Telemachus in Sparta, and tells him that he needs to return to Ithaca. Telemachus asks Menelaus his host if he can leave, and Menelaus grants him permission after lots of gift-giving, and pomp and circumstance. Telemachus returns through Pylos, but avoids speaking with Nestor, who tends to be wordy. During the land trip, Telemachus meets a fugitive named Theoklymenos, who begs him for mercy and a safe place to reside. Telemachus is merciful and takes Theoklymenos with him on the return to Ithaca.
Meanwhile, Eumanios tells Odysseus his story. He used to be a prince, but he was kidnapped by his evil nurse and sold into slavery.
The story turns back to Telemachus, who has returned to Ithaca and has offered his home and food to Theoklymenos.
Chapter 16: Telemechaus visits Eumaios, and they greet each other like a father and son, since Eumaios served as a surrogate father when Odysseus was gone. Telemachus complains to Eumaios about his troubles with the suitors, and tells Eumaios to let Penelope know that he has returned from Pylos. When Eumaios leaves, Odysseus reveals himself to Telemachus, who first mistakes him for a god, but eventually they both reconcile and cry out of happiness.


Father and son plot how to deal with the suitors. Odysseus will enter his house in disguise, and when Athena finds the time opportune, they will kill the suitors.
The suitors, meanwhile, have been on a wild goose chase trying to ambush Telemachus, and have just returned. Dejected, Antinoos, the lead suitor, suggests that they still try to kill Telemachus, but the suitor Amphinomos suggests that they consult Zeus before they make a decision. Penelope learns of the plot and cries. Everyone goes to bed, safe for the time being.


Chapters 17-18
Chapter 17: Odysseus and Telemachus return to their houses separately in order to keep Odysseus identity concealed. Telemachus summons Theoklymenos, and Telemachus tells his mother of his travels in Pylos and Sparta, in flashback form. Eumaios is with Odysseus on the road to Odysseus house, where they meet a disloyal servant who treats them both poorly. Then, Odysseus old dog, Argos, recognizes his master, but dies the moment after.Odysseus reaches his home, still in disguise, and acts like a beggar. Most of the suitors treat him fairly well, but Antinoos, the lead suitor, mocks Odysseus and hits him. The other suitors are angry at his behavior.
Meanwhile, Eumaios informs Penelope about the strange beggar. Penelope summons Odysseus so she can talk to him.
Chapter 18: While the message is being relayed, a true beggar named Iros comes by the house and challenges Odysseus to a fight. Odysseus wins, and Iros is unconscious.Penelope decides to leave her room and go to the area of the suitors. She starts to play her waiting games again, talking of marriage but also of gift-giving. Odysseus is treated poorly by some of the suitors, and some of Penelopes servant women are sleeping with some of them. Eurymachos becomes very violent and throws a stool at Odysseus, but he and the rest of the suitors finally go home for the evening.


Chapters 19-20
Chapter 19: Odysseus and Telemachus take Odysseus armor that hangs from the wall, so that he can use it in the upcoming battle. He talks with Penelope, who does not recognize him, but she treats him well, and scolds one of her servants for not treating him well. When she asks who he is and where he comes from, he lies again. She tells him her story very bluntly, of how she tricked the suitors for three years by weaving a shroud that she would unweave each night. Odysseus tells her made-up information about Odysseus, and claims to have met him. Penelope tests him by asking him details about her husbands clothing, which he relates accurately, and she offers him her friendship. Odysseus hints to Penelope that her husband will return safely, but she has little faith. Penelope asks her only trusted servant, Eurykleia who was Odysseus nurse, to wash his feet. Eurykleia recognizes Odysseus but he silences her so she does not ruin his plans. The next day, Penelope tells Odysseus of a dream that she had. He interprets it as an omen that the suitors will all die. Odysseus and Penelope arrange a feast and an archery contest the next day. Penelope offers Odysseus a bed in the house so he doesnt have to sleep at the house of the pig shepherd.
Chapter 20: Odysseus has second doubts about killing all of the suitors, since he fears retaliation by their fathers and other relatives. During the preparations for the feast, Philoitios the cow shepherd meets Odysseus, treats him well, and is found to be a loyal servant.The suitors show up, and one of them, Ktesippos, is incredibly and openly violent. Theoklymenos, the man whom Telemachus saved from Pylos, begins to prophesy that the suitors will die. They laugh at him, but Theoklymenos leaves the house so he will not be killed.


Chapters 21-22
Chapter 21: Penelope begins the archery contest. She gets Odysseus bow, and promises that she will marry the suitor who best uses it. Telemachus sets up the targets, but he cannot string the bow. All of the other suitors fail as well, and do not hit any of the targets. Odysseus talks to Eumaios in another room, and reveals himself to the pig shepherd. Eumaios pledges his loyalty and willingness to help fight the suitors. Then Odysseus comes back to the archery contest, and asks if he can try to shoot the bow. The suitors threaten Odysseus, but Penelope demands that he be allowed to shoot the bow. The suitors begrudgingly agree, but they send Penelope away from the hall. Odysseus, since it is his bow, strings it easily, and shoots the arrow through all of the targets at once, as they are set in a straight line. The suitors realize that they are screwed, and Telemachus begins to draw his sword.


Chapter 22: Odysseus reveals himself, and the battle begins in earnest. Telemachus runs to get some armor while Odysseus kills with his bow and arrows. Melanthios, the disloyal servant, helps the suitors, but Odysseus ties him up. Athena helps Odysseus in the form of Mentor. These three kill all of the suitors, and do not accept any pleas for mercy. The only ones who are spared are ones who did not fight, the singer, and Medon, a loyal servant who hid during the fighting.Odysseus summons Eurykleia, who rejoices at the slaughter. He asks her to tell him which female servants have been loyal, and which have been disloyal, and the disloyal servants are killed along with Melanthios.
Chapter 23: Eurykleia wakes Penelope and tells her that Odysseus has returned. She doesnt believe the nurse, and when she meets him, their reunion is awkward. Odysseus proves his identity by describing in detail the structure of their marriage bed, and so she finally breaks down and asks for forgiveness. Odysseus tells her the story of his wanderings, and they make love for the first time in twenty years.


Chapter 24: The suitors, in the land of the dead, tell Agamemnon and Achilles about Odysseus killing them. Odysseus finds his father, Laertes, and the reunion is happy. Meanwhile, the relatives of the suitors plan revenge on Odysseus for their deaths. Both sides begin to gather warriors, but before they can fight, Athena comes down in a goddess form and forces a peace on both of the sides. So, Odysseus is restored to his home and has taken vengeance on the evil suitors
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