The Odyssey Short Summary

The Odyssey Short Summary
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The Odyssey is a poem by Homer that describes the events that occurred after the fall of Troy

A Brief Plot Overview

Some years have passed after the war with Troy that involved the Trojan horse. Odysseus, a Greek hero, has not yet returned to Ithaca his home. Most of the people believe he is dead. The poet, however, informs us that Odysseus is instead held captive willingly on an island by Kalypso, the goddess. Poseidon is angry with Odysseus and does not find a reason to assist him in getting back home.

In Ithaca, Penelope, the wife of Odysseus, has many suitors after her. Their son, Telemachus, currently a teenager, is visited by Athene, a goddess, and friend to Odysseus. She tells the boy to set out and look for news about his father. Telemachus goes to Pylos to King Nestor, who sends him to King Menelaus of Sparta.

When he gets to Sparta, Telemachos finds out that his father is alive and in captivity on the island of Kalypso. Menelaos tells him about how his brother King Agamemnon got murdered as he was getting home from Troy by Klytaimestra who was unfaithful to him with Aigisthos. Orestes, Agamemnon’s son, kills his father’s murderers. The story brings up the question of whether on return, Odysseus will get killed and then whether his son Telemachos will have to avenge his death. In Ithaka, the suitors of Penelope hatch a plan to kill Telemachos on his return.

Athene asks Zeus her father to command Calypso to release Odysseus and to have mercy on him. Zeus agrees, and later Odysseus leaves in a raft. Poseidon creates some storms that wash Odysseus in the shores of Phaiakia. Athene helps him by making Nausikaa, the princess of the landfall for him, who takes Odysseus to meet her parents. Odysseus tells the events since the Trojan War.

Athene disguises him as a beggar ensure his safety against the suitors. Odysseus shows himself to his son. While he is a beggar, he tries to convince his wife that Odysseus is coming home. Penelope decides to take matters in her hands and organizes a challenge to all suitors. Anyone who could string the bow of Odysseus and shoot an arrow through heads of twelve axes would win her. Everyone fails, but Odysseus in disguise steps up and does it. He reveals himself and the suitors are all killed. He reunites with his family, including his father. The parents of the suitors are furious and want revenge, but Athene vouches for peace and Ithaca becomes peaceful again.