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Book 20 The Odyssey
Transcript of Book 20 The Odyssey
Odysseus asks for Zeus to send him a sign about his own future, and if he will the ruler of Ithaka again
"They've made me work my heart out till I drop, grinding barley. May they feast no more!'" (pg. 378 lines 133-134)
This foreshadows Odysseus' future of turning the suitors away from his home.
“Damnation and black night I see arriving for yourselves: no shelter, no defense for any in this crowd-fool and vipers in the king’s own hall.” (pg. 386 lines 411-414)
The suitors are invading Odysseus's home and to defend it, Eurymakhos yells at them. This is significant because it is starting to foreshadow the future. In this specific quote, Eurymakhos, the wise prophet, hints to the suitors that they will meet their death.
“His heart cried out within him the way a brach with whelps between her legs would howl and bristle at a stranger–so the hackles of his heart rose at that laughter (pg. 375 lines 14-17)
In this passage, Odysseus is witnessing women who work at his house go to bed with the hated suitors, which makes him intensely angry. The anger's effect on his heart is compared to a dog with little puppies trying to nurse; if this dog were approached by a stranger she would be unfriendly and vicious. Likewise, Odysseus feels the same vulnerability of a mother dog with puppies - his livelihood, home and wife are being threatened and his heart aches to defend them.
"His rage held him hard in leash, submitted to his mind, while he himself rocked, rolling from side to side, as a cook turns a sausage, big with blood and fat, at a scorching blaze, without a pause, to broil it quick: so he rolled left and right, casting about to see how he, alone, against the false outrageous crowd of suitors could press the fight" (pg. 375 lines 23-31)
Odysseus is so angry that he feels like he is being cooked in the heat of his rage and is being compared to. He feels helpless and desires to do something about the suitors, but also fears he cannot, making him feel like a helpless piece of meat being broiled.
“divine lady Artemis, daughter of Zeus” (pg.377 line 70)
“Telemakhos, clear-eyed as a god” (pg. 379 line 141)
“great-minded master” (pg. 382 line 263)
“Philoitios, chief cowherd” (pg. 383 line 278)
“daughter of Ikarios, Penelope” (pg. 387 line 431)
“pure Artemis” (pg. 377 line 80)
Odysseus is given a place to sleep on the floor, but cannot fall asleep because of his passionate anger towards the suitors as he hears the maids slipping from the house to sleep with the suitors. He also worries if he will be able to conquer the suitors and Athena appears next to Odysseus and tells him to sleep, assuring him that he will succeed with his plan over the suitors. Restrained by Athena who chides him for not appreciating all he has (wife, son, palace), he questions his ability to regain it all. She scolds him for his lack of faith in her and makes him fall asleep by “raining soft sleep on his eyes" (pg. 377 lines 61-62). Meanwhile, Penelope is also having a restless night, feeling desperate though cheered by a dream that Odysseus lay beside her. She prays to the goddess Artemis to kill her quickly so she can see Odysseus in the underworld, as she misses him terribly and believes him to be dead. When Odysseus awakes, he prays for a sign from Zeus and has his prayer answered with a thunderbolt. Odysseus has a nasty encounter with Melanthios, the goatherd, but is encouraged by loyalty of the cowherd Philoitios. The suitors have created a plan to kill Telemakhos, but a sign from an eagle and also Amphinomos prevents them. They gather to feast and abuse the beggar. At the feast, the suitors laugh uncontrollably, even after Theoklymenos predicts their doom.
Philoitios (the cowherd)
Theoklymenos (the seer)
Ktesippos (a suitor who abuses Odysseus)
The Odyssey Book XX
By: Priyanka Dutt, Sabine Ganezer, Jade Kaufman
1. Why is it, when Odysseus, Telemakhos and the suitors sit down to a feast together, that "Athena had no desire now to let the suitors restrain themselves from wounding words and acts" (pg. 384 line 312-314) and allows them to offend Odysseus?
2. Throughout this book, the suitors are compared to dogs: they are called "dogs" (376) and "insolent puppies" (380). There is also an epic simile in which Odysseus's heart "cried out to him the way a brach with whelps between her legs would howl..." (pg. 375 lines 14-17). How are characters in The Odyssey similar to dogs?
“Bestir yourselves! You have your brooms, go sprinkle the rooms and sweep them, robe the chairs in red, sponge off the tables till they shine” (pg. 379 line 167-181)
Telemakhos prepares for company by ordering his servants to do specific tasks.
“Now public heralds wound through Ithaka leading a file of beasts for sacrifice, and islanders gathered under the trees of Apollo in the precinct of the Archer…” (pg. 383 line 303-311)
This epic detail is describing how the people of Ithaka are preparing for a sacrifice.