The Odyssey


Odysseus is returned in secret to Ithaca in a magically fast Phaeacian ship. Things have changed since Odysseus has been gone. Suitors are living in his palace, trying to get Penelope to marry them. Once in Ithaca, Athena appears to him, she advises him he disguises himself as a beggar. She tells him it is time to punish the suitors with his wits. Athena goes to Telemachus in his dreams telling him to hurry home, which he does. Telemachus and Odysseus are in the same house alone, and Athena appears and rids Odysseus of his disguise so Telemachus can see who he really is. Telemachus doesn't believe his eyes for a moment, but he realizes that it is indeed his father and they embrace and weep, thoroughly happy they are reunited. They devise a plan to take over their palace and rid it of all the disrespectful suitors. The Queen calls on the old beggar man ( Odysseus in disguise) and has her nurse tend to him. The nurse saw a scar that Odysseus had and instantly recognized him from that. He made her promise not to tell anyone, because he had a plan to take care of everything. Odysseus had Telemachus get all the weapons and hide them. The next day, Penelope told the suitors what the contest would be for her hand in marriage. It was to string Odysseus' bow and shoot the straightest at a target. The strongest suitor tried to string it, and failed. Many of the suitors tried stringing it, but none could. While this was happening, Odysseus had a swineherd close and lock all the doors that led out of the room the suitors were in. Odysseus, still in his disguise, asked for a turn at stringing the bow. They didn't want to let him but Telemachus had them give him a chance. Odysseus strung it without a hitch, which left the suitors dumbstruck. He called upon Telemachus to come by him and help him, and then they started killing the suitors.  The suitors tried to get weapons, but they were all gone, for Telemachus had taken them away. Odysseus revealed his identity to them while killing off the suitors. He and Telemachus finally slew all of them and the doors were opened. He bathed quickly and then went to the chamber of Penelope. They rejoice to be together again, but worry that the parents of all the suitors will be angry, but Athena makes them forget what happened to their sons and recognize Odysseus as their king.