The Odyssey.

Essay by xplicitmastaHigh School, 10th gradeA+, November 2003

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The Odyssey, written by Homer, is a book that tells the tale of one man's journey home. Ten years have passed since the fall of Troy, and Odysseus still has not returned to his kingdom in Ithaca. A large mob of suitors who have overrun Odysseus's palace continue to court his wife, Penelope. She has remained faithful to Odysseus. Telemachus, Odysseus's son, wants desperately to throw them out but does not have the confidence or experience to fight them. Unknown to the suitors, Odysseus is still alive. Calypso has imprisoned him on her island. Zeus sends Hermes to rescue Odysseus from Calypso. Hermes persuades Calypso to let Odysseus build a ship and leave. Odysseus sets sail, but when Poseidon finds him sailing home he sends a storm to wreck Odysseus's ship. Athena guides Odysseus to the home of the Phaeacians. They promise to give him safe passage to Ithaca.

Odysseus describes the chain of events leading up to his arrival on Calypso's island. When he finishes his story, the Phaeacians return Odysseus to Ithaca. Athena disguises Odysseus as a beggar. He soon encounters Telemachus and reveals his true identity. Odysseus and Telemachus make a plan to kill the suitors and regain control of Ithaca. When Odysseus arrives at the palace the next day, still disguised as a beggar, he receives abuse and insults from the suitors. The only person who recognizes him is his old nurse, Eurycleia, but she swears not to tell anyone of his secret. Penelope takes an interest in this strange beggar, suspecting that he might be her long-lost husband. Penelope organizes an archery contest and promises to marry any man who can string Odysseus's great bow and fire an arrow through a row of twelve axes--something that only Odysseus has ever been able to...