Name Period. The Odyssey Study Guide - Part 2

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1 Name Period The Odyssey Study Guide - Part 2 The Return of Odysseus 1. How did the POV change from Part 1 to Part 2? In what way does that change the story? 2. Since the very beginning of the book, Odysseus has struggled for what primary purpose. That is, what has his goal been from the beginning? What cultural value does this represent? 3. Consider your answer to the question number two. What do you think Odysseus would say to his son as a lesson (theme) regarding your answer to the first question? 4. How long has Odysseus been on his quest? Consider how long Odysseus was engaged in the Trojan War, as well as how long his journey has been. 5. Odysseus, disguised by Athena as a beggar, appears to his son, a young man who was an infant when his famous father sailed away to Troy. In lines , Odysseus confronts Telemachus. What do these lines suggest about the way Greeks responded to the presence of a god? What does it imply about the way Greek people saw the way the gods interacted with man? The Odyssey Reading Guide Page 1

2 6. What is ironic about the disguise Athena chooses for Odysseus? Explain the irony and how it might play into any lesson Odysseus has not yet learned. 7. When he finally arrives home, what situation awaits Odysseus (lines )? Use evidence in the form of a blended and cited quote to support your claim. 8. Summarize Odysseus plan to make sure the suitors have no armor (lines ). 9. Odysseus warns Telemachus to tell no one of their plan, including Penelope, Odysseus wife. Why does he do this (lines ). Does Penelope deserve this treatment? Think back on Odysseus encounter with the shade of his mother in the land of the dead. What is the irony here? The Odyssey Reading Guide Page 2

3 Argus 10. Who is Argus? What is his story? Considering his individual story, what Greek cultural value does he represent? The Suitors 11. Describe Antinous actions towards Odysseus, both during the time Odysseus is disguised and before his return home. What Greek cultural value has Antinous abused? Based on Greek culture, predict what will happen to him for this abuse. 12. In line 1213, Antinous refers to Odysseus as a nosing rat. What figurative language device is this and what does it imply about Odysseus. What is the dramatic irony in this scene? 13. In line1228, Antinous throws a stool at the beggar. What is the response of the beggar? Did anyone seem to notice? What do we know, that is emphasized by this interaction, that the suitors do not? What literary device is this? The Odyssey Reading Guide Page 3

4 14. Why does Antinous become so angry with the beggar (lines )? Compare and contrast Odysseus perspective on physical force with Antinous perspective. 15. What driving character trait does Penelope demonstrate at the end of this scene (lines )? Use evidence in the form of a blended and cited quote to support your claim. Penelope 16. Penelope describes her years of pain to the beggar in lines What has caused her this pain? Is she still in love with Odysseus? Use evidence in the form of a blended and cited quote to support your claim. 17. What ruse did Penelope employ to keep from marrying one of the suitors? What traits does this reveal about her character? What does this imply about what ancient Greek culture valued in women? The Odyssey Reading Guide Page 4

5 18. The ruse worked for years, but eventually it was discovered. Who discovered Penelope s ruse? What could be their possible motivation? 19. Clarify what makes the test of the bow so difficult? What does it say about a heroic trait of Odysseus? For students who wish a challenge extra credit for the nextfive questions Read: Penelope and her Guest from the Fagles Edition Book 19: lines and lines Also read Book 21: lines and lines and then answer the following questions. 1. Eurycleia, Odysseus old nurse and Penelope s servant, recognizes Odysseus. How? In what was is his name connected to this? 2. Odysseus urges Eurycleia not to tell anyone what she has discovered. Thinking about women and how they interact, do you think Eurycleia kept her knowledge from Penelope? Use evidence in the form of a blended and cited quote to support your claim. The Odyssey Reading Guide Page 5

6 3. Why does Penelope ask advice from the beggar about marriage? What is the meaning of Penelope s dream about the geese? (lines ) 4. Why does Penelope announce the contest with the bow at this point? Hint: you will need to read the lines indicated in Book 21 to fully understand this question. 5. And now the big question: does Penelope recognize Odysseus during Book 19? If so, is it on an unconscious or conscious level? Use evidence in the form of a blended and cited quote(s) to support your claim. The Odyssey Reading Guide Page 6

7 The Challenge 20. What figure of speech does Homer use to describe Odysseus stringing his bow (lines )? What does this imply about how the Greeks felt about music? Connect this to what you have learned in history about Athens, Greece. Odysseus Revenge 21. Read lines What literary device does the author employ here? What is its effect on the audience? Is this justice or revenge? 22. Summarize the argument Eurymachus uses in lines to try to save his own life and the lives of the other suitors. Is his argument valid? Why or why not? What Greek heroic trait does it go against? Should Odysseus kill all of these men? Explain your reasoning. The Odyssey Reading Guide Page 7

8 23. In lines , what figure of speech, beside imagery, does Homer use to describe the carnage in the hall? What is being compared here? How does this use of imagery affect the way you feel about Odysseus? Is Odysseus heroic in this scene? Explain your reasoning. Penelope s Test 24. Penelope tests Odysseus to make sure he is really who he says he is (lines ). What is this test? Why does this test, sting him? 25. Is it acceptable for Penelope to test Odysseus? What character trait does it establish about her? 26. Reread lines To what does Homer compare the way that Odysseus has longed for his wife? What does this simile suggest about the relationship between Odysseus and Penelope? What does it suggest about the ancient Greek concept of love? The Odyssey Reading Guide Page 8

9 27. Who do you think faced greater hardships, Odysseus or Penelope? Defend your answer with evidence from the text. 28. Evaluate the character of Odysseus. Compare and contrast his traits over the course of the poem. Is he dynamic or static? What lessons did he learn? What was his most difficult lesson? What were his strengths, his weaknesses? In your opinion, is he a hero?. The Odyssey Reading Guide Page 9

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