In the previous section, Odysseus told the story of
his travels and his imprisonment on Calypso’s Island.
After hearing Odysseus’s tale,
King Alcinous urges everyone to give him gifts
and arranges for a ship to take him home.
They sail out, and before reaching Ithaca, Odysseus falls asleep.
The sailors unload Odysseus on the shore,
and sali away, leaving Odysseus to wake up alone.
At first, he doesn’t recognize Ithaca.
And he worries he’s been tricked again.
Athena appears in the form of a young shepherd boy,
and tells Odysseus where he is.
He gets emotional knowing he’s finally home,
but he chokes back his emotion.
He doesn’t recognize Athena.
So he hides his identity and
tells this elaborate lie about how he killed a guy,
and now he’s a fugitive.
Athena reveals her true form.
She says she helped him to get home,
and now she’s going to help him with his new trial,
killing the suitors.
She transforms Odysseus, so no one will recognize him.
And tells him to go find one of his servants, the swineherd,
while she goes to Sparta to call Telemachus home and
warn him about the ambush the suitors have planned.
Odysseus goes to the hut of the swineherd Eumaeus.
Eumaeus doesn’t recognize him, and as they talk,
he says over and over how much he misses his master.
But Odysseus doesn’t reveal his identity.
Instead he tells another elaborate lie.
Making up a whole life story that
ends with him being enslaved by sailors.
Meanwhile, Athena goes to Sparta and finds Telemachus.
She tells him to get back to Ithaca at once.
She warns him about the ambush of his ship,
the suitors are planning, and how to get around it.
When he arrives home,
he should go straight to the swineherd’s place,
and spend the night there.
When Telemachus reaches Ithaca,
he goes to see Eumaeus,
and he sees Odysseus there,
still disguised as a beggar.
Telemachus asks Eumaeus to go to his mother
and let her know that he’s alright.
Eumaeus leaves, and Athena removes Odysseus as disguise.
Telemachus doesn’t know who he is at first.
Since he was just an infant
when Odysseus left for Troy twenty years ago.
Initially he doesn’t believe Odysseus
when Odysseus reveals his identity.
But Odysseus convinces him.
And they have a happy tearful reunion.
Telemachus provides Odysseus with some details about the suitors.
He counts a hundred and eight of them, plus servants.
And father and son plot the revenge.
That night the suitors gather in Odysseus’s palace for dinner.
They saw Telemachus earlier when he went home to see his mother.
They realized he’s made it past the ambush.
Now Telemachus is there.
And Odysseus still in disguise and Eumaeus both show up.
Odysseus goes around to the suitors begging for scraps,
and he gets into an argument with one named Antinous,
who gets angry and throws a chair at him.
Odysseus gets into a few more confrontations
before the night is over.
Once the suitors have gone home for the night,
Odysseus tells Telemachus to lock up their weapons and armor,
which they always leave at Odysseus’s palace.
That way, when he takes his revenge,
they’ll be defenceless.
Penelope comes down to speak to the stranger,
in hope that he has some news about Odysseus.
He makes up a story about meeting Odysseus
when Odysseus stopped at his house on the way to Troy.
He says he saw Odysseus not long ago,
and he knows Odysseus is on his way home.
The next day,
the suitors gather for another feast in Odysseus’s palace.
While they’re eating and drinking,
Penelope announces that she’s finally going to choose a man to marry.
And she proposes a contest to determine who it’ll be.
Each of the suitors must string Odysseus’s bow,
and shoot an arrow through 12 lined-up axes.
The man that can do it will be her husband.
A few of the suitors try to string the bow,
which involves flexing it into the proper shape,
and then getting the string in place to hold it taut.
But none of them are strong enough to do it.
Odysseus asks for a turn.
The suitors object that at first, but they finally give in.
Odysseus strings the bow at ease,
and he fires an arrow straight through all 12 axe handles.
Without warning, Odysseus leaps up,
and shoots the suitor Antinous through the throat.
Then he reveals to the suitors who he is.
Chaos erupts through the hall
as Odysseus picks them off one by one.
Odysseus tells Telemachus, the swineherd Eumaeus,
and the cowherd who was nice to him,
to run to the storeroom and bring back armor and weapons.
The men returned with the equipment.
But one of the suitors sneaks out
through a smoke duct in the wall,
and brings back equipment for the suitors.
A huge melee breaks out.
奥德修斯 忒勒马科斯 欧迈俄斯及牧牛人
And Odysseus, Telemachus, Eumaeus and the cowherd
fight until they’ve slaughtered all the suitors.
When all the suitors are dead,
Odysseus has Eurycleia round up the disloyal servant women,
who were sleeping with the suitors.
He makes them clean the hall, and when they’re done,
Telemachus and the two herdsmen march them outside and kill them.
Eurycleia tells Penelope that Odysseus has returned.
And Penelope goes downstairs and finds Odysseus in the great hall.
She doesn’t believe it’s him at first.
He looks like her husband,
but it’s been twenty years since she last saw him.
She tests him by asking Eurycleia to bring the bed
out of their bedroom in front of him.
Odysseus speaks up immediately,
saying it’s impossible to move the bed.
He covered it himself from a large olive tree
that grew out of the floor.
And he built the walls of the bedroom around it.
Penelope is convinced, she runs to Odysseus and embraces him.
She says she worried that some impostor
had come claiming to be her husband.
But now he’s home at last.
Odysseus says he has to sail out once more
to plan out far inland in order to appease Poseidon.
But once that’s done, they’ll have peace.
They go to bed,
and Odysseus tells her everything he’s been through.
The next morning Odysseus goes to see his farther Laertes.
Laertes doesn’t recognize Odysseus at first,
and Odysseus makes up another story,
calling himself man of strife from Romer town.
But eventually he reveals who he is,
and he and his father hug and cry.
They go inside and sit down to a feast
with Telemachus and the herdsmen,
as well as some friends of Laertes.
The families of the suitors have found out about
the slaughter at Odysseus’s palace.
And they formed a mob to get revenge on Odysseus.
They show up at Laertes’s farm,
and threaten Odysseus and the others.
Athena shows up in the form of mentor.
And Laertes spears the leader of the mob through the head.
All hell is about to break loose.
But Athena stops everyone and commands them to be civil.
The families leave, and Odysseus feels he has peace at last.
For more information about The Odyssey,
check out The Odyssey SparkNote