ODYSSEY CONTEXT QUESTIONS
References are to Books and line numbers so you can use this with any translation (quotes are from the revised Penguin translation by D C H Rieu).
VII.133-145: Patient, good Odysseus ……....up and down the hall.”
1) Explain the situation here. (6)
2) What is strange about Odysseus' action here? Why does he go against tradition? (4)
In what way has Athene interfered since Odysseus set forth on the shores of Phaeacia? 5)
3) What evidence is there to suggest that Phaeacia is a land of fantasy, and that it is not real? (10)
IX.259-272: "We are Achaeans…………… and he goes alongside them.”
1) What is the situation here? ( 6)
2) What irony is there in Odysseus' request for hospitality? (5)
3) Was Odysseus a good leader to his men?
Give examples from other incidents in the Odyssey as well as from this adventure. (8)
4) How does Odysseus extricate himself and his men from this dilemma? (6)
X.252-261: "My lord Odysseus…………………. watching."
1) Who is speaking and what has happened? (5)
2) How does Odysseus save his men? (6)
3) Why is it important to the story that Odysseus should meet up with this goddess? (5)
4) To what extent do you think that Odysseus is influenced by the women, divine or otherwise, in the Odyssey? (9)
XI.435-451 "Alas!" I exclaimed………That is how things should be. "
1) How does Odysseus come to be talking to Agamemnon? (5).
2) Explain how Clytemnestra's behaviour towards her husband is very different to that of Penelope towards Odysseus. (8)
3) What role do women play in the Odyssey? (12)
XXII.194-209: “A long, long watch for you, Melanthius, reclining all night on the soft bed that you deserve…….. You and I grew up together! "
1) What is the situation? (6)
2) Who is Melanthius and why does he deserve to suffer? Who else on Ithaca has been disloyal to Odysseus? (7)
3) Odysseus has waited a long time on Ithaca for this hour. Why do you think Homer has delayed the final crisis? (8)
4) What further problems will Odysseus face when the suitors are defeated? (4)
XXIV.315-326: "When Laertes heard this………… all their crimes. "
1) Describe the situation here. (6)
2) Why is Odysseus at first reluctant to reveal his identity to his father? (5)
3) How does Odysseus finally convince his father of his identity? (4)
4) Comment on the ending of this last book of the Odyssey. ( 10)
Original by E. Lockett based on the Penguin translation by E V Rieu (revised by Christopher Lillington-Martin based on the Penguin translation by D C H Rieu (2002).