THE ODYSSEY’S PLOT

The Odyssey starts in a very late moment of the story, with a first Council held by Olympic gods, in which Athena tries to persuade Zeus to make her beloved Ulysses, who is being retained by the nymph Calypso, come back home. Right after this council, Athena visits Ulysses’ son Telemachus and tells him to check whether his father is still alive or not. He will then sail to Pylos in order to meet with  king of the region Nestor, and after that, to Sparta to ask Menelaus, who will eventually give him some tracks about his father. While this is happening, Ulysses is retained in Calypso’s island Ogigia, where he has been living during seven long years. However, after the gods hold a second council, they decide to let him go home, and as a result, Calypso is forced to release Ulysses. He will then start a rough journey through the waves, as Poseidon got angry at him because he had left his son Polyphemus blind.

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Thetis Appeals to Zeus (1811) by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres.

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PENELOPE’S EVERLASTING SHROUD

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Max Klinger: Penelope weaving a shroud for Laertes

Penelope was Ulysses’ faithful wife, who waited patiently for his return from the Trojan War during twenty long years. Meanwhile, she was forced to deal with a bunch of opportunistic suitors who came from different regions of Ithaca aiming to become the next king of the island.

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