- 1. Books 5-9 Summaries
By Erin Salona
2. Book 5: Calypso, the sweet nymph
Athena pleads to the gods and Zeus at Mount Olympus to release Odysseusheld captive by the immortal nymph Calypso
Calypso is the daughter of the Titan Atlas and was forced to live on the island Ogygia as a punishment for siding with her father and the Titans during the War of the Titans.
3. Book 5
Zeus sends Hermes, the wayfinder messenger god, to secure Odysseuss release
CalypsoboreOdysseus two children, Nausithous and Nausinos. Calypso is also called Atlantis.
Odysseus spends7 years with her.
4. Book 5
Calypso is found singing and weaving & many birds & plants surround her
Calypso promises Odysseus immortality if he stays with her
Hermes tells Calypso she must relinquish Odysseus
*This is the first time the reader meets Odysseus
He is found crying; he misses his home
5. Book 5
Odysseus told Calypso she was more beautiful than his wife, but he misses Penelope
Odysseus has lain with Calypso every night
Calypso feels insecure when Odysseus tells her this, and she warns him of the many dangers at sea he must face
Poseidon will make sea travel dangerous for Odysseus since he is upset with him
6. Book 5
Poseidon creates a storm and destroys Odysseus raft
Athena and another nymph help Odysseus arrive on the island of Sheria, home of the Phaecians.
After 20 days at sea,Odysseus lands on Sheria and falls asleep under a pile of leaves
7. Book 6: The princess Nausicaa
At night, Athena visits the Phaeacianprincess, Nausicaa, in a dream and urges her to wash her clothing.
When Nausicaa wakens, she takes a mule-cart and her maids, and they wash her clothing in pools by a river.
They spread the wet clothing along the beach, then wash themselves and play a game in the nude.
For once, femininity is not used for seduction
8. Book 6
Odysseus, naked himself, wakes up when he hears the girls.
He approaches them, but his dirty, wild appearance frightens all of them away but Nausicaa.
He asks if she is mortal or a goddess, and praises her surpassing beauty.
He asks for her help in directing him to town and providing him clothing.
Nausicaa gladly agrees, and directs her maids to tend to him. Odysseus is modest, however, and wants to bathe in privacy.
9. Book 6
Odysseus cleans up, with Athena making him even more handsome, and the maids give him food and drink.
Nausicaa directs him to walk behind her cart with her maids on the way to town, but warns him that if people in town see him with her, they will gossip that he is her future husband.
10. Book 6
Nausicaa asks Odysseus to hide behind some trees near the city wall when they enter, then to ask direction later to the palace ofher father King Alcinous.
There he will find her mother Arete, whom he should ask for help; if she likes him, she will help him home soon.
They head to town and pass Athena's grove, where Odysseus prays to Athena for hospitality from the Phaeacians.
11. Book 7: King Alcinous Palace
After he waits for Nausicaa to go to her father Alcinous palace, Odysseus makes his way alone and encounters Athena disguised in the form of a little girl.
Odysseus asks her for directions to the palace, and she leads him there while shrouding him in mist so no one can see him.
Odysseus needs Athenas protection, because unlike most Greeks, the Phaeacians do not like strangers.
12. Book 7
Odysseus meets King Alcinous and Queen Arete, Nausicaas parents.
King Alcinous asks Odysseus if he is a god
Odysseus shares some of his troubles
King Alcinous has a banquet for Odysseus and agrees to help arrive home
He offers Odysseus his daughter Nausicaa to marry if he will stay on the island
13. Book 8: The song of the minstrel
Demodocus, the blind minstrelsinger/ story-teller is called.
Odysseus asks him to sing a song about the Trojan horse (a song about himself)
Remember: nobody knows Odysseuss identity
14. Book 8
Demodocus sings about the fighting during the Trojan War
Alcinous demands to know Odysseuss identity
Homer ends the book in suspense.
15. Book 8
The legend that Homer was blind - generally discredited now - may have its roots in the appearance in this book of the blind bard Demodocus. Homer - and, apparently, those who believe Homer was blind - takes the idea that lack of visual sight leads to increased mental insight.
16. Book 9: The lotus eaters & the cyclops
Odysseus reveals himself to King Alcinousas Laertes son
Odysseus tells of his misadventures with his crew
This story is in flashback Odysseus tells it
After 9 days of drifting, they stop on the Land of the Lotus Eaters
17. Book 9
The lotus plant causes feelings of laziness and dreaminess
Odysseus sends 3 of his men to check out the land; they never return because they eat the lotus with the Lotus Eaters
Odysseus finds the 3 men and ties them under their boat benches.
He tells the others not to eat the Lotus or they wont want to go home
Odysseus makes his men leave the Lotus Eaters
18. Book 9
Odysseus and his men sail away
They land on the Cyclops island
Odysseus curiosity leads him to the Cyclops cave (the result of the encounter explains Poseidons anger toward Odysseus)
Odysseus and his men are sitting inside the Cyclopss cave around the fire when he comes inside.
The Cyclops has one eye in the center of his head
19. Book 9
The Cyclops leads his rams and ewes outside and covers the cave opening with a huge rock.
He milks his ewes.
He asks for the strangers identities
The Cyclops name is Polyphemus
Odysseus explains who they are and that they were blown off course
Odysseus tells him that he should be hospitable or suffer the wrath of Zeus
20. Book 9
The Cyclops says he is not afraid of Zeus and has more power than he does.
Odysseus says Poseidon broke up their ship (a lie)
The Cyclops picks up two of the men, bashes their brains in, and eats them!
Odysseus decides not to try and kill the Cyclops because they wont be able to leave the cave
21. Book 9
In the morning, the Cyclops eats 2 more men for breakfast!
He leaves his cave with his sheep and places the slab over the opening
The men make a 6 foot pointed stake while he is gone.
4 men & Odysseus decide to poke the Cyclops in the eye
22. Book 9
When the Cyclops returns at night and closes the cave opening, he eats 2 more men.
Odysseus gives him a bowl of strong wine
Cyclops asks his name & Odysseus replies Nohbdy
Cyclops falls asleep & the men put the stake in his eye
23. Book 9
Cyclops begins to wail & call for nearby Cyclopes
He calls out: Nohbdy tricked me, Nohbdys ruined me!
Of course, nobody helps the Cyclops.
Odysseus ties his men under the rams so they can leave the cave when the rams do
Cyclops pats each ram as it leaves but doesnt feel the men
24. Book 9
Odysseus yells out to Cyclops once he is on his boat.
The Cyclops throws a boulder in front of the boat.
Odysseus calls out his real name to Cyclops.
Cyclops throws another boulder which hits their boat and slows them down.
Cyclops asks Odysseus to come back so they can be friends.
25. Book 9
Odysseus goes too far when he tells the Cyclops that he would hurl him to hell (hubris)
The Cyclops calls out to his father Poseidon and asks him to prevent Odysseus from ever seeing his family and wishes that all of his men are killed on the journey.
26. Book 9 Commentary
The Polyphemus episode is important; we learn much about Odysseus as a leader - both his strengths and his flaws.
Odysseus is prone to rash decisions. First, he makes the mistake of wanting to meet Polyphemus even as his men warn him against it.
But he makes another error when he taunts Polyphemus not once but twice. This second mistake is what creates his problem with Poseidon, as he foolishly reveals his name and invites the wrath of the Poseidon, god of earthquake - and subsequently dooms his shipmates.