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Book XX. The Odyssey. A Night. Odysseus lies in his bed outside the entrance to Penelope’s home, not falling asleep Athena asks why he is wakeful, and he replies by saying that he worries because he is only one man

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book xx

Book XX

The Odyssey

a night
A Night
  • Odysseus lies in his bed outside the entrance to Penelope’s home, not falling asleep
  • Athena asks why he is wakeful, and he replies by saying that he worries because he is only one man
  • Athena reassures him by telling him that she will guide him so that he will be able to defeat 50 men
  • Penelope doesn’t sleep well either that night and prays to Artemis to die rather than to marry one of the suitors
  • While praying, she sees a vision of Odysseus and she cries out, waking Odysseus
  • He then asks Zeus for a sign
  • Zeus hears this and releases a wave of thunder
  • A working woman hears this thunder and prays that it is the last night serving the suitors
  • Odysseus hears this sign and feels better
the next day
The Next Day
  • Telemachus goes to Eurykleia asking how the quest has been taken care of
  • Telemachus accuses his mother of leaving the beggar to sleep outside
  • But, Eurykleia explains that the beggar would not take a bed
  • Telemachus demands that the house be cleaned before the suitors arrive
melanthios again
Melanthios, Again
  • Melanthios comes again and starts taunting Odysseus again
  • Odysseus remains silent, but his anger rises
  • Philoitios, a cattle herder, arrives and welcomes Odysseus as a friend
  • He wishes Odysseus luck because he reminds him that Odysseus may be in rags in some other land
  • He also tells Odysseus that the life of a cattle herder is very difficult, especially with all the suitors whom he would like to attack
the suitors gather
The Suitors Gather
  • Odysseus reassures Philoitios by swearing in the name of Zeus that Odysseus will return
  • As the suitors gather, Philoitios and Eumaius repeat Odysseus’s pledge and speak about the plot against Telemachus
  • As they start to sit together and eat, Telemachus sits next to Odysseus and tells him that he will protect him from the suitors
  • While cows are being sacrificed in Ithica, Athena wants to offend Odysseus more…
  • Athena inspires one of the suitors, Ktesippos to throw a cow hoof at Odysseus, but he misses
  • Telemachus says that Ktesippos is lucky to have missed
  • Agelaus, another suitor, tells everyone that the beggar (Odysseus) that he should not be harmed, but that it is certain that Odysseus will not return and Penelope will have to remarry
  • Telemachus replies that he will not impede on her marriage, but he will not force it
more arguing
More Arguing
  • Athena then makes all the suitors laugh uncontrollably
  • Theoklymenosthen warns all the suitors that he has seen them dripping with blood
  • Eurymachus says that Theoklymenos is dumb and must be excused from the house.
  • As Theoklymenos leaves, he gives one final warning of the suitors future damnation, and leaves
  • The suitors try to provoke Telemachus, but he ignores them
  • And while all this is happening, Penelope has silently watched what each person had said