- Published: January 31, 2022
- Updated: January 31, 2022
- Level: Bachelor
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A Summary of The Odyssey: Book 20 Odysseus is lying down to sleep with the robe that was thrown over him by Eurynome but he is having trouble sleeping as he stops himself from killing the suitors, who cavort with women in their own beds. He becomes angrier when he hears these women laughing as they slip out arm in arm with the suitors but he still tries to restrain himself. Then, Athena appears to him and he asks her how he would defeat them when he was all alone. Athena consoles Odysseus and sends him to sleep, assuring him that he will be safe with her protection.
Odysseus is able to go to sleep but at the same time, Penelope wakes up and cries heavily. She prays to Artemis, asking to be killed so that she could be with Odysseus in the Underworld. Penelope’s cries wakes up Odysseus, who prays to Zeus to give him a sign, and was reciprocated with a bang of thunder from Zeus. Odysseus asks for another sign and this time, one of Odysseus maids asks that this be the suitors last day. These signs were enough to encourage Odysseus to avenge himself on the suitors.
Telemakhos gets up and the house springs to life as he puts on his full array. Eurykleia tells the maids to clean the house and fetch water for a feast day. Men went inside, bringing firewood, while the swineherd brings pigs, and the goatherd and two shepherds bring goats. Melanthios insults the beggar, who is actually Odysseus, but Odysseus restrains himself from fighting back. Philoitios was much kinder as he extends a warm welcome to the beggar saying that he reminds him of his master, Odysseus. Philoitios mentions that he also wants the suitors to be gone because they were making excessive demands on his cattle. The beggar tells him that Odysseus will soon come to kill them and to this, Philoitios replies that Odysseus can count on his help.
Meanwhile, the suitors plot to kill Telemakhos, when an eagle with a dove in its talons flies by and so they drop the plan. Telemakhos seats Odysseus alone and warns the suitors to keep their hands and tongues to themselves. However, Athena prompts the suitors to continue abusing Odysseus and so Ktesippos throws a cow’s foot which did not hit Odysseus. Telemekhos becomes angry and threatens Ktesippos and the other suitors. The suitors conceded and agreed not to make fun of the beggar anymore. Then, Agelaos tells Telemakhos to talk with his mother and encourage her to marry one of them. Telemakhos says that he does encourage his mother but cannot force her. To this, the suitors burst out with laughter. Then, Theoklymenos the visionary tells them that there is a gloom among them and is thus responded to with more laughter.
Finally, Penelope comes down for the meal.
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