After ten days of sailing, the Greeks are so close to home that they can actually see men tending fires on their island. There, a blind bard named Demodocus sings of the quarrel between Odysseus and Achilles at Troy.
Hermes visits Odysseus in a human disguise, and gives him an herb called Moly that turns the pigs back into men. He can turn it on and off; he has self-restraint, and acts appropriately at all times.
Book 8 The next day, Alcinous calls an assembly of his Phaeacian counselors.
Odysseus easily wins the discus toss and then challenges the Phaeacian athletes to any other form of competition they choose. The games include the standard lineup of boxing, wrestling, racing, and throwing of the discus. As soon as he sees the queen, he throws himself at her feet, and the mist about him dissipates.
Though Alcinous asks the stranger his name, he has likely already guessed it. Broadsea, another champion, taunts Odysseus, claiming that he must not be skilled in athletics. He talks to Nausicaa, who teasingly reminds him that he owes her his life.
Tragically, they release all the adverse winds and are blown back to Aeolus. In it are captured all the winds that might drive the ships off course. Analysis Judgment is once more a crucial problem as the Greeks very nearly get home to Ithaca only to see their goal vanish in a storm.
Demodocus performs again, this time a light song about a tryst between Ares and Aphrodite. Then he joins Alcinous at the table.
Persephone queen of the underworld. Then she strikes them with her wand and turns them into swine, driving them into her pigsties. His report to Odysseus stirs the always admirable courage of the leader, who immediately sets out alone to attempt rescue.
Poseidon now has a vengeance against Odysseus, and this will make his journeys difficult. Though Hephaestus is similarly cunning, his physical weakness disqualifies him from glory, so the gods laugh at him instead of praising him. Only Poseidon can convince Hephaestus to free Ares.
The wind god refuses to help them further. Summary Analysis At dawn, Athena in the guise of Alcinous gathers people to the meeting grounds. King Alcinous again notices and stops the music. Once Athena has delivered Odysseus to the palace, she departs from Scheria to her beloved city of Athens.
When Hephaestus found them he cried out in anguish and all the gods gathered at his house, laughing at the unusual sight. Alcinous calls on the twelve peers of his kingdom to gather fine parting gifts for Odysseus. Circe tells him that he needs to visit the land of the dead before he can return to Ithaca.
Circe, a beautiful but dangerous goddess, keeps enchanted animals that used to be men. He asks Odysseus at last to tell him who he is, where he is from, and where he is going.
This angers Odysseus, and he agrees to compete in the games.
Odysseus and his men leave the cave by clinging to the bellies of sheep. Everyone listens with pleasure except Odysseus, who weeps at the painful memories that the story recalls. The events unfold as Hermes predicts, and life is good for Odysseus and his men for the next year as they feast and drink.
The crew eventually wants to move on and convinces Odysseus to resume the journey home. Though it benefits Odysseus to keep his identity hidden for the time being, it is honorable to weep for his dead comrades: Athena, back from Athens, ensures attendance by spreading word that the topic of discussion will be the godlike visitor who recently appeared on the island.A summary of Books 7–8 in Homer's The Odyssey.
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Odysseus: Novel Summary: ChaptersFree Study Guides and book notes including comprehensive chapter analysis, complete summary analysis, author biography information, character profiles, theme analysis, metaphor analysis, and top ten quotes on classic literature.
The Odyssey study guide contains a biography of Homer, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. Start studying The Odyssey: Books 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 Test + Essay Qs.
Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. Summary Having escaped the Cyclops, Odysseus and his men arrive at the home of Aeolus, master of the winds, where they are greeted warmly and hosted for a month.
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