The Odyssey Books 13-15 Summary

     Book thirteen starts with the Phaecians giving Odysseus many gifts and returning him home safely to Ithaca. However, on their return home, Poseidon is angry that they helped Odysseus, so he turns their boat to stone and kills them. Odysseus is amazed to finally be home. He first encounters Athena there, in disguise, who helps him bring his gifts to a cave. After being gone for twenty years, Athena explains to him what has been going on in his palace. She tells him about the suitors who eat Odysseus's food and drink his wine while insisting that Penelope choose a new husband because Odysseus is most likely dead. She also informs him that Telemachus has gone on a journey in search of news about Odysseus. Then after revealing her true identity, she magically changes Odysseus's appearance to resemble an old beggar so that he can travel about without being recognized as he decides what to do next.

     In book fourteen Odysseus goes to visit a swineherd named Eumaeus at Athena's request. Eumaeus shows his hospitality by welcoming the stranger, feeding him, and giving him a place to sleep for the night. Odysseus inquires about the rumors Eumaeus has heard of his jouney and decides that this man would make a good ally.

     Book fifteen jumps back to Telemachus who has been staying with Menelaus. He receives words from a disguised Athena to return to Ithaca at once. He returns to his boat, thanks his hosts, and heads off for home. Meanwhile Odysseus still resides with Eumaeus though he tells him that he is considering heading to the castle to ask the suitors for provisions because he feels as though he is a burden to Eumaeus. Eumaeus tells him how mean and selfish the suitors are and that Odysseus must not go near them. He assures Odysseus that he can stay with him as long as he likes. The end of this section finds Telemachus landing back on Ithaca.

     In these books Odysseus completes his jouney home although he still has several trials he needs to face in order to resume his position as king. He questions the loyalty of his wife and needs to get rid of the suitors who have been using his provisions as if they were their own. Odysseus also needs to know whom he can trust to be on his side. He appears to have found a friend in Eumaeus and since his son has just returned to Ithaca, hopefully he will soon assist his father as well.

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