The Odyssey Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. How many men does Odysseus lose to the Cyclops?

2. In Book 7, why does Athena cloak Odysseus in clouds on his walk to the palace?

3. Who killed Aegisthus for the murder of Agamemnon?

4. To which goddess does Odysseus compare Nausicaa in Book 6?

5. What is happening in Lacedaemon when Telemachus arrives?

Short Essay Questions

1. Enumerate Telemachus' problem - why has he called the leaders of Ithaca together?

2. Describe Nausicaa's character.

3. Why does Athene want to cause Odysseus suffering and pain when she prods the suitors to abuse him in his own house in Book 18?

4. How does a naked Odysseus ask for help among Nausicaa and the maids?

5. Why does Odysseus tell Polyphemus his true name?

6. Describe Poseidon's attack on Odysseus in Book 5.

7. In Book 3, what can be learned from the story of Agamemnon's murder since the reader is seeing it a second time?

8. In Book 23, Telemachus calls his mother's reaction to Odysseus cold and unfeeling. What does it reveal about her character?

9. What makes Eumaeus a loyal servant and friend?

10. Why is Poseidon still upset with Odysseus in Book 13? Why does he now seek vengeance against the Phaecians? What can they do?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Disguise is an important trick Athena uses to aid Odysseus.

1) Discuss the three different types of disguises she uses to hide Odysseus.

2) Discuss the kinds of disguises she uses for herself.

3) What is the significance of disguise to the entire poem?

Essay Topic 2

Odysseus is gone from home for a long time. He experiences more than most men. Dissect his journey and analyze its parts. Which part of his journey could he have changed easily and, thereby, returned home sooner? Why?

Essay Topic 3

Homer repeats that Zeus is the friend and patron of strangers and supplicants. Odysseus finds himself at the mercy of others with mixed success. One end of his trip he is cursed for defending himself when mercy isn't shown, and the other end of his trip he is sent home like a god. Why doesn't Zeus punish the cyclops, or why is Odysseus allowed to be punished?

(see the answer keys)

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