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. What announcement does Telemachus make to the suitors of his hall in Book 1?

2. Where did Nestor last see Odysseus?

3. Penelope learns about the suitors' plan for Telemachus from a page, but what does she learn from her sister's phantom?

4. Which word best describes Odysseus' initial reaction when Calypso offers to help him in Book 5?

5. When sadness grips the feasting in her hall, causing Menelaus and his visitors to cry in remembrance of friends lost in Troy, what does Helen do to the wine?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does the story of Ares and Aphrodite teach?

2. Is the ending satisfying to readers? Why or why not?

3. Even though Poseidon acknowledges Odysseus's fate, he continues to punish him. Why?

4. What does Nestor tell Telemachus of Odysseus during Telemachus' visit in Book 3?

5. In Book 17, why does Telemachus sit amongst Odysseus' old friends when he returns home?

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

7. Why do the rest of the men (aside from the suitors) gathered at the assembly fail to speak or act in Book 2?

8. How is Odysseus discovered by the maids of Phaecia?

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

10. What are the suitors' fears now that Telemachus has escaped their plot in Book 16?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

Evaluate Odysseus as hero. Is he a worthy hero or is he too selfish? Use evidence from the text to support your position.

Essay Topic 3

The Odyssey contains a dark side; Odysseus faces many monsters, a witch, and the underworld. What do these elements symbolize and why are they important for Odysseus to experience? Use the text to support your answer.

(see the answer keys)

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