Odysseus: Novel Summary: Chapters 1-2
Chapter 1: After the Trojan War, all of the Greek men that had lived through the war had returned home to their wives and families except for Odysseus. Odysseus' journey has been made difficult by Poseidon, the sea-king, whom Odysseus offended. Odysseus is a prisoner of a goddess-fairy named Calypso, who wants Odysseus to be her husband. While Odysseus is in captivity, the other gods discuss whether Odysseus should be allowed to return to his home of Ithaca, and to his wife and son. Athena pleads with her father Zeus, the king of the gods, for Odysseus to be freed from his captivity. Zeus agrees with her, and allows Athena to go to Ithaca to help Odysseus' son deal with unruly suitors that wish to marry Penelope, Odysseus' bride.
Athena goes to Ithaca, and sees that the suitors of Penelope, thinking that Odysseus is dead, have abused the hospitality of his house. Telemachus, Odysseus' son, sees Athena but does not recognize her as a goddess, yet he warmly invites her into his father's house as a welcomed guest. When asked, Athena says that she is Mentor, an old family friend of Odysseus, and she cryptically tells Telemachus that Odysseus is alive, and motivates Telemachus' by prophesizing his return and punishment of the suitors. Athena as Mentor also urges Telemachus to grow up and leave his childhood behind, and leaves him in a god-like way, so that he knows she was a god in human form.
Telemachus speaks in very mature terms, and starts to direct his mother, and he also makes an announcement intended to rid his house of the gluttonous suitors. He warns the suitors that he will use violence if they do not leave of their own accord. Then Telemachus goes to bed, and thinks over the words of Mentor.
Chapter 2: Telemachus meets with the suitors in an assembly. Telemachus chastises the suitors for their rude behavior, but they accuse his mother Penelope of avoiding marriage by trickery. The suitors wish to marry Penelope so that one of them can be the new king and have Odysseus' possessions and power, but Penelope has avoided marriage because she believes that Odysseus is still alive. Then Antinoos argues that Penelope should be forced to choose another husband. Telemachus decides to take a ship and search a nearby area, Sparta and Pylos, to find information about his father. He is kept motivated by Athena, who appears as Mentor. Athena then helps Telemachus gather a crew that will be loyal to him, and not loyal to the evil suitors. They sail to Pylos.