The Odyssey

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The Odyssey

Reading Comprehension Questions Part 1

Part 1
1) Where is Odysseus located at the poem’s beginning?
2) What is a muse? And why is Homer asking the muse to, “sing in me?” 3) Who is lord Helios?
4) What did Odysseus’ men do to lord Helios?
5) Who is Odysseus’ father?
6) Where is Odysseus from? (What city is his home?)
7) Who is Calypso? Who is Circe of Aeaea?
8) What did Circe do to Odysseus?
9) Who were the Cicones and what does it sound like Odysseus did to them? What did they do to him and his men in return? 10) After Odysseus’ men (The Achaeans) left the island of the Cicones, how many of them had been killed? 11) How does Odysseus come to the shores of the Lotus eaters? 12) What happens to those who eat the honeyed plant, the Lotus? 13) How does Odysseus get his three men back from the clutches of the Lotus? 14) Write the description that is provided in the book about the Cyclops? 15) What does prodigious mean?

16) When they come ashore on the island of the Cyclops, Odysseus brings his 12 best fighters and something else, what is it? 17) Odysseus and his best men climb into the Cyclops cave and find what? Explain what “kids” and “whey” are. 18) What does the Cyclops swing “high overhead” to block the entrance to the cave? 19) What does Odysseus mean when he says, “…as custom is to honor strangers? We would entreat you, sir, have a care for the gods’ courtesy; Zeus will avenge the unoffending guest.” 20) What does the Cyclops mean when he says in response to Odysseus, “We Cyclopes care not a whistle for your thundering Zeus or all the gods in bliss; we have more force by far.” 21) When the Cyclops asks, “Tell me, where was it, now, you left your ship,” Odysseus lies and tells him that Poseidon, god of the ocean, sank it. Why does Odysseus do this? 22) What does the Cyclops do to Odysseus’ men immediately after this? 23) After the Cyclops goes to bed, Odysseus thinks about killing him by stabbing him with his sword, “…where the midriff holds the liver.” What reason does he have for abandoning this idea? 24) After the Cyclops has gone to sleep, Odysseus notices an olive tree that’s fallen over and been, “left to season.” What do he and his men do to the tree? 25) After they finished with the olive tree, where did they hide it from the Cyclops? 26) Where was the Cyclops while they were working on the olive tree? 27) What does Odysseus offer to the Cyclops to have with his dinner? What does it do to the Cyclops? 28) The Cyclops asks for Odysseus name and he tells him that it’s, “Nohbdy.” Why is this important and how does it help Odysseus and his men escape? 29) After the Cyclops goes to bed on the second night, what do Odysseus and his men do with the olive tree? 30) Who is the Cyclops father?

31) Odysseus and his men tie themselves to the belly of the Cyclops’s sheep in order to escape. Why don’t they just run past the Cyclops since he’s blind anyway? 32) What do Odysseus’ men take from the Cyclops and load on to their ships?

33) Examine the following lines:
“as far off shore as shouted words would carry, I sent a few back to the adversary:”
Why do you think the words “carry” and “adversary” rhyme even though they’ve been translated from Greek to English? 34) Once Odysseus and his men make it to sea, what does Odysseus do that angers the Cyclops? Why does he do this? 35) As it turns out, what did the Cyclops know about Odysseus long before he ever showed up? 36) Who is the “god of earthquake?”

37) After the Cyclops asks Odysseus to come back and offers to treat him well, what does Odysseus shout in reply? 38) Using the answer to the question above, explain what kind of man Odysseus is. 39) Who is the “blue girdler of the islands?”

40) When the Cyclops prays to the “blue girdler of the islands” what does he ask? 41) After he finishes praying, what does the...
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