Telemachus had previously hidden most of the suitors' weapons in a room so they couldn't use them to fight back. Antinous was first to be killed by an arrow shot by Odysseus. Eurymachus tries to win all their lives back by offering gifts and laying the blame on Antinous, but there was no persuading Odysseus. There the battle began and Odysseus ordered all the doors to be locked so there was no escaping. Telemachus later summoned the cowherd and Eumaeus (the swineherd) for reinforcement.
Meanwhile, the goatherd, Melanthius, had been helping the suitors retrieve their weapons from the room where Telemachus had hidden them in. He was later avenged and wrapped in cord. From there, he was left to dangle and suffer in pain. Eumaeus then closed the weapon room so only they could go in. Athena comes back down as Mentor and tests their fighting spirit. The suitors try to attack Odysseus, but he ends up slaughtering them one by one, as they charged at him forcefully. Some of the suitors begged for forgiveness and to have mercy on them, but Odysseus did not. Only Phemius (the bard/entertainer) and Medon (the herald) were spared. When all the suitors had died, Eurycleia, the head nurse, summoned all the unfaithful women who were later slaughtered after cleaning the blood of the grounds. Also, Menlanthius too was cut down bit by bit. Eurycleia summons the loyal women who greeted their master (Odysseus) in tears. The nurses then bring sulfur and fire so the house would not smell of death.
1. Do you think that it was okay for Odysseus to kill all the suitors and show no mercy?
2. Why did Telemachus save two of the men?
3. Why did Odysseus kill some of the maids and all the suitors? Was that fair?
4. What gave Odysseus, Telemachus, the swineherd, and the cowherd so much courage to fight off all the suitors?
5. Why did they wait until Athena came to help them? Why didn't they just start fighting without her?
6.Why didn't Odysseus try to conceal the scar form the nurse?
Questions to think about...
1. How much influence to the gods have over men's lives?
2. How does Telemachus change over the course of the book?
3. Throughout the book, many seers and prophets see the future...Why doesn't the outcome change?
4. What are the obstacles that Odysseus encounters and what does he learn from each episode?
5. What specific roles do men and women play in ancient Greece and how have they changed?
6. What strong values are represented in th Odyssey and how have they evolved over the years?
7. Is Odysseus a hero?
Slaughter in the hall