IB-B The Odyssey Books XIII-XXIV Exam

20 09 2010

Directions: Read the two passages below and spend a few moments organizing the outline of your essay. SL students, refer to the corresponding guide questions. Interpret each  selected passage in 500-750 words.

You are NOT allowed to search online and use your e-book in answering the exam. Internet connection will only be allowed in the last ten minutes of the session for emailing your paper (jnicolay@my.xs.edu.ph).



“Eat now, stranger, what we serving men are permitted to eat: young pigs, but the fattened swine are devoured by the suitors, who have no regard for anyone in their minds, no pity. The blessed gods have no love for a pitiless action, but rather they reward justice and what men do that is lawful.” – Eumaios to Odysseus


“Human beings live for only a short time, and when a man is harsh himself, and his mind knows harsh thoughts, all men pray that sufferings will befall him hereafter while he lives; and when he is dead all men make fun of him. But when a man is blameless himself, and his thoughts are blameless, the friends he has entertained carry his fame widely to all mankind, and many are they who call him excellent.”

Discuss the significance of Penelope’s lines, which she utters the evening before the bow contest; consider, what if reflects on a) the story and character and Odysseus and b) her thoughts on her long-lost husband at this point in the epic.



“You are so strange. I am not being proud, nor indifferent, nor puzzled beyond need. But I know very well what you looked like when you went in the ship with the sweeping oars, from Ithaka. Come then, Eurykleia, and make up a firm bed for him outside the well-fashioned chamber: that very bed that he himself built. Put the firm bed here outside for him, and cover it over with fleeces and blankets, and with shining coverlets.”


“Father, it was my own mistake, and there is no other to blame. I left the door of the chamber, which can close tightly, open at an angle. One of these men was a better observer than I. Go now, noble Eumaios, and close the chamber door, and see if it is one of the women doing this, or Melanthios, son of Dolios, which is what I think.”

Discuss the relevance of Telemachos’s admission of his mistake to his father. What does this detail tell us about the character development of both Telemachos and Odysseus in the story?




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