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English 9
Name: ______________________________
Date: _______________________________
The Odyssey Book 11: The Land of the Dead
Reading Notes (lines 584-658)
1. Vocabulary. A “heifer” (line 585) is a young (female) cow.
2. Vocabulary. “Assuage” (line 590) means to satisfy or comfort.
3. Vocabulary. “Brazen” (line 596) means made of bronze. (This period in Greek history is called
the Bronze Age because bronze was their favorite metal for weapons and other tools. Bronze is an
alloy of copper and tin.)
4. Who does Odysseus sacrifice the ewe and lamb to? _____________________________________
5. What does the blind (and dead!) prophet Teiresias (the prince of Thebes) want (and maybe need) to
do before he can “speak true” to Odysseus?
6. Mythology. Who is “the god who thunders on the land” (l. 621)? __________________________
7. Mythology. Who owns the cattle on Thrinakia? ______________________ What is he the god
of? _________________
8. Who do you think these “suitors” (line 640) are whom Teiresias prophesies that Odysseus will
have to kill? __________________________________________________________________
In your own words: Where will Odysseus need to go to make a final sacrifice if he wants to live
to a rich old age?
10. How many meters do you think are in a hectometer? ____________________
Odysseus’s Character
Thinking about why Odysseus journeys to the Underworld and about the risks that come with that
journey, what does this episode reveal about Odysseus’s character?