Search: Quiz 5 (Fall 2018) Evaluation

One respondent received the maximum score of fifteen, and two, fourteen. The average for the quiz was 10. Here are the results:

Question Number who selected the
[best answer]
Number who selected [other
Eurycleia 11 [1] 2 [2], 4 [3], 4 [4]
Nestor 8 [4] 5 [1, one point], 1 [2, on point], 7 [3]
Telemachus’ companion 13 [2] 1 [1], 6 [3], 1 [4]
Arrival in Sparta 13 [2] 1 [1], 6 [3], 1 [4]
Telemachus learns 12 [1] 4 [2, two points], 2 [3, two points], 3 [4, one point]

Eurycleia was

1. A slave whom Laertes, Telemachus’ grandfather, had purchased when she was very young for twenty oxen. [3]
2.The slave who informed the suitors that Penelope was unraveling the winding sheet at night which she was weaving as a funerary shroud for Laertes. [0]
3. The daughter of Ops and Telemachus’ grandmother, who objects to Telemachus’ plans to travel abroad and seek information about Odysseus. [0]
4. A slave in whose guise Athena appears to comfort Penelope after she hears “her son’s uneasy words” and returns to her room. [0]

Eurycleia plays a significant role in the narrative especially when Odysseus returns to Ithaka. The first response was correct and worth three points. At her first appearance the poem refers to her as “a loyal slave” (1.462) and the daughter of Ops. We read in 429-433: “Laertes bought her many years before / when she was very young, for twenty oxen. / He gave her status in the household, equal / to his own wife, but never slept with her, / avoiding bitter feelings in his marriage.” Eurycleia, as we will see, is among the most devoted slaves. We learn in Odyssey 1 that “she was the slave who loved [Telemachus] most, since she had cared for him when he was tiny” (434-435). In Odyssey 4, Telemachus enlists her help when he is preparing to sail to Pylos and needs supplies from his father’s storeroom, where, “The double doors were locked and closely fitted. / A woman checked the contents, night and day, / guarding it all with great intelligence, / and that was Eurycleia, child of Ops” (345-348). Consequently, she did not reveal the ruse of Penelope to delay a decision about her marital status to the suitors. The first part of the third response was correct. Eurycleia was the daugther of Ops, but she was not his grandmother. We will meet Anticleia, his grandmother, when Odysseus consults with Tiresias among the shades of the dead in Odyssey 11. So far, Athena has only appeared in the guise of men: Mentes, Mentor, and Telemachus. At the end of Odyssey 4, Athena sends “a phantom looking like a woman, / Iphthime, child of great Icarius, / the wife of Eumelus who lived in Pherae. / She sent it to Odysseus’ house, / to make Penelope feel less distressed / and stop her tears of grief” (796-801).

At Telemachus’ urging, Nestor provides further information about what happened to Agamemon. Telemachus learns that

1. Agamemnon and Menelaus argued about whether to set sail immediately after the fall of Troy or first try to appease Athena’s wrath. [1]
2. Agamemnon had left a poet behind to protect Clytemnestra but Aegisthus had left the poet to “be eaten / by birds, abandoned on a desert island.” [1]
3. Aegisthus reigned in Mycenae with Clytemnestra for seven years until Orestes returned from Athens and killed Aegisthus and “his own hated mother.” [0]
4. Aegisthus “succeeded far beyond his hopes,” staying behing in Argos, seducing Clytemnestra, and killing Agamemnon upon his return from Troy. [3]

All four responses accurately reflected the events as depicted in the poem. The first referred to 2.130-156, when Menelaus and his followers set sail for their respective homes immediately after the fall of Troy and Agamemnon stayed behind to “sacrifice / to heal the sickness of Athena’s wrath.” Although this part of Nestor’s account does provide information about Agamemnon, it is not as current or relevant as what Telemachus later learns. Consequently, this response was worth one point. The second response refers to what Nestor tells Telemachus in lines 2.266-270 and was also worth one point. The third response described what happened after Agamemnon’s death and contained a quote from 2.310. Readers know that Aegisthus killed Agamemnon and might infer from this response that Aegisthus was the murderer. Hearing about these developments was important to Telemachus because of the comparison the poem makes between Telemachus and Orestes, but the response itself does not refer to Agamemnon at all and is, therefore, not worth any points. The fourth response quoted from line 275 and offered the most comprehensive, current, and relevant information for Telemachus and was worth three points.

To accompany Telemachus on his journey from Pylos to Sparta, Nestors sends

1. Thrasymedes. [0]
2. Pisistratus. [3]
3. Aretus. [0]
4. Stratius. [0]

Pisistratus was the correct response. The others were also sons of Nestor, whose names appear in 3.411-415, and in 3.465, the name of his oldest daughter, Polycaste, appears as well. We learn in 4.400-4001 that Pisistratus is “the only son / not living with a wife but still at home.” Nestor provides Telemachus with a carriage, two horses, and supplies for the next stage of his journey to Sparta. Here is how the poem describes his departure

Telemachus got in the lovely carriage;
Pisistratus, the son of Nestor, followed,
and sat beside him, taking up the reins,
and whipped the horses. Eagerly they flew
off for the open plain, and left the town (3.481-486).

At the time of Telemachus’ arrival in Sparta,

1. Menelaus “was sitting with his sons and companions, / putting the meat on spits and roasting it / for dinner.” [0]
2. Eteoneus, Menelaus’ guard, tells them to come back at another time. [0]
3. Menelaus and Helen were celebrating the wedding of Megapenthes, Menelaus’ son by a slave, to Alector’s daughter. [3]
4. Hermione, Helen and Menelaus’ daughter, was about to depart on a journey Phthia. [2]

The first response did not describe the setting when Telemachus and Pisistratus arrive in Sparta at the house of Menelaus but what was happening in Pylos at the house of Nestor. Including line 31, the passage is, “They reached the center of the town, where Nestor / was sitting with his sons and companions, / putting the meat on spits and roasting it / for dinner” (3.31-34). The second response was also incorrect. Although Eteoneus hesitates and consults with Menelaus about welcoming the visitors, he does not send them away. Both responses three and four accurately reflected events in the poem. Here are lines 1-12 of Odyssey 4.

They came to Sparta, land of caves and valleys,
and drove to Menelaus’ house. They found him
hosting a wedding feast for many guests
to celebrate his children’s marriages.
In Troy he had declared that he would give
his daughter to Achilles’ son, who ruled
the Myrmidons. Now he was sending her,
with dowry gifts of horse-drawn chariots;
the gods had made the marriage come to pass.
And he was welcoming a Spartan bride,
Alector’s daughter, for his well-loved son,
strong Megapenthes, mothered by a slave.

The third response was worth three points because it referred more precisely to the context of a wedding feast, and the fourth, only to Hermione’s journey to Phthia, not the reasons for her trip.

In Sparta Telemachus hears that

1. Proteus saw Odysseus “crying, shedding floods of tears / upon Calypso’s island, in her chambers,” where Calypso has trapped him without a ship and crew. [3]
2. Odysseus once infiltrated Troy in the guise of a “poor old beggar,” killed a number of Trojans, and “brought useful intelligence to tell the Greeks.” [2]
3. Odyssey prevented Menelaus, Diomedes, and Anticlus from speaking out and revealing their hidding place in the Trojan horse when Helen “put on different voice for each man’s wife.” [2]
4. Menelaus misses Odysseus more than any other of his companions because “no one labored like him.” [1]

All of the responses were correct. The first was worth more points because it directly addressed the reason for Telemachus’ trip to Sparta, i.e., to learn whether his father was still alive and, if so, his whereabouts. Menelaus provides him with the most recent information about Odysseus. The second and third responses were worth two points because they reveal attributes of Odysseus that foreshadow what will happen when he returns to Ithaka. The fourth response was worth only one point, because it primarily concerns Menelaus’ feelings about Odysseus.

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