FIRST Odysseus leaves Penelope and Telemachus to fight in Troy. He does not return ten years later with the rest of the Itacans.
SECOND Odysseus and his men come to ban island in search of supplies. They send a search party to shore, but nobody ever comes back. When Odysseus and more men come ashore, they discover that the search party has been enchanted and manages to leave the island without losing anyone. Meanwhile, suitors begin arriving at Odysseus' house in order to attempt to marry Penelope.
THIRD Once again, Odysseus and his men come to an island in search of supplies. They enter the cave of the Cyclopes Polyphemus, not knowing the danger. Polyphemus traps them, and eats several men before Odysseus and other men escape by blinding the Cyclopes and hiding under the sheep. When leaving the island, Odysseus tells Polyphemus who is really is, and Polyphemus calls upon Poseidon to exact revenge upon Odysseus.
FOURTH Odysseus and his men arrive at Aeolia. Aeolius gives them a bag of winds to aid their way home. Some of the crew takes the winds from their hiding spot and releases them, causing the ship to be blown of course. Aeolus refuses to help Odysseus again.
FIFTH Odysseus and his men arrive at yet another island, where he loses two-thirds of his crew to the Laestrygonians (giants).
SIXTH Odysseus and his crew land on Circe's island. His men, who are nearly starving, eat ravenously when Circe first gives them food. Disgusted, she turns them into pigs. Odysseus has been given a plant to eat that will make him immune to Circe, and he confronts her. She tells him to go to the land of the dead and talk to Therisius.
SEVENTH Odysseus, following Circe's orders, descends to the land of the dead, and makes sacrifices in order to speak to Therisius. Therisius tells him that he will soon be the sole survivor of his crew, and will someday return to Ithaca, though his troubles will not stop there.
EIGHTH After freeing his men, Odysseus sails near the islands of Syclla and Charybdis. He, because of Therisius' prophecy, must choose to go along Syclla's shore, although it means losing six men. This prevents the entire ship from being destroyed by either Charybdis or Poseidon.
NINTH Odysseus and his remaining men land on Thrinakia, the island of Helios and his cattle. Upon landing, Odysseus warns his men not to touch or kill any of the cattle, no matter how hungry they may be. After he walks away, they conspire to kill a cow anyway. Helios kills them all except for Odysses, who is shipwrecked and alone at sea.
TENTH Odysseus somehow lands on the island of the sea nymph Calypso. Calypso traps Odysseus, and he is forced to be her toy for seven years, before the gods intervene and force Calypso to let Odysseus go. Meanwhile, Athena visits Telemachus and inspires him to search for Odysseus. He makes a deal with the suitors, and leaves Ithaca.
ELEVENTH After building his raft on Calypso's island, Odysseus sets sail. Poseidon proceeds to wreck his raft by sending a hurricane. He swims to the island of Phaeacia, where he meets the princess Nausikaa. She helps him to become a guest in her father's home. Alkinoos gives Odysseus a boat and helps him get back to Ithaca. Meanwhile, Telemachus visits Pylos and Sparta in search of word of his father. Athena later comes to him and tells him to go home.
TWELFTH Odysseus returns secretly to Ithaca, disguised as a beggar. He goes to his old servant, Eumaeus' hut.
THIRTEENTH After being told by Athena to return home, Telemachus, much like Odysseus, returns to Ithaca in secret. He also goes to the hut of Eumaeus.
FOURTEENTH When Eumaeus leaves to tell Penelope that her son is back (for Odysseus has not yet revealed his identity), Odysseus tells Telemachus who he is. Father and son make a plan to get rid of the suitors.
FIFTEENTH Once Eumaeus returns to his hut, Telemachus leaves to go home. Eumaeus is ordered to take Odysseus into town so that he can beg. Eventually, he and Eumaeus make it to the mansion, and Eumaeus enters first. Odysseus then enters. While begging, Odysseus gets into a fight with one of the suitors. Penelope, hearing of the guest in the house, asks him to come upstairs and tell her of any news about Odysseus. He refuses to come then, not wishing to anger the suitors, but says that he will come up at night, once all of the suitors are gone.
SIXTEENTH Later in the night, the suitors leave the house. Odysseus orders Telemachus to hide all of the weapons, and make sure that the women are unable to see or be a part of the fighting. He then goes to talk to Penelope.
SEVENTEENTH After setting the plan in motion, Odysseus tells Penelope what he 'knows' of Odysseus, pretending to be someone else. He is testing her to see if she is faithful.
EIGHTEENTH After Odysseus tells Penelope his 'story', she insists that he should be given a bath and new clothing. He declines all except for a foot-washing, and asks for an old servant to do it. Penelope summons Eurykleia, who, while washing Odysseus' feet, discovers a scar on his thigh and recognizes him. She wishes to tell Penelope, but Odysseus tells her not to ruin his plan, and to keep it secret for a while longer.
NINETEENTH The next morning, Penelope gathers the suitors and tells them that she has a task for them. She says that whoever can string Odysseus' bow, and shoot it through twelve axes can marry her. Telemachus first tries, not to marry her, and is about to get it when Odysseus gives him a sign to stop. All of the suitors attempt the task, but to no avail, and finally, Odysseus, still disguised as a beggar, asks to be given a try. Two servants who he has recently told of his identity help convince the crowd to let him try. He successfully completes the task, and the fight breaks out.
TWENTIETH Odysseus, Telemachus, and the two servants fight and kill all of the suitors, and servants who were not loyal to Odysseus while he was gone.