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Athena speaks on behalf of Odysseus, pleading with Zeus to free him from Calypso's grasp.
In disguise as an old friend of Odysseus', Athena travels to his manor in Ithaca, now overrun with noisy, lustful suitors intent on marrying Odysseus' wife, Penelope. Odysseus' son,Telemachus, unhappy among the suitors, greets Athena warmly as a stranger and invites her to their feast. As the suitors devour Odysseus' oxen, Telemachus says he believes his father - whom he does not know at all - is dead. Athena introduces herself as Odysseus' old friend Mentes and predicts that he will be home soon. He does not hold out any hope, however, and he and his mother remain helpless against the arrogant suitors. Athena instructs him to call an assembly of the islanders and order the suitors away; then he must sail away to find news of his father at Pylos and Sparta. After this, he must kill the suitors, as Orestes did. Inspired, Telemachus thanks her for her advice, and she leaves.