Odysseus journeys far after the fall of Troy and endures many trials to save himself and his men. On their way home to Ithaca, they encounter the lotus-eaters, who give them lotus to eat to make them forget about home; the Cyclopians, the Goggles-eyes; Aiolos, manager of the winds, who gives Odysseus with a bag of winds to blow their ships home; the Laistrygoanian giants; the goddess Circe, who drugs his men, and later takes care of them; and the souls of the dead, who give them directions to reach home.
However, Odysseus fails in saving the life of his men from the wrath of the Sun-god when they killed and ate the cattle of Hyperion. He finds himself alone, imprisoned by the witch Calypso, who wants him to be her husband. The Gods pity him and orders Calypso to let him leave the island.
Meanwhile, the house of Odysseus is taken over by a crowd of suitors wishing to marry his wife Penelopeia, for they presume he is already dead. His son Telemachos watches in despair as they eat him out of his house and home.
Athena disguises Odysseus as a beggar and instructs him to seek out his old swineherd, Eumaios. With Athena's help, Odysseus reunites with his son. He reveals his identity only to his son. He devises a plan to overthrow the suitors with his help.