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Summary Book IV

Book 4
In the evening of the fifth day, they arrive at Menelaus' palace, where his daughter's wedding is in progress. Menelaus is amazingly wealthy but unhappy over the fates of the heroes of Troy. His wife, Helen, recognizes Telemachus by his resemblance to Odysseus and pours a potion into the wine to ease the grief of all. She tells a story about Odysseus in Troy; Menelaus answers with a tale of Odysseus' cunning while in the wooden horse. The next morning Menelaus tells how Eidothea, a sea-nymph, daughter of the sea-god Proteus, helped him escape the island of Pharos, where he was stranded: in seal-skins for disguise, following her instructions, Menelaus and his men trapped and held fast Proteus, who could assume any shape. Proteus was forced to tell Menelaus his destiny, with information about other heroes, including Agamemnon and Odysseus. Back at Ithaca, the suitors learn of Telemachus' trip and plan an ambush at the island of Samos. Penelope hears of their plot, but Athena in a dream assures her of her son's return.