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Summary Book XXIII

Book 23
Eurycleia informs Penelope of Odysseus' return and tells of his deeds, but Penelope remains suspicious lest the stranger be some other or a god (but not her husband). Odysseus bids Phemius play wedding music so that the suitors' kin will not suspect the slaughter but will think, rather, that Penelope has chosen a husband. When Odysseus has bathed, Penelope, still aloof, tests him by suggesting that his bed be moved. Odysseus, however, knows the bed he built is immovable for he constructed it around an olive tree which serves as a bedpost. Thus, Penelope recognizes and accepts her husband. He relates the adventures yet in store for him, prophesied by Teiresias, and they retire to their bed where they relate their histories. In the morning, Odysseus wakes his three supporters and leads them to the house of his father, Laertes, in the country.