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The Odyssey

Homer
Summary

Key Questions and Answers

Summary Key Questions and Answers

9) Why does Calypso allow Odysseus to leave her island?

Calypso allows Odysseus to leave her island because she understands that, despite Odysseus sleeping with her, his heart longs for his wife and home. At Athena’s request, Zeus orders Hermes to deliver orders to Calypso stating that “the exile must return.” Zeus even makes Calypso help Odysseus construct a raft to sail home. While Calypso is bitter, pointing out that the gods are “scandalized when goddesses sleep with mortals,” she has no choice but to obey Zeus’s commands. Five days after Hermes’s visit, Odysseus leaves Calypso’s island.