Western Civilization

The People v. Odysseus

Homeric Mock Trial of Epic Proportions

The People of Ithaca v. Odysseus


Due to a translator’s error of the original Homeric text, the facts have been skewed!  The suitors, while nearly fatally wounded, did not all die.  Those suitors who survived and the bereaved families of Ithaca are seeking their revenge in court against the cunningly deceptive and tenaciously violent Odysseus.

We will put Odysseus, the raider of cities and returned King of Ithaca, on trial for the following charges:

Charges:  Odysseus of Ithaca is charged with:

      • Breaking and Entering on the Island of the Cyclops

      • Assault with a deadly weapon

      • Murder in the First Degree


Primary Trial Roles will write a one page testimony to be prepared BEFORE THE TRIAL BEGINS.  These must be emailed to the bcchseurosquad@gmail.com address.  Each individual will present their testimony on the stand under questioning by the defense and prosecution (don’t simply read your testimony).

Secondary Trial Roles will serve as the “jury” for this trial, and therefore must be convinced by either the prosecution or defense of Odysseus’ fate.  You will take notes over the trial proceedings, the evidence presented in the speeches, and what you believe Odysseus’s fate should be now that the evidence has been presented.  You will vote for or against conviction based upon each of the charges listed.  You will then prepare a one page description of the evidence and a detailed description of the verdict and how you feel about this decision.  This will need to be emailed to the bcchseurosquad@gmail.com address BEFORE THE START OF THE NEXT CLASS SESSION.

Primary Trial Roles:


• Defense Attorneys (2-3)

• Odysseus, the Son of Pain and Pillager of Cities

• Penelope, mourning Queen of Ithaca

• Telemachus, intrepid Prince of Ithaca

• Athena, Goddess and Defender of the Achaeans

• The Shade of Agamemnon, King of Mycenae, murdered by his queen, Clytemnestra

• Eurynome, housekeeper to Penelope


• Prosecuting Attorneys (2-3)

• Polyphemus, cyclops and son of Poseidon, blinded by Odysseus

•  Poseidon, God of the Sea and inveterate enemy of Odysseus

• Antinous, leader of the suitors, suffering from multiple -- nearly deadly -- wounds

• Eupithes, father of Antinous, suffering from severe head wound at the hand of Laertes

• Eurymachus, co-leader of the suitors, suffering from multiple -- nearly deadly -- wounds

• Arnaeus (aka “Irus”), house beggar, assaulted by Odysseus

• Melantho, housekeeper and harlot to the suitors, hung by the throat until presumably dead, but narrowly survived

• Melanthius, disloyal goatherd, whose nose was cut, whose genitals were removed and fed to the dogs, and whose hands and feet were cut

Secondary Roles (if necessary):  Ithacan Members of the Jury