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In Sparta, the king and queen, Menelaus and Helen, are celebrating the separate marriages of their son and daughter. They happily greet Pisistratus and Telemachus, the latter of whom they soon recognize as the son of Odysseus because of the clear family resemblance.
As they all feast, the king and queen recount with melancholy the many examples of Odysseus’s cunning at Troy. Helen recalls how Odysseus dressed as a beggar to infiltrate the city’s walls.
The following day, Menelaus recounts his own return from Troy. He says that, stranded in Egypt, he was forced to capture Proteus, the divine Old Man of the Sea.
Proteus also told him news of Odysseus—that he was still alive but was imprisoned by Calypso on her island.
Buoyed by this report, Telemachus and Pisistratus return to Pylos to set sail for Ithaca.
Meanwhile, the suitors at Odysseus’s house learn of Telemachus’s voyage and prepare to ambush him upon his return.
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