The general relation between the First and Second Books is to be grasped at once. In the First Book the main fact is the Assembly in the Upper World, together with the descent of the divine influence which through Pallas comes to Telemachus in person, gives him courage and stirs him to action. This action is to bring harmony into the discordant land. In the Second Book the main fact is the Assembly in the Lower World, together with the rise of Telemachus into a new participation with divine influence in the form of Pallas, who sends him forth on his journey of education. We behold, therefore, in the two Books a sweep from above to below, then from below back to the divine influence. Earth and Olympus are the halves of the cycle, but the Earth is in discord and must be transformed to the harmony of Olympus.
Looking now at the Second Book by itself, we note that it falls into two portions: the Assembly of the People, which has been called together by Telemachus, and the communion of the youth with Pallas, who again appears to him at his call. The first is a mundane matter, and shows the Lower World in conflict with the divine order—the sides being the Suitors on the one hand and the House of Ulysses on the other. The second portion lifts the young hero into a vision of divinity, and should lift the reader along with him. Previously Pallas had, as it were, descended into Telemachus, but now he rises of himself into the Goddess. Clearly he possesses a new power, that of communion with the Gods. These two leading thoughts divide the Book into two well-marked parts—the first including lines 1-259, the second including the rest.