True come his word, Odysseus return to Aeaea because that Elpenor"s funeral rites. Circe is helpful once more, giving supplies and also warnings about the journey to start the following dawn. An initial the Greeks must obtain past the Sirens who irresistible songs entice sailors into their island"s seaside reefs. Next they have to avoid the Clashing Rocks (called "Wandering Rocks" or "Rovers" in some translations), which just the delivery of the Argonauts ever before escaped.

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Choosing come go roughly the Clashing Rocks, Odysseus climate must confront either Scylla or Charybdis. The first is a six-headed monster lurking in an overhanging, fog-concealed cavern. She can not be beat in battle, and she will certainly devour at the very least six of the Greeks, one because that each of she hideous top that feature triple rows of thickset fangs. No much more than an arrowhead shot away is Charybdis, a monster whirlpool that swallows everything near it 3 times a day.

If the Greeks make it through these terrors, they will accomplish the most dangerous test of all: the temptation that the island (Thrinacia) of the Sungod Helios. Everything they do, the seamen need to not damage the sacred cattle of the sun. If they stand up to temptation, they can return home safely; if, ~ above the various other hand, they harm any kind of sacred animal, the ship and men will certainly be destroyed. Odysseus alone might survive, yet he will return house late and alone, a broken man. This last caveat (12.148-53) echoes the curse the the Cyclops (9.590-95) and also the prophecy the Tiresias (11.125-35). Circe"s warnings prove to it is in a foreshadowing that the true events.

Analysis

Loyalty and also keeping promises are 2 of the greatest virtues in Homer"s world. In spite of the horrors of the land of the Dead and the relief that escape, Odysseus" very first thought is to return to Aeaea to ask Elpenor"s corpse. The quick description of the interment rites tells us that the body is melted on a funeral pyre, together with the warrior"s armor. The ashes are hidden in a mound topped through a monumental rock and the seaman"s oar that is "planted . . . To crown his tomb" (12.15). The consciousness is comparable to the of the seafaring warriors at the finish of the Old English epos Beowulf, composed virtually 1,500 years later.

Like the of the Lotus-eaters, the ar on the Sirens is surprisingly short (fewer than 40 lines), considering that it is just one of the finest known episodes in the epic. Once again, Homer has actually touched top top a global truth, mankind"s struggle with deadly yet irresistible appeal. Circe"s systems is realistic and simple: Odysseus" guys stop your ears v beeswax. Understanding Odysseus and also she does, Circe realizes that his intellectual curiosity have to be satisfied; he needs to hear the Sirens" song. The solution is to lash him to the mast the the ship and, once he pleads to be collection free, to tie him an ext securely. For any kind of man who goes also close to shore, she warns, "no sailing residence for him, no wife rising to fulfill him, / no happy kids beaming up at their father"s face" (12.48-49). Hence warned and protected, the crew survives temptation, although Odysseus is virtually driven mad by his desire to submit to the Sirens" call.

Getting previous Scylla and also Charybdis calls for ultimate management on the part of Odysseus. Not only have to he exercise appropriate judgment, yet he must likewise recognize that, also if things go well, the still loses six great men. Adhering to Circe"s advice, he prevents the whirlpool (Charybdis) and also tries the side of the six-headed monster (Scylla). Versus his instincts, he pushes v the monster"s strike without avoiding for a fight, establish that hold-up would only price him much more men. He loses the 6 to a writhing death, the most heart-wrenching experience for Odysseus in all his wanderings.

The last test of judgment in Odysseus" wanderings takes place at the island that Thrinacia, land of the Sungod Helios. Odysseus wants to bypass the island since of Tiresias" prophecy and Circe"s warning. However, his men are tired and also hungry. In addition, the night sea is specifically dangerous. Eurylocus speaks because that the crew and begs Odysseus come land on the island so that the men have the right to rest and also prepare a ideal meal. The assures Odysseus that they have plenty of gives onboard and that, therefore, Odysseys require not worry around his males raiding the island or harming the spiritual cattle. May be showing an ext compassion 보다 leadership, Odysseus offers in.

Initially, the decision appears benign. There is plenty of food and also drink plank ship. However for one whole month, the crew is stranded because of a lack of favorable wind. The ship"s stores operation low. Odysseus goes inland to pray for help from the gods however falls into a deep sleep, just as that did once approaching Ithaca v the okay winds contained in an ox skin pouch. And, as they go on that occasion (10.39 ff.), his males revolt. Led through Eurylochus, they slaughter the best of the sacred livestock of the Sungod, ironically going v with a sacrificial ceremony, making libations with water since the alcohol is gone.

The gods space not appeased by the sacrifice, and also Zeus self is outraged however waits because that vengeance until the ship sets sail a main later. As quickly as land is out of sight, Zeus sends a monstrous storm the destroys the vessel and kills every the men, sparing just Odysseus. Conveniently making a raft that the mast and also keel, Odysseus survives the vortex that Charybdis and also struggles ashore ten days later at Ogygia, the island of Calypso. There he is organized captive for the next seven years.

Glossary

Argo ship the the Argonauts.

Hera sister and wife of Zeus.

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Jason captain of the Argo and also leader that the Argonauts in pursuit of the golden Fleece; husband the Medea.