Odysseus follows Circe's instructions, digging a trench at the site prescribed and pouring libations of milk, honey, mellow wine, and pure water. He ceremoniously sprinkles barley and then sacrifices a ram and a ewe, the dark blood flowing into the trench to attract the dead. First to approach is Elpenor, one of Odysseus' men who died just before the crew left Circe's home. Elpenor had spent the last night in a drunken stupor on Circe's roofs, breaking his neck as he fell off when he arose at dawn.
He ceremoniously sprinkles barley and then sacrifices a ram and a ewe, the dark blood flowing into the trench to attract the dead.
Others are drawn to the blood: Analysis The journey to the Land of the Dead — where the dead "souls" receive reciprocity "Justice" — is not so much a test for Odysseus as it is an epiphany.
His mortality is put in context as he watches the shades of warrior comrades, legendary figures, and even his own mother.
Following instructions, he must speak with Tiresias, the blind seer from Thebes, before he can allow his mother or any others to approach. Drinking the blood temporarily revitalizes the dead; briefly they can communicate with Odysseus and speak only truth.
Tiresias observes that one of the gods, the earth shaker Poseidonis angry with Odysseus for blinding his son Polyphemus, the Cyclops and will cause Odysseus and his men many problems. However, Tiresias reports, the Greeks can get home alive if they use proper judgment and control.
Above all, they must not harm the cattle of Helios, the Sungod, no matter the temptation. Echoing the curse of the Cyclops 9. Furthermore, the prophet instructs Odysseus that he must eventually pursue yet another quest, carrying his oar inland until he meets a race of men who know so little about the sea that they think the oar is "a fan to winnow grain" At that place, Odysseus is to make certain sacrifices to Poseidon.
If he follows these and other instructions, Odysseus can live out his life and die in peace. The journey inland, however, takes place after the events told of in The Odyssey.
She tells him of his father, Laertes, who still lives but similarly grieves and has lost his will. In one of the most moving scenes in the epic, Odysseus tries three times to hold his mother but cannot because she is no longer flesh and blood. Agamemnon and Achilles, comrades of Odysseus at Troy, are among the many other dead who approach.
Agamemnon tells the story of his murder by his wife, Clytemnestra, and her paramour, Aegisthus, a story referred to repeatedly throughout the epic, effectively contrasting the murderous infidelity of Clytemnestra with the dedicated loyalty of Penelope.
His only solace is to hear that his son fares well in life. The dead flock toward Odysseus. He is overwhelmed and welcomes his departure, feeling that, whatever his struggles in life might be, he prefers them to residence in the Land of the Dead.
Glossary Creon king of Thebes, successor to Oedipus. Oedipus Abandoned at birth and raised by the king of Corinth, he unwittingly killed his father and married his mother.
Leda a queen of Sparta and the mother, by Zeus in the form of a swan, of Helen and Pollux. Crete an island in the Mediterranean off the southeastern coast of Greece.
Tantalus a king punished in Hades by having to stand in water that recedes when he bends to drink it and beneath fruit that ascends when he reaches to eat it.THE ODYSSEY TRANSLATED BY Robert Fagles. Book I Athena Inspires the Prince Why, Zeus, why so dead set against Odysseus?” “My child,” Zeus who marshals the thunderheads replied, rotting away on land or rolling down the ocean’s salty swells.
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The Land of the Dead Odysseus and his men sail to Aeolia, where Aeolus,46 king of the winds, sends Odysseus on his way with a gift: a sack containing all the winds except the favorable west wind. The shades of the dead (shades = ghosts) gather to drink the blood (gross) and then talk to Odysseus.
The first shade is Elpenor, freshly fallen from Circe's roof. Odysseus' eyes bug out when he sees one of his crew members—he weeps and listens to the man's story. The Achaeans sail from the land of the Cyclopes to the home of Aeolus, ruler of the winds.
Aeolus presents Odysseus with a bag containing all of the winds, and he stirs up a westerly wind to guide Odysseus and his crew home. Within ten days, they are in sight of Ithaca, but Odysseus’s shipmates.
Odyssey Book The Land of the Dead Characters Odysseus- protagonist, returning home Tiresias- blind prophet who warns Odysseus of his fate Elpenor- Odysseus' now deceased friend who was killed in .