True to his word, Odysseus returns to Aeaea for Elpenor"s funeral rites. Circe is valuable once more, giving supplies and warnings around the trip to begin the following dawn. First the Greeks must gain past the Sirens who irresistible songs attract sailors into their island"s coastal reefs. Following they must avoid the Clashing Rocks (called "Wandering Rocks" or "Rovers" in part translations), which just the ship of the Argonauts ever escaped.

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Choosing come go roughly the Clashing Rocks, Odysseus then must confront either Scylla or Charybdis. The very first is a six-headed monster lurking in one overhanging, fog-concealed cavern. She cannot be defeated in battle, and also she will certainly devour at least six that the Greeks, one for each of her hideous top that attribute triple rows the thickset fangs. No more than an arrowhead shot away is Charybdis, a monster whirlpool that swallows every little thing near it 3 times a day.

If the Greeks make it through these terrors, castle will satisfy the many dangerous test of all: the temptation that the island (Thrinacia) that the Sungod Helios. Every little thing they do, the seamen should not harm the sacred cattle of the sun. If they stand up to temptation, they can return house safely; if, on the various other hand, castle harm any sacred animal, the ship and men will be destroyed. Odysseus alone might survive, but he will certainly return home late and alone, a broken man. This critical caveat (12.148-53) echoes the curse of the Cyclops (9.590-95) and the prophecy the Tiresias (11.125-35). Circe"s warnings prove to be a foreshadowing the the true events.

Analysis

Loyalty and keeping assures are two of the highest virtues in Homer"s world. Despite the horrors that the floor of the Dead and also the relief of escape, Odysseus" very first thought is to go back to Aeaea to bury Elpenor"s corpse. The quick description the the funeral rites tells us that the body is shed on a funeral pyre, along with the warrior"s armor. The ashes are hidden in a mound topped through a monumental stone and the seaman"s oar the is "planted . . . Come crown his tomb" (12.15). The awareness is comparable to that of the seafaring warriors at the end of the Old English epic Beowulf, composed virtually 1,500 year later.

Like that of the Lotus-eaters, the section on the Sirens is surprisingly quick (fewer 보다 40 lines), considering that it is among the ideal known illustration in the epic. Once again, Homer has touched top top a global truth, mankind"s battle with deadly yet irresistible appeal. Circe"s solution is realistic and also simple: Odysseus" guys stop their ears with beeswax. Discovering Odysseus and 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 come the mast of the delivery and, as soon as he pleads to be collection free, come tie him more securely. For any type of man that goes too close come shore, she warns, "no sailing house for him, no wife climbing to meet him, / no happy children beaming up at their father"s face" (12.48-49). Therefore warned and protected, the crew survives temptation, return Odysseus is virtually driven mad by his desire to send to the Sirens" call.

Getting previous Scylla and Charybdis calls for ultimate leadership on the part of Odysseus. Not only must he exercise proper judgment, but he must also recognize that, also if things go well, the still loser six an excellent men. Following Circe"s advice, he avoids the whirlpool (Charybdis) and tries the side of the six-headed monster (Scylla). Against his instincts, he pushes v the monster"s assault without stopping for a fight, establish that delay would only cost him much more men. He loses the six 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, floor of the Sungod Helios. Odysseus desires to bypass the island due to the fact that of Tiresias" prophecy and Circe"s warning. However, his males are tired and hungry. In addition, the night sea is especially dangerous. Eurylocus speaks because that the crew and also begs Odysseus come land ~ above the island so the the men deserve to rest and also prepare a ideal meal. He assures Odysseus the they have actually plenty of offers onboard and also that, therefore, Odysseys need not worry around his men raiding the island or harming the sacred cattle. Arguably showing more compassion 보다 leadership, Odysseus gives in.

Initially, the decision appears benign. Over there is many of food and drink board ship. However for one entire month, the crew is stranded due to a lack of favorable wind. The ship"s stores run low. Odysseus goes inland to pray for aid from the gods yet falls right into a deep sleep, simply as that did as soon as approaching Ithaca through the ok winds had in one ox skin pouch. And, as they walk on that chance (10.39 ff.), his guys revolt. Led by Eurylochus, castle slaughter the ideal of the sacred livestock of the Sungod, ironically going v with a sacrificial ceremony, make libations through water due to the fact that the wine is gone.

The gods space not appeased through the sacrifice, and also Zeus self is outraged but waits because that vengeance till the delivery sets sail a mainly later. As quickly as floor is out of sight, Zeus sends out a monstrous storm the destroys the vessel and also kills all the men, sparing just Odysseus. Easily making a raft the the mast and keel, Odysseus survives the vortex the Charybdis and also struggles ashore ten days later at Ogygia, the island the Calypso. There he is held captive because that the following seven years.

Glossary

Argo ship the the Argonauts.

Hera sister and wife of Zeus.

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Jason captain of the Argo and leader of the Argonauts in pursuit of the gold Fleece; husband of Medea.