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The Odyssey; Book 10
Transcript of The Odyssey; Book 10
The Bewitching of Queen Aeaea: Pages 230- 248, 18 pages
Book 10 Key Events
In this book we can see how selfish Odysseus can be by choosing to stay in Aeaea for a year instead of returning to his wife
Book 10 Vocabulary
Fawn: To display flattery or exaggerated affection
Haggard: Looking exhausted and unwell
Malinger:To pretend or exaggerate an illness to escape work
Mulling: Turning over information or an idea in one's mind
Sere: Poetic dry, withered
Squalls: Sudden gusts of violent wind
1. Odysseus and his crew end up on the island of Aeolia, the home of Aeolus
2. Aeolus gives Odysseus a bag of wind
3. Odysseus's men tear the bag expecting to find treasure
Book 10 Summary
After escaping the Cyclops, Odysseus and
his men end up at the home of Aeolus, the god
of winds. They stay there for a month before
wanting to go home. Aeolus gives Odysseus
the trapped winds in a bag, so the only wind that is present is the west wind, which pushes them all the way home in 10 days.
Book 10 Summary pt. 2
On the 10th day of sailing, Ithica is in sight of the men. Odysseus falls asleep, and the men believe Odysseus has treasure in the bag Aeolus gave him, so they open it, releasing all of the winds and pushing them out to sea, where Aeolus will no longer help them.
Book 10 summary pt. 3
After releasing the winds, the men land on the island of the Laestrygonian giants. The giants eat all of the men, leaving one ship remaining which is Odysseus's. the men escape to an island which is inhabited by the goddess Circe. The goddess eventually turns his men into pigs, and the only way Odysseus can save him and his men is with the help of Hermes.
5. What do Eurylochus and his band of men find when they reach Circe's palace? How does their discovery foreshadow what happens to them? What might be symbolic about this episode?
6. How do the men describe Circe's voice and hospitality? In what way is Circe comparable to the Lotus-eaters? What does she symbolize to the men?
7. What might be significant about the fact that Circe is weaving when Odysseus's men first encounter her? Where else have you seen examples of weaving in the story? What might it symbolize?
8. What directions and aid does Hermes give to Odysseus before he faces Circe?
6. After that they travel to the land of the Laestrygonians
7. Once they leave the land of the Laestrygonians they go to Aeaea, where they end up staying for a year
4. The wind in the bag creates a storm that sends them back to Aeolia
5. Aelous refuses to help them again
8. After escaping the island they go to Aeaea, home of Circe
9. Circe's drugs some of Odysseus's men turning them into pigs
10. Hermes gives Odysseus a special herb to protect him from the drug
Odysseus and his men both give in to temptation, his men do this when they open the bag looking for treasure but instead they unleash the winds
The longer they are away from home, the more Odysseus and his men are determine to return home
The temptations of Odysseus and his men make the trip home longer than it needed to be
Book 10 Answers
1. Aeolus is a king that Zeus made the god of winds. He gives Odysseus a bag with all the trapped winds besides the west wind, which is what they need to get home.
2. When the shores of Ithica are in sight, Odysseus falls asleep. His men then open the bag that Aeolus gave him in hope of finding treasure, but instead, they release all the winds and blow them all the way back to the middle of the ocean. To avoid looking like a
fool, he tells the Phaeacians that he
succumbed to "enticing sleep.
Book 10 answers
3. Aeolus refuses to help Odysseus again because he thinks the gods interfered and he didn't want to go against the gods.
4. The Laestrygonian giants are huge in stature like the cyclops. Neither of them have xenia because they both eat strangers. When Odysseus sends men off to explore the island, he is showing that he will sacrifice his men to quench his curiosity. When the men are escaping Polyphemus, he puts his men in danger by taunting him.
Book 10 Questions
1. Who is Aeolus, and what does he give Odysseus?
2. What happens on the 10th day of sailing, and what does Odysseus tell the Phaecians to avoid looking foolish?
3. Why does Aeolus refuse to help Odysseus the second time?
4. How do the Laestrygonians compare to the Cyclops? What does Odysseus's encounters with them reveal about his character and leader ship?
Book 10 answers
5. When the men arrive at Circes palace, they find lots of meek lions and wolves walking around. This foreshadows their transformation into animals and symbolizes Circes dominance and power.
6. The men said that Circes voice was "spell binding". The lotus plant is meant to forget all thoughts of home and the drug Circe uses is similar to that. Circe symbolizes temptation to the men because she can offer them "pleasure" instead of their pain and suffering.
9. How does Odysseus convince Circe to transform his men back into their human forms?
10.How does Eurylochus challenge his leader when Odysseus directs his whole crew to accompany him back to Circe's palace? How does Odysseus respond? What does this exchange reveal about Odysseus's leadership?
11. How long do Odysseus and his men stay with Circe, and what finally prompts Odysseus to leave ? What is surprising about the length of their stay? What does the length of their stay suggest about Odysseus's character
12. What does Circe advise Odysseus that he must do before he can return home? How does he respond to this news?
7. Weaving seems to symbolize deception and Trickery. Penelope tricked the suitors into leaving her alone for three years by claiming she needed to weave a burial shroud her father-in-law, and though she wove the fabric by day, she pulled apart her weaving by night. Weaving, disguise, and trickery are skills also associated with Athena, and Odysseus refers to "weaving cunning schemes " when he plots to deceive Polyphemus and escape his cave. Circe's weaving "her enchanting web" lulls Odysseus's men into a false sense of security that makes it easier for her to transform them.
8. Hermes gives Odysseus a drug that will him immune to Circe's potions and magic and explains exactly how Circe will try to ensure him. He advises Odysseus to threaten Circe with his sword once she realizes that he is immune to her power and not to reject her offer to share her bed; otherwise, she will never release his men from her spell. Most importantly, Hermes advises Odysseus to make circe swear that "she'll never plot some new intrigue to harm him".
9. Although he shares her bed, Odysseus is 'immersed in sorrow" and neither eats nor drinks while in Circe's palace. he tells her that no man could enjoy himself while his comrades were suffering and declares that he will not be able to enjoy her hospitality until he can look his men in the eye again.
10.Because Eurylochus witnessed Circe turn his men into pigs, he does not trust her and fears that this will be a repeat of the experience with the cyclops in which "hotheaded Odysseus" condemns more of his men to death. Although Eurylochus's criticism is valid, Odysseus is not used to being challenged and barely contains the desire to cut off Eurylochus's head, even though Eurylochus is his kinsman. Odysseus's behavior ironically confirms Eurylochus's criticism that he is too rash and hotheaded for a leader.
11. Odysseus enjoys Circe's bed and hospitality for a whole year and contemplates leaving only when his men plead with him to return to Ithaca: "Their urging brought my stubborn spirit round". It is surprising that Odysseus allows his voyage to be delayed for so long because he previously countered Circe's and the lotus-eaters' attempts to make his men forget their desire to return home. This inconsistency shows that Odysseus is also susceptible to temptation-in this case, the temptation of a seductive goddess.
12. Circe instructs Odysseus that he must travel to the underworld and perform an elaborate ritual sacrifice that will allow him to speak with the shade of Tiresias, the blind prophet. in order to do this, he will have to fend off all the spirits of the dead that will try to taste the blood from his sacrifice. Tiresias will tell him how to get home and will forewarn Odysseus of the challenges he has yet to face. Odysseus reacts to this news with uncharacteristic weakness and fear. He says Circe's words "crushed the heart inside him, "and feels "no desire / to go on living and see the rising light of the day" in the face of such an impossible task.
We think that this book is step six in the hero cycle. This step is "Tests, Allies, Enemies". Odysseus and his men go though many tests, like when the men are tested to trust Odysseus but they fail, thus releasing the winds and sending them out to sea. Odysseus and his men run into plenty of enemies in this book like the Laestronian giants. The closest thing they can consider an ally is Calypso.