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The Odyssey Book IX
Transcript of The Odyssey Book IX
their ground to the Ciconians and sailed off. But Zeus sent a "norwester" to slow them down. Odysseus and his men managed to get to shore
and stayed there for two days. When the storm started to end, they set
sail again. Odysseus says that as he was approaching cape Malea, , he could have made it back home if it hadn’t been for the current and the wind, which drifted him outside Cythera For nine days they were “beaten about on the sea by foul winds.” On the tenth day, they landed in the land of
the lotus eaters. Some men made contact with the natives, who gave them lotus to eat. The lotus tasted so good the men decided
not to come back and just stay to eat lotus. Odysseus forced the men to come back
to the ship and tied them up. Odysseus ordered the rest of his men to leave, fearing they would eat the lotus and not want to return home. They sailed on in "low spirits." Odysseus and his men then traveled to the land of the Cyclopians, a "violent and lawless tribe." The Cyclopians only had laws for their own family and didn't care for the other Cyclopians. The nymphs sent down goats as meals for Odysseus and his men. The men got their weapons from the ships and split into 3 groups to hunt the goats. At the next dawn, Odysseus told the men he was going to take a ship and crew to see who the inhabitants of the island were. They soon reached the cave of a "monstrous man," the cyclops Polyphemus. Odysseus went in with 12 of his best men and a goatskin of ruby wine. Odysseus got the wine from the priest of Apollo, Maron Euanthides, for saving him, his wife, and his child. Maron Euanthides gave Odysseus a dozen jars of wine in return. The men walked into the cave and found the cyclops tending his flocks of goats. The men lit a fire inside the cave, helped themselves to the cyclops' cheeses, and waited for him to return. Polyphemus came in and threw down his dry wood, scaring Odysseus and his men into a corner Polyphemus then blocked the doorway with a massive stone and soon saw the men Polyphemus asked who they are and Odysseus answered, asking the giant to respect the gods and help them. Polyphemus responded cruelly that he didn't fear the gods because he and the Cyclopians were stronger than them. Odysseus though Polyphemus was bluffing and continued, saying his ship was wrecked by Poseidon. Polyphemus jumped at the men, grabbed two, ate them, then lay among his sheep. At dawn, Polyphemus grabed two more men and eats them. Odysseus cut off a piece of a long spar, sharpened it,and planed to have 4 men stick it into Polyphemus’ eye while he was sleeping At evening, Odysseus gave Polyphemus a cup of his wine as another offering and said he has more on his ship The giant loved the wine and beged for more, offering “a stranger’s gift which will make you happy.” Odysseus gave him two more drinks. Odysseus said his name is Noman, and the giant says that Noman’s “stranger’s gift ” is that he will be the last one eaten, but Polyphemus soon passed out from the wine. Odysseus put the pole in ashes to grow hot, then he and his men drew the hot pole into Polyphemus’ eye and twisted it around to burn it. The giant screamed and the men fled in fear. The other Cyclopians heard the scream and gathered around the cave. However, they didn't help Polyphemus because Odysseus blinded him by craft, not force. Polyphemus moved the rock away from the door and tried to catch anyone who tries to escape. Each man hid under a group of 3 goats. Polyphemus felt only the top of the goats as they passed through, taking the men with them. The men drove the goats to their ships and Odysseus mocked Polyphemus and criticized him for eating his own guests. Polyphemus threw the peak of a rock in front of the ship, which made a splash big enough to carry them back to the land Odysseus’ men advised him not to mock the giant again, but Odysseus ignores them and tells the giant his real name. Polyphemus revealed that a soothsayer named Telemos Eurymedes prophesied he would lose his sight to the hands of Odysseus, but he expected a “Tall handsome fellow” that was “clothed in mighty power.” Polyphemus tried to call Odysseus back, but Odysseus refused, saying he wish he could kill the cyclops and send him to hell. Polyphemus prayed to his father Poseidon that Odysseus never reaches home. Polyphemus then hurled another rock at the ship, barely missing it, and it created a huge wave that propelled them towards the island shore. END