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Odysseus' Journey Timeline
Transcript of Odysseus' Journey Timeline
When Odysseus arrives at Erebos, the house of Hades, he prepares a sacrifice as Circe advised in order to bring Teiresias to him to discuss their journey home. He directs the men about how to get past Scylla and the Sirens. Among other oracles, Teiresias also predicts “ ‘Death shall come to you from the sea, death ever so peaceful shall take you off when comfortable old age shall be your only burden, and your people shall be happy round you. That which I tell you is true’ ” (126). It is comforting to Odysseus to learn that the journey of his life will someday come to an end but it will be after he is home and aged. Ogygia
On the island of Ogygia, the nymph Calypso held Odysseus captive for seven years in her cave. Odysseus could always be found crying and lamenting about being away from his family. Athena brought this situation to the attention of Zeus, which he responded by telling his messenger “ ‘Hermes, you are my messenger, and here is an errand for you. Go and declare to Calypso our unchangeable will, that Odysseus shall return after all his troubles’ ” (62). When Hermes commands Odysseus be released, Calypso knows she must obey and help Odysseus on his way because she knows that it is Zeus’ plan to get Odysseus home. Phaiacia
Upon Odysseus’ departure from Ogygia, Poseidon causes a troublesome situation. Odysseus has to take the advice he is given from a goddess which helps him land on the island of Phaiacia. When he eventually gets to the palace of King Alcinoos and his wife Arete, they promise to get him home to his people. Odysseus was thankful to hear this and promptly replied “ ‘ Father Zeus, may Alcinoos do all as he has promised! Then his fame would be spread over the whole earth never to be extinguished, and I should come home to my native land’ ” (87). Odysseus is hopeful for his future because he finally will be able to get home with the help of the generous and determined King Alcinoos. Odysseus' Journey Aiolia
After Odysseus left the land of the Goggle eyed he landed on Aiolia where the king was a great friend of the gods. The king took them in and feed all of Odysseus' men and listened to their stories. The king grew fond of Odysseus and wanted to help. So the king Aiolos “gave me the skin of a nine-year ox, which he flayed for us and made into a bag; and in this he bottled up the blustering winds.”(112). Aiolos bottled up all the winds but the west wind. The west wind was left out so that Odysseus and his men would have a straight easy trip home. During the whole trip Odysseus held tight to the bag, not telling his men what was in it. The men grew jealous and when Odysseus fell asleep they opened the bag letting all the winds go, causing them to be blown all the way back to Aiolia. When Odysseus went back to the city and told Aiolos what had happened, the king sent him away saying “get out of this island at once, you miserable sinner! It is not permitted to comfort the enemy of the blessed gods! Get out of this! You are the gods’ enemy come to my doors!’(113) So Odysseus left and sailed on. Lamos
After sailing for six days straight, the ship landed on the Island of Lamos. Odysseus sent three men on shore to see who the natives were. When the three got near the city, they meet a little girl who took them to the king’s house. When they arrived they saw the king’s wife, “A women as big as the peak of a mountain.” She at once summoned her husband Antiphates.” When the king arrived, “he gave them a murderous reception: one he grabbed at once and prepared for supper, the other two ran away and managed to get back to the ships.” (114) At this the king gave a murderous cry and the Laistrygonians came and threw mighty rocks at the ships. Odysseus cut his ship loose and sailed away as fast as possible. His ship was the only one to survive. All others were crushed before they made it out of the harbor. Aiaia
Next the ship made rest on the shores of Aiaia where the terrible nymph Circe lived. For two days Odysseus and his men sat on shore and ate out there tiredness and sadness. On the third day Odysseus climbed to a high place and looked around the island. When he saw the smoke from Circe’s house he decided to go and feed his men then send some men to the house. The next morning, Odysseus called his men together and told them of the house. He then sent Eurylochos out with his twenty two men to inquire about the house. When they arrived at the house, the men called out to a woman who was heard singing. She welcomed them in, offering them food. Eurylochos watched from outside because he felt it was a trap and saw that Circe turned all the men into pigs using her wand. When he told Odysseus, he set out against his men’s will to get the others back. While on his way there, Hermes stopped him to say, “Here, take this charm, and then you may enter the house of Circe: this will keep destruction from your head” (118). When Odysseus was not taken in by her spell, she became frightened and asked him to lay with her. He agreed so she would let his men go and never bewitch men again. She sent Odysseus to get the rest of his men and so they could eat to their delight. Eurylochos was skeptic of Circe but followed anyway. There they stayed for a year eating their hearts out until they decided it was time to go home. Before they departed, Circe instructed them to go to Hades. Ismaros
Odysseus and his men left Troy after the victory for the Greeks. They departed and their first stop was on the Island of Ismaros. Odysseus tells the beginning of his tale by stating, “From Ilion the wind carried me to Ismaros of the Ciconians. There I destroyed the city and killed the men. We spared the women and plenty of cattle and goods, which we divided to give each man a fair share” (100). On his journey homeward, he found successes in the beginning. Odysseus has plenty to eat and plenty goods to use. His men are in good spirits and things are looking up. He started off on the right foot! Lotus Eaters
Ten days after leaving Ismaros, they stopped the ship at the land of the Lotus eaters. The people who lived on that island did no harm to the men, but only gave them some of their flowers to eat. However, there powerful flowers had quick drug-like effects; “As soon as they tasted that honey sweet fruit, they thought no more of coming back to us with news, but chose rather to stay there with the lotus eating natives, and chew their lotus, and good-bye to home” (102). This is the turning point in Odysseus’s luck. He and his men have had a good journey so far, but faced trouble at the hands of the lotus eaters. The men who ate the lotuses had to be dragged off and then tied to the boat until the effects of the flowers wore off. The crew got back in their boats, cast loose, and headed off away from the island. Cyclopians
The next pit stop that the men take is on the lush island of Cyclopians. These creatures are a ruthless and solitary type civilization. They live in their own caves and care not for neighbors. Here, on this island, everything grows without sowing or plowing. There is loads of food everywhere. However, when they entered a cave, and waited for the owner of the cave to return, they found themselves in a life threatening situation, “…the Goggle-eyed filled his great belly with his meal of human flesh, washed down with a draught of milkneat…” (106). Many great men died in the cave, but the rest managed to escape because of Odysseus’ ingenious plan. This stop shows one of the first times that a crew member dies on the journey home, and gives the readers a taste of the horrors that will be experienced throughout the homeward travels.