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Timeline of Events in "The Odyssey"
Transcript of Timeline of Events in "The Odyssey"
Before the story starts, Odysseus leaves his home in Ithaca to fight in the Trojan War. This takes place in the city of Troy. He becomes a hero by coming up with the idea for the Trojan Horse. He fights for several years. After it is over, his son searches for him, and Odysseus and his crew go through many adventures. He develops much pride ad bravery in the war.
Island of Aeolia
After escaping the Cyclops, Odysseus and his men land on the island of Aeolia, home of the wind king, Aeolus. To help them, Aeolus puts all harmful winds in a bag. It was hidden under the afterdeck, but a curious sailor opened it, and a strong storm formed and blew them back to Aeolia. The wind king got rid of the winds again.
Odysseus follows Circe's instructions and goes to the Land of the Dead. He is there to seek his destiny from Teiresias, a blind prophet from the city Thebes. Surrounded by dead souls, Odysseus sacrifices a lamb to bring Teiresias up from the dead. Teiresias tells Odysseus to avoid the herds of cattle on Thrinakia. They belong to Helios. If he touches them, his ship and crew will experience great destruction, and he will be lost for a long time, coming home to even more trouble. He is also to make sacrifices to Poseidon and the rest of the gods when he passes men who do not know what the ocean or ships are.
Teiresias and the Land of the Dead
Odysseus and his crew were sailing and they came upon Ismaros, a city on the coast of the Cicones. He stormed the city, killed the men who fought, and enslaved women. The civilians called for the main army to help, and they start to fight Odysseus and his men. They lose a great number of people that day. They accepted defeat and sailed away. Odysseus blames everyone but himself for this tragedy, which reveals that he thinks highly of himself and is not a very humble leader. Odysseus also has a strong sadness knowing that several men died.
After sailing for 9 days, Odysseus and his men came upon the land of the Lotus Eaters. When Odysseus sends 3 men to see who lived on that land, they came upon Lotus Eaters, and ate the lotus. The plant hypmotized them and made them want to stay on that land forever. As a result, Odysseus had to tie the men down and quickly leave the land. He may have been brutal to the men, but he needed to get back to Ithaca. He still had hope and determintation to get home.
Island of the Laestrygonians
Next on their journey was the land of gigantic cannibals. All ships but one are devoured. Odysseus and his crew are able to escape.
When Odysseus and his men come to the island of Aeaea, 23 men venture off and stumble upon a house. This is where Circe lives. 22 of the men go into the house, leaving one scared mand behind. Circe gives them a drink, and eventually turns them into pigs. The scared man, Eurylochus, ran to Odysseus with the news. Odysseus goes to Circe with a plant that will weaken her power. (he got this from Hermes) Circe frees Odysseus' men, and after several feasts, she agrees to help them get home. She instructs Odysseus to go to the Land of the Dead.
Odysseus and his men continue to sail and come upon a cave where a cyclops named Polyphemus lives. Odysseus' curiosity gets the best of him and they go into the cave to eat some of the cyclops' food. When Polyphemus returns, he traps the men in the cave. After that, Odysseus and the rest stab Polyphemus in the eye with a wooden spike, blinding him. Prior to this, Odysseus told the Cyclops that his name was Nohbdy, so when Poyphemus shouted for help, no one came. The men then tied themselves to 3 sheep, allowing them to pass Polyphemus and escape. After Odysseus taunts the Cyclops, Polyphemus asks his father, Poseidon, to give them much trouble getting back to Ithaca. This teaches Odysseus that having too much pride can backfire on him.
Odysseus and his men return to Circe's island. Circe warns Odysseus of the dangers that lie ahead. First, there will be sirens that hypmotize its listeners. This results in the listener never seeing his family again and possibly dying. Odysseus is to plug all his mens ears, steer clear, and tie himself down to listen to the sirens. Next will come the den of Scylla. She hunts from every ship that passes. On the opposite point, Charybdis creates whirlpools that can sink ships. He is to hug the cliff of Scylla. Last, she emphasizes the importance of avoiding Helios' cattle.
After going through several more places, Odysseus ends up living with a sea nymph named Calypso. For the first 7 years, he was not there unwillingly, but he ends up staying 3 more years as her prisoner. He just wants to get back to Ithaca. Athena, Odysseus' guide, convinces her father, Zeus, to help free Odysseus. He sends the messenger god, Hermes, to order Calypso to free Odysseus. She tries to get him to stay, but eventually Odysseus sets sail on his raft. But, he is not done seeing the wrath of Poseidon. Throughout this section of the story, Odysseus redevelops his determination to get home to his family.
While sailing from Calypso's island, Poseidon raises a storm that sinks Odysseus' raft. Athena and a sea nymph rescue him and bring him to the island of Scheria. He is found by the daughter of Alcinous, king of the Phaeacians. He is treated as a guest. At the banquet, the king asks Odysseus to identify himself, and he gets into all the many stories of when he was sailing with his crew. He also mourns the death of his crew.