The Odyssey

Books 10-12 Hayley and Cassandra


"If you, you really want me to eat and drink,

set them free, all my beloved comrades—

let me feast my eyes." (Homer 161)

This shows how much Odysseus cares for his crew, he would rather starve than have his men be held captive.

"Back to the swift ship at the water’s edge we went,

our spirits deep in anguish, faces wet with tears. " (Homer 158)

This shows that the men are afraid and they all have a weakness, they don’t want to go to the house of death.

"Hurry, let’s see what loot is in that sack,

how much gold and silver. Break it open—now!" (Homer 172)

This shows you how greedy Odysseus’s men are even after all he has done to try and get them home. They believed that Odysseus was keeping treasures from them so they decided to try and take some for themselves.

Summary Book 10

Odysseus talks about the gift that Aeolus gave him, the bag filled with winds and about how his sailors were very curious and opened it too early, and that resulted in the releasing of the wind that blew them off course to Aeolia. His crew barely escapes from the Island of the Laestrygonians, vicious cannibals. The Laestrygonians destroy all his men and boats except the one boat Odysseus and some of his men are on. The survivors then land at Aeaea, where Círcë (a witch) lives. She persuades them with her beauty, then transforms them into pigs by using a wand. Odysseus uses the magical herb "Moly" to protect himself from magical transformation. When her spells don't affect Odysseus, he threatens her life until she changes her mind and restores his men to human shape. Odysseus uses his charms to try and seduce Círcë so she will help him get past the threats of the sea that are ahead. He and his men spend about a year with her on the island, and in the end Círcë agrees to help Odysseus get home.

Summary Book 11

Círcë gives directions to Odysseus on how to make a journey into Hades, where he can learn from old spirits how to make it home safely. Odysseus sacrifices a ram and a black female sheep, and he feeds the blood to the ghosts so they can take form and talk.


Odysseus: He saves his crews life by using the magical herb to keep him from transforming into a pig and by using his quick thinking ability to get them out of that situation as humans and alive. But later when the ship sinks he is washed up onto Ogygia, where he becomes enslaved by Calypso.

Círcë: She is a witch that lives in Aeaea. She persuades the men with her beauty and uses her wand to turn them into pigs, all but Odysseus. When Odysseus threatens to kill her she turns his men back to normal and she gives Odysseus directions to make his journey into Hades.

The crew: Most of them end up getting eaten by The Laestrygonians, but the few that remain get starved and decide to kill and eat sacred cows that belong to Apollo, the Sun god. Because of them eating the sacred cows the gods release storms that eventually cause the boat to sink and kill off the rest of the crew.

The Laestrygonians: They are vicious cannibals that destroy all of Odysseus’s men and boats except for the one boat with Odysseus and some of his men.

Summary Book 12

Odysseus got past the sirens by following Círcë's advice.Odysseus’s crew was starving so they killed and ate sacred cows belong to Apollo, the Greek Sun god. The gods make storms that drive the boat all the way back to Charybdis. Thats where Odysseus's ship sinks and all of his men drown.Odysseus was the only one who didn’t drown and later he washes ashore on Ogygia, where Calypso enslaves him.


The theme is taking risks, I think that this is a good theme because Odysseus and his men have taken a lot of risks throughout the book. In these chapters they have to escape two different islands, and on the second one Odysseus has to go back for him men to save them from being turned into swine, and that is a risk he took.