The Odyssey Book 9

The Lotus Eaters and Cyclops

Odysseus begins his tale in Phaeacia

Odysseus starts with how him and his men set out in 12 ships to get back home but the wind blows their ships to the city of Cicones. There they sack the city and take anything that is valuable. After that they begin to sail south and close in on the island of the lotus eaters.

The Lotus Eater's Island and Cyclops

"Then I sent out two picked men and a runner to learn what kind of race of men that land sustained. They fell in soon enough, with Lotus Eaters, who showed no will to do us harm, only offering the sweet Lotus to our friends - but those who ate this honeyed plant, the Lotus never cared to report, nor to return: they longed to stay forever, browsing on that native bloom, forgetful of their homeland" Page 675. When the men arrive at the strange island, Odysseus sends three men to check it out before him. When they don't return he sets in search for them. He discovers that his men had been eating the Lotus flowers, dulling their senses, which forced Odysseus to drag them off the island. After they leave the island they reach the Land of the Cyclops, Odysseus, his men, and a strong wine Apolo once gave him, enter the cave of a cyclops. Inside the cave the men eat the cheese that is in the cave but soon get tired and want to leave. Odysseus refuses wanting to see the cyclops (Polythemus). The cyclops returns closing the entrance of the cave and Odysseus asks for a gift and food. The cyclopes ignores Odysseus eats two of his men. Odysseus decides that they need to escape and comes up with a plan. That night Odysseus gives the cyclopes the strong wine causing him to pass out. Before he passes out though, the cyclopes asks for Odysseus's name and he says that friends and family call him nobody. When the cyclopes is passed out, Odysseus and his men make a spear and jam it into the cyclopses eye, and when the cyclopes yells out to the others that nobody is killing him they assume that really nobody is and leave him alone. The men tie themselves to the bottom of the sheep in the cyclops's flock so the cyclops wouldn't feel them escaping when they let the flock out. The cyclops figure out the real name of Odysseus when he escapes on his ship and he is shouting out his name as he sails away with pride. The cyclops is so upset about the escape he start to pray to father (Poseidon) to do everything in his power not to let Odysseus return home.

The steps of escaping

The cyclops's prayer is answered with a massive storm blowing the men the wrong way