The Odyssey Project

Books 10-12


Odysseus: The husband of Penelope and the father of Telemachus. Odysseus has been on a voyage for 20 years and is telling his story to the Phaecians about the events before getting to Calypso's island.

Hermes: The messenger god who gives Odysseus a special root that can only be pulled out by the gods and the root makes Odysseus immune to Circe's potion.


Scylla- A six-headed monster who eats passing sailors.

Charybdis- A giant whirlpool who devours the ocean three times a day.

Laestrygonians- Cannibalistic Ginats.

Circe- A witch who uses potions to turn men into pigs.

Sirens- Monsters who sing beautiful songs that lure sailors to their deaths.

Major Theme

I think that the theme of these books is that sometimes we have to make sacrifices for the greater good, because throughout the book Odysseus loses a lot of men and many of these losses helped Odysseus get through that challenge. So without these sacrifices Odysseus probably wouldn't have made it back home to Ithaca. Like for example when Odysseus is talking to Circe when she tells him about the different monsters that he will face on his journey home to Ithaca. "'Speed the ship along; for surely it is better to miss six comrades from your ship than all together.'" This quote shows that sacrifices were a big part of Odysseus' journey and survival back home.


"'Here, take this potent herb and go to Circe's house; this shall protect your life against the evil day. And I will tell you all the magic arts of Circe: she will prepare for you a potion and cast drugs into your food; but even so she cannot charm you, because the potent herb which I shall give you will not permit it. And let me tell you more: when Circe turns against you her long wand, then draw the sharp sword from your thigh and spring upon Circe as if you meant to slay her; she will then cower and bid you to her bed. And do not you refuse the goddess' bed, that so she may release your men and care for you. But bid her swear the blessed ones' great oath that she is not meaning now to plot you a new woe, nor when she has you stripped to leave you feeble and unmanned.'" This quotes shows that the gods (mainly Athena though) really want to help Odysseus return back home to Ithaca.

"'Eurylochus, remain then here yourself eating and drinking by the black hollow ship; but I will go for strong necessity is laid on me.'" This quotes shows that Odysseus is very stubborn and has a lot of pride and bravery. He knows that it's dangerous to go (especially alone) to the house of Circe but he goes anyway to save his men even though he knows that he could meet the same fate as his men.