Essay on Summary of The Odysssey Book XI

Essay on Summary of The Odysssey Book XI

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In The Odyssey, we learn about the famous journey of a man named Odysseus and his travels back home from Troy. King Alcinous is curious about Odysseus' life and why he needed all the help to get back home to Ithaca. Eventually, Odysseus tells about his journeys that got him all the way to the Phaecians. When Book XI starts, Odysseus arrives at Oceanus and is on his way to the Underworld. Why does he have to go to the Underworld? Well, when Odysseus and his men were traveling from island to island to see how to get back home, they arrive on an island where Circe lives. Odysseus' men are invited into Circe's home for a feast. He sends a group of twenty two men and his buddy Eurylochus. They all follow Circe and enjoy the feast. What they do not know is that the food contained some of Circe's magical powers in them. Eurylochus knew this all along, and was very careful in making sure he did not get tricked. Eventually, Odysseus' men became pigs from Circe’s evil magic. Eurylochus tells Odysseus what had happened on Circe’s island and household. Odysseus meets Hermes and gives him herb moly to protect himself from Circe's powers. It prevents him from forming into an animal even when coming into contact with her magical liquid. Odysseus continues on to his journey and arrives at Circe's home with caution. When Odysseus and Circe meet, he draws his sword to make a peace offering. He comes up with an idea to sleep with her only if she transforms his men back to humans. Circe agrees to the proposition and Circe offers them to stay in her island for a year. After about a year, Odysseus asks Circe for help to go back to his home in Ithaca. Circe accepts, but in order for him to go back home, Circe explains that he needs to visit the Underwor...


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...p of Teiresias of Thebes and Agamemnon, Odysseus gained much more knowledge of things that may occur in the future. He receives tips and information of what lies ahead of him in the future. The position of Book XIV plays an important role as it is near the heart of the epic. It helps to tie in the poem all together and brings all of the various setting introduced to the reader in a more manageable chunk. The break in the story helps us remember who he is talking to and the purpose of this long narrative. His narrative is almost three books long, and this break keeps the reader entranced and makes it easier for them to remember everything that is going on. Odysseus’ journey to the Underworld not only will change the things he does in the future, but it helps explain the backstory of his life and why he is in the current position he is in.


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