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Odysseus: Novel Summary: Chapters 9-10

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Chapter 9: Odysseus tells his name, and begins the story of his long and difficult journey from Troy to Phaiakia in flashback form. He and several of his ships were thrown off course from Troy and had to fight the Kikonians. When they had escaped from that region, they were thrown off course again, this time to the land of the lotus-eaters. The lotus-eaters gave his crew lotus, which makes one forget anything else but eating lotus, like a drug. They quickly left this area, taking the few men who had eaten the lotus with them, and sailed to the land of the Cyclopes. The Cyclopes are children of Poseidon, and they are sheltered and protected by the sea god. Odysseus and his crew made themselves at home, eating the cheese and goats of the Cyclopes, fully expecting him to be hospitable. However, the Cyclopes custom was much different from the Greek custom. Polyphemous, the name of the Cyclops, began eat Odysseus' men like they were animals themselves. Odysseus and his men were trapped in the cave, because although the one-eyed Cyclops has bad eyesight, he had rolled a stone over the entrance so no one could exit. Odysseus gives the Cyclops some wine, and gets him drunk, and when the Cyclops passes out, Odysseus takes a sharp stick, heats it, and pokes out the eye of the Cyclops, and completely blinds him. Odysseus and his men leave the cave by clinging to the bellies of sheep.
Odysseus and his men make it to their ships and then taunt Polyphemous when they are on the water. The Cyclops prays to his father Poseidon for vengeance, and heaves a large rock that makes a wave and forces the ships to land. Poseidon now has a vengeance against Odysseus, and this will make his journeys difficult.
Chapter 10: Odysseus and his men arrive at a floating Island, and the got Aiolos gives Odysseus a bag of winds to help Odysseus get home. They sailed for ten days, and are in sight of Ithaca, but when Odysseus falls asleep, his crew think that the bag of winds is a bag of treasure, and so they released the bag of winds and the winds blew them back to Aiolos' island. Aiolos refuses to help Odysseus again, and they set sail and reach the land of the Laistrygonians. Odysseus loses all of his ships except the one he commands to the warlike Laistrygonians, who kill and eat the crews of the other ships. The remaining ship sails to Circe's island. Circe, a beautiful but dangerous goddess, keeps enchanted animals that used to be men. She lures half of Odysseus' men to her house, and she turns them into pigs. Hermes visits Odysseus in a human disguise, and gives him an herb called Moly that turns the pigs back into men. Odysseus and Circe call a truce, and she lets him and his men stay at her island with room and board for a year, until Odysseus begs her to help him arrive home safely. Circe tells him that he needs to visit the land of the dead before he can return to Ithaca. Odysseus and his men sail for the land of the dead, and during the voyage, Elpenor one of the younger crewmembers dies when he falls off of the ship because he had fallen asleep on guard duty.


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