Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Odyssey, Bk 10: The Bewitching Queen of Aeaea

The Odyssey Then to the Aeolian isle we came

It always seems to be nine days, and on the tenth they get there, wherever it is.

So the Kind of Aeolus gave Odysseus a sack-full-o-wind. The wind gets them almost all the way home. As Odysseus likes to do, he doesn't tell his men what it is, so they get to wondering. And grumbling. And thinking the clever smooth-talking Odie has kept some plunder to himself. Well. So when Odysseus falls asleep, what do they do? The resulting deathly squall sends them right back to Aeolus' island.

'Back again, Odysseus--why? Some blustering god attacked you?
Surely we launched you well, we sped you on your way
to your own land and house, or any place you pleased.'
So they taunted, and I replied in deep despair,
'A mutinous crew undid me--that and a cruel sleep,
Set it to rights, my friends. You have the power!'
...'Away from my island--fast--most cursed man alive!
it's a crime to host a man or speed him on his way
when the blessed deathless gods despise him so. (70-81)
Next, another race of man-eating giants. They skedaddle, and wind up at Circe's island.

Eurylochus leads some men to scope it out. Circe turns them into pigs. Hermes gives Odysseus the Secret to foil Circe. Odysseus finagles his guarantee of safety, but notice he doesn't say 'with a prompt leave-taking,' and "at last, I mounted Circe's gorgeous bed..." (384)

So Odysseus brings his men back, and they have a leisurely time of it....for a year. Finally it's the men who say, 'Um hey, O, yeah. We know it's nice here and all, but um....don't you think it's time we headed home???'

Circe: Sure, of course! All you had to do was ask! But you have to go to hell first! Heheh. She gives him full instructions though so 1. He doesn't get trapped there, and 2. He gets information he needs from the dead, specifically the prophet Tiresias.

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