Odyssey Book 9


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  • Unless they really needed the supplies, they should not have interfered with the Cicones. They knew the Cicones were their enemy and ended up losing valuable lives.
  • "The Battle Against the Cicones" Ismarus
  • "Soon after leaving Troy, Odysseus and his crew land near Ismarus, the city of the Cicones. The Cicones are allies of the Trojans and therefore enemies of Odysseus. Odysseus and his crew raid the Cicones, robbing and killing people, until the Ciconian army kills 72 of Odysseus' men and drives the rest out to sea. Delayed by a storm for two days, Odysseus and his remaining companions continue their journey."
  • "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. I drove them, all three wailing, to the ships, called the rest: 'All hands aboard; come, clear the beach and no one taste the Lotus, or you lose your hope of home."
  • It was smart of Odysseus to react quickly and get his men onto the ship and off the island. They would have lost more men if he did not react quickly.
  • This is situational irony because they thought they did not mean harm, but then tried to trap the men. The effect is to show how clueless Odysseus and his men were of the Lotus Eater's intentions.
  • "The Lotus Trap" The Island of Lotus Eaters
  • "We lit a fire, burnt an offering, and took some cheese to eat; then sat in silence around the embers, waiting. When he came he had a load of dry boughs on his shoulder to stoke his fire at suppertime. He dumped it with a great crash into that hollow cave, and we all scattered fast to the far wall."
  • I think it was stupid for Odysseus to remain in the cave and want to see the cyclops. This caused them to get trapped and lose some of their men. I would have gotten the cheese and ran out before the cyclops returned.
  • "Stealing the Cheese" The Island of Prometheus
  • "Neither reply nor pity came from him, but in one stride he clutched at my companions and caught two in his hands like squirming puppies to beat their brains out, spattering the floor."
  • This epic simile shows how the Cyclops was about to eat the men and how they were scared for their lives.
  • "The Cyclops's Meal" The Island of Prometheus
  • Odysseus should have at least tried to stop the Cyclops from eating the men by talking to him instead of asking Zeus for help.
  • "Now, by the gods, I drove my big hand spike deep in the embers, charring it again, and cheered my men along with battle talk to keep their courage up: no quitting now. The pike of olive, green though it had been, reddened and glowed as if about to catch. I drew it from the coals and my four fellows as more than natural force nerved them; straight forward they sprinted, lifted it, and rammed it deep in his crater eye"
  • "One Less Eye" The Island of Prometheus
  • This was a smart move by Odysseus, since it disabled the Cyclops and allowed them to escape.
  • The theme of Book Nine is that you should not invade people's privacy as they might try and harm you, but there is almost always a crafty way to get out of bad situations.
  • Odysseus should have just left the island instead of making a big speech, giving the cyclops more time to attack.
  • "The Great Escape" The Island of Prometheus
  • "'O Cyclops! Would you feast on my companions? Puny, am I, in a Caveman's hands? How do you like the beating that we gave you, you damned cannibal? Eater of guests under your roof! Zeus and the gods have paid you!' The blind thing in his doubled fury broke a hilltop in his hands and heaved it after us. Ahead of our black prow it struck and sank"
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