In the Odyssey, books 10 and 11 are known as “Land of the Dead.” The Odyssey proceeds with Odysseus proceeding his pursuit to return to Ithaca. Having blinded the dreaded cyclops, Polyphemus, Odysseus escaped his island and sailed on. Together the Odyssey book 10 begins, Odysseus and his crew concerned the island of the god of wind, Aeolus.

You are watching: The land of the dead odyssey summary

Odysseus has lost six guys to the cyclop’s endless appetite. To escape the beast’s cave, he and his males drove a sharpened log into its eye, blinding it. In so doing, he incurred Poseidon’s wrath, who occurred to be the dad of Polyphemus. Through the god now versus him, that sails once more for Ithaca. In book 10 the the Odyssey, Odysseus has better fortune, at least at first. He comes to the Aeolian isle, whereby Aeolus and his twelve sons and daughters live v his beloved wife.

The Odyssey publication 10 an overview would it is in to say the Odysseus escaped the cyclops to sign up with a party at the house of the goalkeeper of the winds and virtually returned home. Regrettably for Odysseus, the story doesn’t finish there.

Aeolus feasts Odysseus and his crew. His generous host gives them through a month’s precious of hospitality prior to sending them on their means with an also greater gift- a bag containing all of the winds except the West wind, which the sets cost-free to drive the ship toward Ithaca.

All is going an extremely well. Odysseus, unwilling to take any much more chances, bring away the wheel himself. That sales because that nine days. Once the shore is within sight, that sees the watchmen lighting the beacons follow me the shore and also finally drops asleep.

An ill Wind Blows

So close to home, the crew begins to grumble among themselves. The acquainted shores of Ithaca are in sight, and also they are practically home… but what have they gained?

They have actually experienced horrors and battles and also loss. They have grieved their companions. There is nothing behind them but death and also destruction. Over there is nothing in their pockets. Castle barely have actually the provides they need to survive another few days, permit alone one more journey. They have actually traveled and served their captain well, and also they have come residence empty-handed.

Grumbling amongst themselves, the crew decides the the generosity Aeolus must definitely have provided Odysseus a grand treasure. Surely, the goalkeeper of the winds with all his treasures and his rich feasting should have provided Odysseus gold and also silver in ~ least. With all the marvels they have actually seen, they start to believe the bag consists of gold and silver, and perhaps magical items.

Determined to see what your master has actually not shared with them, they open up the purse provided by Aeolus. Zeus’ curse is unleashed, together with the rest of the winds. The result storm drives them all the means back come Aeolus’ island.

Cursed by the Gods

Aeolus hears Odysseus’s pleas for help, but he is unmoved by the mortal. Having squandered his very first gift, Odysseus has actually lost favor through him and also now must journey on there is no the winds to aid him. The crew is punished for their foolishness and also greed through the need to row the heavy ships by hand. There is no wind to move them along, they room dead in the water and totally reliant ~ above manpower alone to continue:

“So ns spoke and addressed them v gentle words, yet they were silent. Then your father answered and also said: `Begone from our island v speed, you vilest of all that lives. In no wise may I assist or send top top his way that man who is hated that the blessed gods. Begone, because that thou comest hither together one hated of the immortals.’

“So saying, he sent me forth from the house, groaning heavily. Thence we sailed on, grieved at heart. And worn was the soul of the males by the grievous rowing, due to the fact that of our very own folly, for no longer appeared any breeze come bear us on our way.”

They cruised on because that six much more days before coming to Lamus. 2 of the pearl sail into the main harbor, when Odysseus hold back, mooring outside of the entry. He sends in 3 of his men to scout and also sees if they might be welcomed here.

The very first of the three suffers a dreadful fate, ending up being a enjoy the meal for the large king, Antiphates. The rather fare no better, to run for their stays to the ships. The giants that the region, the Laestrygonians, come out and fling boulders, crushing the ships and also killing every men. Odysseus flees. With only one ship left, that sails on.

Circe’s Spell

Odysseus and also his remaining crew sail onward until they come to one more island. The crew is do not want to explore the island an extremely far, understandably. They’ve went to an island wherein a cyclops devoured 6 of their companions and also another whereby giants destroyed their continuing to be ships and also made meals of your crew members. They’re not keen top top visiting yet an additional unknown island where gods and also monsters may lay in wait come eat an ext of them.


Odysseus tells them the their grief and also fear room for their very own safety and no benefit or honor. He divides the remainder the his crew into two groups. The lot drops to the one led by Eurylochus, and they set off, though reluctantly.

The group concerns the witch Circe’s castle, and also despite your fear, her to sing lulls them, and also they get in when she bids them, all however Eurylochus, that stays external to store watch. Circe laces the feast with a potion that transforms the men into swine, erasing their memories and also humanity.

Eurylochus returns to the ships come report come Odysseus. He immediately straps ~ above his sword and also sets out, however he is quit by a young guy along the way. In disguise, Hermes gives Odysseus the gift of moly, a drug that will stop Circe’s potions native working. He advises Odysseus to rush at Circe and threaten her through his sword. As soon as she yields, Hermes speak him, she will certainly invite him to she bed. Odysseus must accept, after gaining her word, the she will certainly not damage him.Odysseus complies with Hermes’ instructions, and also his crew is restored. They spend a year feasting and also living in deluxe in Circe’s castle prior to the crew convinces him come sail on.

Circe gives Odysseus instruction. That is no going to have the ability to return directly to Ithaca. He will need to travel through the soil of the Dead. In the Odessey, over there is no straight path home.

Book 11 Odyssey Summary

As the Odyssey soil of the Dead continues, Odysseus chooses to take his leave of Circe. She educates him the his journey will not be an easy one, and also the most challenging parts of the journey lie ahead. Odysseus is heartbroken and shaken in ~ the news that the will have to travel v the land of the Dead. Odyssey publication 11 is the fulfillment of Circe’s prediction.

“…you must first complete an additional journey, and come to the residence of Hades and also dread Persephone, to look for soothsaying the the heart of Theban Teiresias, the blind seer, whose mind abides steadfast. To him even in death, Persephone has granted reason, that he alone should have understanding; but the rather flit about as shadows.’”

Weighed v grief in ~ the news the he will need to go to Hades’ lands, Odysseus sets out one more time. The Odyssey book 11 continues as he leaves Circe’s island and sets sail because that the dreaded floor of the Dead.

A Prophet, a Meeting, and also A Contrast

Despite his dread, Odysseus does not have an additional choice. He need to go come the land of the Dead. Adhering to the accuse he to be given, he digs a trench and pours milk, honey, and sacrificed animals’ blood. The blood and also offerings entice the soul of the dead. They come, crowding forward to the sacrifice. Come his horror, Odysseus is presented v the soul of a lost crewman, his very own mother, and the prophet Tiresias.

Tiresias has news that Odysseus requirements to hear. He notifies him that he has been impacted by Poseidon’s ire and also that he will face an ext challenges prior to he arrives earlier in Ithaca. He warns him versus harming the livestock of Helios. If he does harm them, he will certainly lose all of his men and ships. They’ll only reach home if they usage judgment and a an excellent deal of care.

Tiresias additionally informs Odysseus the he will need to embark on yet one more quest once he come in Ithaca. He’ll have to travel inland until he finds people who have never heard of Poseidon. As soon as he reaches his destination, the will need to burn sacrifices come the god.

See more: Understand What Happens When You Dream About Your Crush ? What Does It Mean When You Dream About Your Crush

When Tiresias is finished speaking, Odysseus’ mom is permitted to come forward and speak come him. She describes that Laertes, his father, quiet lives however has lost his will to live. Finally, Achilles, his old companion, comes and laments the torments the the floor of the Dead, driving residence the worth of the life Odysseus still possesses. Odysseus, shaken through what he has actually seen and also heard, welcomes the opportunity to leave. He has actually no desire to spend any more time 보다 he must in the floor of the Dead.