The Consequences Of Poseidon In Homer's The Odyssey

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Homer’s The Odyssey follows Odysseus and his journey home from the Trojan War. Although he anticipates a short journey, Odysseus is cursed by Poseidon to suffer ten additional years at sea. On the way home, Odysseus and his crew stop at the Cyclops’s island and encounter Polyphemus, Poseidon’s son, who kills crew members by tempting them with food, and then crushing them. Odysseus tricks the Cyclops by using the pseudonym of Nobody and stabs him in the eye; however he reveals his true name at the last second, thus giving Poseidon someone to blame. The remaining crew then stumbles upon the island of the Circe, where they are taken in by the sorceress’s beautiful women and abundant food. As the men feast, Circe takes advantage of their inattention…show more content…
When the crew arrives at Circe’s island, they feast like pigs until the sorceress turns them into swine. The men fail to consider the consequences of their actions and let their primal desires control them. While, Odysseus manages to convince the goddess to release his men, when Circe commands Odysseus to bring his ship, crew, and possessions to her and he complies, saying: “So she spoke, and the proud heart in me was persuaded” (X, 406). Odysseus, the exemplary man, on a quest to get home to his wife, is completely enamored of Circe, falling into her lust easily. Even he cannot resist his primal lust towards her, and in the end he loses a year at the island having sex with her, disregarding his crew, just to satiate his carnal…show more content…
In spite of Odysseus’s warning, the crew is unable to restrain itself, slaughtering and consuming the cows of Helios to satiate the primal need to feast, despite knowing that they would likely die as a result of doing so. Human beings are programed for survival, just like all other animals. This makes the actions of Odysseus’s crew, their willingness to lay down their lives for a meal, so poignant. In contrast with the fate crew members meet at the hand of Polyphemus, this decision is a conscious suicide. The entire situation is pitiful, especially because it Eurylochus, a trusted advisor and friend to Odysseus, that leads the charge. Homer narrates: “Eurylochus put an evil counsel before his companions: ‘Listen to what I say, my companions, though you are suffering evils’” (XII, 339-341). Eurylochus had acted as a voice of reason for the crew up until this point, being the one to warn Odysseus that something strange was afoot on Circe’s island. Here however, he is the opposite, coaxing his crewmates to do something that they know will lead to death. The primal hunger was so strong that Eurylochus continues to say: “All deaths are detestable for wretched mortals, but hunger is the sorriest way to die and encounter fate” (XII, 341-343). This statement confirms the previous notion of his willingness for suicide. Eurylochus is admitting that he would rather accept a painful death for consuming Helios’s
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