The Odysseus Theme Themes

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Summary: Sirens; Scylla and Charybdis: In the story, Odysseus quotes Circe, remembering her warning to him of the sirens, the six-headed, twelve-legged dog Scylla, and the massive whirlpool of Charybdis. She tells Odysseus to put wax over his men’s ears so that they do not hear the sirens, and gives Odysseus the option of doing the same or having his men tie him to the mast of the ship. She also advised him to steer clear of Charybdis and row past Scylla, where he would ultimately lose a few men. On their journey, they rode past the sirens with minimal troubles and no losses, and Odysseus elected to be tied to the mast. They then continued on to Scylla, terrified of what was yet to come, although Odysseus did not warn them of the six men that were devoured. After the losses, the men ended up on the island of Helios, where the cattle roamed.
Obstacles as Universal Themes:
1. The Importance of Leadership
The theme of the importance of leadership is apparent in the story as Odysseus guides his men along the treacherous waters. He leads them through the sirens with success, and as soon as times get
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Eventually, Odysseus is the only one that holds strong and resists the cattle, partially due to the fact that he was the only person that knew what the true consequences were. In the story, after many days of hunger, the men break down and Eurylochus convinces them to disregard what Odysseus told them about the kine, telling his companions to, “cut out the noblest of these cattle for sacrifice” and feast on the others (VII: 884-885). This dreadful decision ended up costing the men their lives, showing that if only they did resist the temptation like Odysseus, they would not have had such a gruesome ending. Because Odysseus did this, he survived and made his way to an island where he could eat as much as he wanted, showing that resisting temptation pays

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