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How does Odysseus survive Charybdis a second time?Referring to the Scylla and Charydis...

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martintraci | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 17, 2012 at 9:17 AM via web

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How does Odysseus survive Charybdis a second time?

Referring to the Scylla and Charydis section

 

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noahvox2 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted January 17, 2012 at 11:02 AM (Answer #1)

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In the twelfth book of Homer's Odyssey, the title character actually encounters Scylla twice. The first is when he sails past the monster in his only remaining ship. In that situation, he loses six of his crew.

The second occurs near the end of Book 12. After Odysseus and his crew leave the island of Thrinacia, Zeus strikes their ship with a terrible storm. The ship is smashed to pieces, Odysseus' men are drowned, and Odysseus manages to survive by hanging on to a piece of the ship.

Unfortunately, Odysseus drifts back toward the Scylla and Charybdis. The whirlpool sucks down the parts of the ship to which Odysseus was clinging. Odysseus himself manages to leap up and grab on to a branch that was hanging over the water. After hanging there for some time, Charybdis spits back up the pieces of his ship. Odysseus drops back down into the water, climbs on to the wreckage, and then paddles away. Thanks to Zeus, Scylla did not see Odysseus:

The Father of men and gods prevented Scylla noticing me, or I would never have escaped utter disaster. (A.S. Kline translation)

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