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In The Odyssey, what does Calypso offer Odysseus if he stays with her?

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coryengle | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted February 26, 2012 at 12:09 PM via web

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In The Odyssey, what does Calypso offer Odysseus if he stays with her?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 26, 2012 at 1:55 PM (Answer #1)

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The answer to this question can be found in Book V of this epic classic. After being given Jove's message from Mercury, Calypso unfortunately has to relinquish Odysseus and send him onward to his home of Ithaca and to continue his adventures. However, it is clear that she does this begrudgingly, as her response to Mercury testifies. She does go to Odysseus (called Ulysses in this translation) and tell hm that he is free to go. However, when she sees how eager he is to actually leave, she says the following words:

Good luck go with you, but if you could only know how much suffering is in store for you before you get back to your own country, you would stay where you are, keep house along with me, and let me make you immortal, no matter how anxious you may be to see this wife of yours, of whom you are thinking all the time day after day; yet I flatter myself that at am no whit less tall or well-looking than she is, for it is not to be expected that a mortal woman should compare in beauty with an immortal.

Calypso therefore promises Odysseus the gift of immortality if he would only give up his wife and be content with Calypso and her fairer form. She also promises that his life would be a lot less eventful if he chooses this course and does not try to reach Ithaca.

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