In Homer's Odyssey, what happened to the sailors who ate the lotus blossoms?

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readerofbooks | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Let me begin by giving the context of Odyssey's encounter with the inhabitants of the land of the Lotus-eaters. In book nine, Odysseus recounts to the Phaeacians that while he was at sea, Zeus sent a storm that made his men land on the island of the Lotus-eaters.

While two of his men were sent to scout the land, the inhabitants of the land gave his men some of the fruit of the lotus plant and this made them completely forgetful of their journey. They became apathetic and all they wanted to do was to stay on that land forever and eat more fruit of the Lotus.

Here are the words of Odysseus:

"They started at once, and went about among the Lotus-eaters, who did them no hurt, but gave them to eat of the lotus, which was so delicious that those who ate of it left off caring about home, and did not even want to go back and say what had happened to them, but were for staying and munching lotus with the Lotus-eater without thinking further of their return;"

In light of this, Odysseus had to forcibly drag his men back to the ship and lock them up. This is an important point, because this episode shows that Odysseus had to overcome many obstacles in his journey.


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