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Aeolus, king of the winds, gives Odysseus the bag of winds to help him return to Ithaca. Because, however, Odysseus neglects to tell his men what is contained in the bag, they believe there is treasure inside. When Odysseus falls asleep, they open the bag---when they are within sight of their homeland---and are blown back to Aeolia. Odysseus pleads with Aeolus for another bag of winds, but the king refuses, because he believes Odysseus and his men must be cursed by the gods. Aeolus is not punished; Odysseus and his men are punished for their imprudence. They are forced to spend even longer trying to get home, and eventually, of course, only Odysseus himself will survive to succeed in this quest.
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