In Homer's Odyssey, briefly describe the dangers faced by Odysseus's men among the island of the Lotus eaters and the Cyclopes,  and how they managed to escape?

Expert Answers
readerofbooks eNotes educator| Certified Educator

As you probably know, Odysseus and his men undergo many hardships. Two memorable hardships are recorded in book 9, where Odysseus recounts his troubles to the Phaeacians.

Odysseus states that on account of the anger of Zeus his ship had to land on the island of the Lotus eaters (Zeus sends a storm). Odysseus sent a few men to scout the land and as they did they, they came upon a few inhabitants who offered them the fruit of the lotus plant. This fruit made them forgetful about their journey. All they wanted to do was to eat more fruit and stay on the island forever. In light of this, Odysseus had to drag them back and lock them up in the ship.

After this incident, Odysseus landed on the island of the cyclopes. There were one-eyed giants who were uncivilized. Odysseus and his men found their way to the cave of Polyphemus where there was food. At first he was hospitable, but they quickly found his true intentions. Polyphemus wanted to eat them.

Odysseus realized that he was not strong enough to remove the stone from the mouth of the cave and so he devised a plan. That night Odysseus got Polyphemus drunk and blinded him. Next morning, his men clung on the belly of Polyphemus's sheep and they escaped unnoticed.

Read the study guide:
The Odyssey

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question