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The theme of three pervades the epic poem The Odyssey in Books Seven through Twelve. There are many examples, but I'll mention only a few. First of all, in Book Nine when Odysseus lands on the island of the Lotus Eaters, he sends three men to investigate the island the men that inhabited it. He tells King Alcinous that he sent out "two picked men and a runner". Another example also occurs in Book Nine when Odysseus is on the island of the Cyclopes. While trapped in the cave of Polyphemus, Odysseus devises a plan to escape the cave. He begins his plan by gettting the Cyclops drunk. It takes three bowls of wine to do this. Also, in Book Nine, the number plays a part in the final part of Odysseus' plan to escape Polyphemus' cave. Once Polyphemus moves the huge boulder blocking the cave, Odysseus ties three men to the belly of one of the Cyclop's sheep. When the sheep leave the cave to go out to pasture, three men each escape with the sheep. In Book Eleven of the epic poem, Odysseus encounters the shadowy figure of his mother in the Underworld. He had no idea that she took her life in Odysseus' long absence. Odysseus tries three times to hug her, but to no avail.
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