How does Circe prevent Odysseus' scouting party from returning to the ship in Homer's Odyssey?

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readerofbooks eNotes educator| Certified Educator

We read about Odysseus's interaction with Circe in book 10 of Homer's Odyssey, after his unpleasant experience with the Cyclopes. Here is the basic action.

When Odysseus and his men fled from the island of the Cyclopes, they are forced to go to the island of Circe by a storm. While they are on the island, his men go out to explore the land and they encounter Circe. She is a beautiful witch-goddess. She entice them, but it is all a ploy, as she turns them into pigs. In short, she drugs them and transforms them.

Odysseus is able to save them due to the advice of Hermes, who advises him to eat a particular herb for protection. He also advises him to lunge at her when he approaches her. He follows this advice and he makes Circe promises to turn his men back into humans. She does and they eventually leave.

Read the study guide:
The Odyssey

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