In the Land of the Dead, how does Odysseus react to each of the three ghosts (Elpenor, Anticlea, and Tiresias)? Also, how are some of his actions or characteristics different here than earlier in the story?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Odysseus meets the ghosts of these three people in book eleven of Homer's epic poem, The OdysseyElpenor is the first of the ghosts Odysseus meets in his journey to the land of the dead. When Odysseus sees him, he weeps and has compassion for him. When Odysseus last saw him, he had fallen off the roof of Circe's dwelling in a drunken state and broken his neck. Odysseus says that they hadn't mourned the loss of him or buried him because they had other business to attend to. But when he sees him in the underworld, Odysseus does grieve this loss and promises to give him the burial that he asks for when he returns from the underworld. 

The first to come was the spirit of my comrade Elpenor. Not yet had he been buried beneath the broad-wayed earth, for we had left his corpse behind us in the hall of Circe, unwept and unburied, since another task was then urging us on. When I saw him I wept, and my heart had compassion on him; and I spoke and addressed him with winged words: "Elpenor, how...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 1037 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team