Odysseus faces a number of challenges on his way home, including:
- sailors captivated by the lotus-eaters
- a battle with Polyphemus, a cyclops
- a storm sent by Poseidon
- an encounter with a witch
- being captivated by the Sirens
- encounters with the monsters Scylla and Charybdis
- punishment by Zeus
On the way home from war, Odysseus's soldiers are captivated by the lotus-eaters, who try to feed the men fruit that will cause them to forget their desire to go home.
Next, Odysseus and his men get trapped in the lair of Polyphemus, who eats some of the men. Odysseus blinds Polyphemus, and the cyclops calls out to his father Poseidon, who sends a storm to punish Odysseus. Later, Odysseus refers to the encounter with Polyphemus when he tries to encourage and bolster his men, saying,
Dear friends, surely we are not unlearned in evils. This is no greater evil now than it was when the Cyclops had us cooped in his hollow cave by force and violence, but even there, by my courage and counsel and my...
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