Illustration of Odysseus tied to a ship's mast

The Odyssey

by Homer
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What are Charybdis and Scylla, and why do they make each other more dangerous?

Expert Answers

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The Charybdis is a whirlpool while the Scylla is a terrible monster.  The two of them are right across this little bit of water from each other.

If you go too far away from the Scylla so that it won't catch you, you can get sucked down by the Charybdis.  But you do not really want to go over by the Scylla either.  It is this terrible monster that has six heads and just hangs out all day trying to catch and eat dolphins and such that go by.  If it can catch people off your ship, it certainly will do it.

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