What happens to the men who go ashore in the Land of the Lotus Eaters in "The Odyssey"?

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sullymonster | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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When Odysseus' men went onto the Lotus Eaters island, they were encouraged by the natives to eat the Lotus plant.  This plant acted as a type of drug, causing the sailors to forget about their home and their goals.  Instead, the sailors only wanted to stay on the island, eating more Lotus plants.  Odysseus had to go onto the island to capture his own men and drag them back to the boat.

  • "...the land of the Lotus-eaters, who eat a flowery food....I sent forth some of my comrades to go and learn who the men were....and the Lotus-eaters did not plan death for my comrades, but gave them of the lotus to taste. And whosoever of them ate of the honey-sweet fruit of the lotus, had no longer any wish to bring back word or to return, but there they were fain to abide among the Lotus-eaters, feeding on the lotus, and forgetful of their homeward way. These men, therefore, I brought back perforce to the ships, weeping, and dragged them..."