What problems did Odysseus face in book 9?  

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favoritethings eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Book IX, Odysseus briefly describes the time he spent with Calypso, who kept him prisoner, and Circe, "full of craft" who kept him in her palace.  However, he describes, at much greater length, the problems he faced in Ismarus, the land of the Lotus-eaters, and the land of the Cyclops.  Ismarus was the first place his crew stopped after their victory at Troy, and after they'd pillaged the town, Odysseus advised them all to return to the ship and go, but they decided to get drunk and fall asleep.  They are then attacked at night by those who survived the earlier violence, and six men from each ship are killed. 

In the land of the Lotus-eaters, he sends only three men ashore, but after they taste the lotus fruit, they have no more desire to return home.  Odysseus must physically drag or carry each of them back to the ship.

At the island on which Polyphemus, the Cyclops, lives, Odysseus's men try to convince him to take food and return to the ship, but he refuses.  They wait for the Cyclops to return to his cave, and, when he does, he ends up eating two of Odysseus's men for each meal for the next day.  They finally have to blind him in his sleep to get away.