What are two events that happened in the land of the lotus eaters in the Odyssey?

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readerofbooks eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Odysseus' account takes place in book nine. He recounts how a storm drove them to the land of the Lotus-eaters. Now here is what happens:

First, when the natives there give his men some fruit from the lotus plant to eat and they partake, they lose all thoughts of their journey homeward. In fact, the fruit is so addictive and intoxicating that they want to stay and only eat. This fact alone could have made their homeward journey stop dead in its tracks. Here is what the text says:

When they had eaten and drunk I sent two of my company to see what manner of men the people of the place might be, and they had a third man under them. They started at once, and went about among the Lotus-eaters, who did them no hurt, but gave them to eat of the lotus, which was so delicious that those who ate of it left off caring about home, and did not even want to go back and say what had happened to them, but were for staying and munching lotus with the Lotus-eaters without thinking further of their return.

Second, when Odysseus saw this he forced them to return to the ships. It was the force of his character that saved the day. The men reluctantly obeyed as they were weeping. Then Odysseus made them row like mad, lest anyone have second thoughts or seek to eat more lotus fruits.

crdyer | Student

In the Land of the Lotus Eaters, Odysseus' men interact with the Lotus Eaters, who offer them a Lotus Flower. The flower causes the men to lose sight of their intention and want to return home. Odysseus orders his men back to the ship, but because of the flower, Odysseus ends up having to tie his men up to get them on the ship because they want to stay. While the Lotus Eaters do pose a threat to Odysseus and his men, mainly they lose the sight of home, they are not as big of a threat as others, such as The Cyclops, they face.  

Read the study guide:
The Odyssey

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