Illustration of Odysseus tied to a ship's mast

The Odyssey

by Homer

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How might a vacation to the islands visited by Odysseus in the Odyssey be described in a travel section?

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Your first step in completing this assignment is to review the islands to which Odysseus and his crew travel. Odysseus stays with Calypso on Ogygia for seven years, for instance. He also visits the island of the Cyclops Polyphemus and the island of the Lotus Eaters as well as the island of Aeolus and Circe's island.

Now let's brainstorm a bit about how you might write a travel paragraph about these islands. Your paragraph will certainly have some irony to it, because Odysseus's experiences on these islands is largely negative. He is held captive. His men are eaten or enchanted (and turned into pigs). This is just not a good time!

Yet there are beautiful aspects to these islands as well that you can try to capture. You might talk about Aeolus's gift of winds, for instance, which would be quite helpful for people who want to get somewhere quickly by ship. You can also warn of danger, however, for the Cyclops is still potentially deadly even if he is blind, and travelers will want to steer clear of his cave.

Now let's talk about some of the words you should incorporate into your paragraph. Be sure you know the meanings of these before you use them (and look them up in a dictionary if you aren't sure). You might talk about Circe's island as being beguiling, for that is another word for enchanting. You might describe the ardor (passion) of Calypso, who keeps Odysseus with her for seven years. You might speak of the adversary, the opponent, Polyphemus, whom Odysseus conquers through his clever trickery. You might even mention the foreboding (apprehension) Odysseus feels as he tries to rescue his drugged men from the Lotus Eaters.

There are all kinds of possibilities here. Just remember to use your paragraph to discuss the amazing (and perhaps abominably perilous) vacation a person could have by following in Odysseus's footsteps.

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