Analysis of the Odyssey book 11 Essay

1) Odysseus travels to the Underworld and makes the offerings according to Circe’s instructions and takes even more instructions from Teiresias on how to get home to Ithaca.

2) Many many of the dead wish to talk to Odysseus (especially his mother), and he needs to draw his sword to keep them away.

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3) Odysseus becomes frightened and goes back to his ship immediately, and sails on to Ithaca.

Two quotes:
1) “But you, Achilles,there’s not a man in the world more blest than you—there never has been, never will be one.

Time was, when you were alive, we Argives honored you as a god, and now down here, I see,you lord it over the dead in all your power.So grieve no more at dying, great Achilles.”

I reassured the ghost, but he broke out, protesting,“No winning words about death to me, shining Odysseus! By god, I’d rather slave on earth for another man—some dirt-poor tenant farmer who scrapes to keep alive—than rule down here over all the breathless dead.

I chose this quote because it shows a conversation in which each man thinks about life on the other side. They both seem to find that the other world is better than the one in which they inhabit.

2) “Here Perimedes and Eurylochus held the victims, while I drew my sword and dug the trench a cubit each way. I made a drink-offering to all the dead, first with honey and milk, then with wine, and thirdly with water, and I sprinkled white barley meal over the whole, praying earnestly to the poor feckless ghosts, and promising them that when I got back to Ithaca I would sacrifice a barren heifer for them, the best I had, and would load the pyre
with good things.”

This quote shows both how precise Odysseus conducts this procedure and also how much he wishes this opportunity to work out. I can see how much he wants to be able to talk to Teiresias so he makes sure to do this offering entirely correct.

Genuine Question:
Why does Odysseus feel so frightened when he is at the Underworld?

Odysseus could be frightened for many reasons. He could be afraid of being mobbed by the group that surround him in the Underworld. Odysseus could also be scared of any other things spoiling his chances of getting home to Ithaca.

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