True come his word, Odysseus return to Aeaea because that Elpenor"s funeral rites. Circe is valuable once more, giving supplies and warnings about the trip to begin the following dawn. Very first the Greeks must get past the Sirens who irresistible songs entice sailors right into their island"s coastal reefs. Next they have to avoid the Clashing Rocks (called "Wandering Rocks" or "Rovers" in part translations), which just the delivery of the Argonauts ever escaped.

You are watching: The cattle of the sun god

Choosing to go roughly the Clashing Rocks, Odysseus then must face either Scylla or Charybdis. The first is a six-headed monster lurking in one overhanging, fog-concealed cavern. She cannot be beat in battle, and she will certainly devour at the very least six the the Greeks, one because that each of she hideous top that attribute triple rows that thickset fangs. No much more than an arrowhead shot away is Charybdis, a monster whirlpool the swallows everything near it 3 times a day.

If the Greeks endure these terrors, lock will satisfy the many dangerous check of all: the temptation of the island (Thrinacia) of the Sungod Helios. Every little thing they do, the seamen should not injury the sacred livestock of the sun. If they resist temptation, they have the right to return residence safely; if, top top the other hand, lock harm any type of sacred animal, the ship and men will certainly be destroyed. Odysseus alone may survive, but he will certainly return residence late and also alone, a damaged man. This last caveat (12.148-53) echoes the curse the the Cyclops (9.590-95) and the prophecy that Tiresias (11.125-35). Circe"s warnings prove to it is in a foreshadowing the the true events.

Analysis

Loyalty and also keeping promises are two of the highest possible virtues in Homer"s world. Despite the horrors of the floor of the Dead and the relief the escape, Odysseus" very first thought is to return to Aeaea to bury Elpenor"s corpse. The short description of the funeral rites tells united state that the human body is melted on a funeral pyre, along with the warrior"s armor. The ashes are hidden in a mound topped with a monumental rock and the seaman"s oar that is "planted . . . Come crown his tomb" (12.15). The ceremony is similar to that of the seafaring warriors at the finish of the Old English epic Beowulf, composed practically 1,500 year later.

Like that of the Lotus-eaters, the ar on the Sirens is surprisingly short (fewer than 40 lines), given that it is among the best known illustration in the epic. As soon as again, Homer has actually touched ~ above a global truth, mankind"s struggle with deadly yet irresistible appeal. Circe"s equipment is realistic and simple: Odysseus" males stop your ears through beeswax. Knowing Odysseus and also she does, Circe realizes the his intellectual curiosity should be satisfied; he has to hear the Sirens" song. The systems is come lash him to the mast the the delivery and, once he pleads to be collection free, to tie him an ext securely. For any kind of man that goes as well close to shore, she warns, "no sailing residence for him, no wife rising to satisfy him, / no happy children beaming increase at their father"s face" (12.48-49). For this reason warned and also protected, the crew survives temptation, although Odysseus is practically driven mad by his desire to send to the Sirens" call.

Getting past Scylla and also Charybdis calls for ultimate leadership on the part of Odysseus. No only need to he exercise proper judgment, yet he must additionally recognize that, even if points go well, the still loses six an excellent men. Adhering to Circe"s advice, he stays clear of the whirlpool (Charybdis) and also tries the side of the six-headed monster (Scylla). Against his instincts, the pushes through the monster"s strike without avoiding for a fight, realizing that hold-up would only cost him an ext men. He loses the six to a writhing death, the many heart-wrenching endure for Odysseus in all his wanderings.

The last test of referee in Odysseus" wanderings takes place at the island of Thrinacia, soil of the Sungod Helios. Odysseus desires to bypass the island because of Tiresias" prophecy and Circe"s warning. However, his males are tired and hungry. In addition, the night sea is especially dangerous. Eurylocus speaks for the crew and begs Odysseus to land top top the island so the the men deserve to rest and prepare a ideal meal. He assures Odysseus the they have actually plenty of supplies onboard and that, therefore, Odysseys need not worry about his guys raiding the island or harming the sacred cattle. Maybe showing an ext compassion 보다 leadership, Odysseus provides in.

Initially, the decision seems benign. Over there is lot of of food and drink board ship. But for one whole month, the crew is stranded due to a absence of favorable wind. The ship"s stores run low. Odysseus goes inland to pray for help from the gods however falls into a deep sleep, just as that did when approaching Ithaca through the ill winds contained in one ox skin pouch. And, together they did on that chance (10.39 ff.), his males revolt. Led through Eurylochus, they slaughter the best of the sacred cattle of the Sungod, ironically going with with a sacrificial ceremony, do libations v water since the wine is gone.

The gods room not appeased through the sacrifice, and Zeus himself is outraged yet waits because that vengeance until the delivery sets sail a week later. As shortly as floor is the end of sight, Zeus sends out a monstrous storm that destroys the vessel and also kills all the men, sparing only Odysseus. Easily making a raft the the mast and keel, Odysseus survives the vortex the Charybdis and also struggles ashore ten days later on at Ogygia, the island that Calypso. Over there he is held captive because that the following seven years.

Glossary

Argo ship of the Argonauts.

Hera sister and wife of Zeus.

See more: What Are The Fractions Less Than 1/2 ? What Fraction Is Less Than 1/2

Jason captain the the Argo and leader the the Argonauts in search of the gold Fleece; husband the Medea.