The Odyssey

Book 12: The Sirens, Scylla and Charybdis. What advice does Circe offer Odysseys in lines 68-85? (lines are in the details) Does he follow her advice? what does his reaction to her adivce reveal about his character?

No, hug the cliff of Scylla, take your ship through on a racing stroke. Better to mournsix men than lose them all, and the ship, too'. So her advice ran; but i faced her, saying : 'Only instruct me, goddess, if you will, how, if possible, can I pass Charybdis, or fight off Scylla when she raids my crew?' Swifty that loveliest goddess answered me: 'Must you have battle in your heart forever? The bloody toil of combat? Old contender, will you not yield to the immortal gods? That nightmare cant die, being eternal evil itself is no fighting her, no power can fight her, all that avails is flight. Lose headway there along that rockface while you break out arms, and she'll swoop over you, I fear, once more taking one man again for everygullet.


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Kirke (Circe) gives them a feast, and at night warns Odysseus of the dangers his ship will face tomorrow. The next day, the crew follows her instructions, plugging their ears so the song of the Seirenes will not tempt them away from their course; Odysseus listens to it but has his men lash him to the mast. Next, the men must sail between Skylla, a six-headed sea monster that devours sailors, and the treacherous whirlpools of Kharybdis. Odysseus does not tell them of the imminent death, as they would panic. Indeed, Skylla seizes and eats six men. You can check out more at the GradeSaver link below: