The Odyssey

the ody

sumary for book 11

Asked by
Last updated by jill d #170087
Answers 1
Add Yours

Odysseus and his crew sail to the region of the Men of Winter and, per Circe's instructions, make a ritual sacrifice for Tiresias. While waiting for Tiresias, Odysseus cuts down the other phantoms that emerge, including Elpenor, who had fallen from Circe's roof. Odysseus promises him a proper sailor's burial back on Circe's island. He also sees his dead mother, Antikleia. Finally, Tiresias appears and warns him that Poseidon seeks vengeance for the blinding of his son, Polyphemus. He warns Odysseus not to touch the flocks of Helios when he lands on Thrinakia, predicting doom for his crew if they do. He further predicts that Odysseus will make it alone to his house and slay Penelope's destructive suitors. Then he will take an oar to a place where men do not know of the sea, and when someone asks him about the "fan" on his shoulder, he should make a sacrifice to Poseidon; the sacrifice will ensure a rich life for him thereafter.

Tiresias leaves, and Odysseus allows Antikleia to sip the blood he has prepared and thus talk. He briefly tells her about the purpose of his journey, then asks what killed her, and then asks after the rest of his family. She relates Penelope's and Telemachus' lives, and says his father stays at home, pining for his son's return. She was like this, too, and her loneliness and longing for Odysseus is what killed her. Odysseus tries to hug her, but his hands pass through the air. After they finish talking, more shadows come and tell their stories to Odysseus.

Odysseus stops his story. The Phaeacian king, Alcinous, asks him to spend another day with them so they can furnish him with gifts, then asks if he met any of his fellow warriors among the shadows. Odysseus relates how he saw Agamemnon, who tells him how Aigisthos and his wife Klytaimnestra killed him, and warns him about the wickedness of women; he should return home secretly, without warning to his wife. Odysseus talks with other shadows, including Achilles, about whose son, Neoptolemos, he tells him. He sees Tantalos, tortured by food and drink always just out of reach, and Sisyphus, perpetually pushing a boulder up a hill. The shadows mass in the thousands and frighten away Odysseus, who sails away with his crew.