Prologue until the Cannibal Beach.
starts Monday the 9th of April

Ulysses' problems
Ulysses faced a lot of problems in these first chapters. Right after winning the Trojan War, which lasted for 10 years, he had to make a very long journey home. The first trial he faced was that, his men having been at war for ten years and grown savage, they saw a small city which they decided to attack. Later, the citizens of that city, called upon their cousins from the mountains, the Ciconians, who attacked Ulysses and his crew. Eighteen men died that night. Then, they were blew off course and ended up in Lotusland, where eating the lotus flowers of dreams made by Persephone would give them nightmares at first, and later simply make them drowsy. The next challenge they faced was when they accidentally went inside the Cyclops Polyphemus' lair, where Polyphemus ate two of Ulysses' men and almost ate him. After that, they went to Aeolus who granted them help, but later, even though Ulysses had guarded the bag of wind spirits very carefully, as Aeolus had told him to, two of his men slashed the bag open and the winds blew them off course, right when they were almost back in Ithaca, their homeland. They went to ask Aeolus for help once more, but Aeolus could not help them twice for the gods despised them. Their next and last challenge so far was when they got moored onto the Land of the Racing Sun, where they met cannibal giants who tried to kill them.

and how he solved them
When the Ciconians attacked, Ulysses and his men fought for a while before retreating, leaving the booty that they had stolen on the beach. When they were in Lotusland, Ulysses stopped his men from eating any more lotus flowers, and then eventually got them back on the ship. When in Polyphemus' lair, Ulysses called himself Nobody, got Polyphemus drunk with wine, and, after damaging Polyphemus' eye, escaped with what was left of his men. Afterward, he revealed himself as Ulysses, thus allowing Polyphemus to ask Poseidon to curse him on his journey. When faced with the cannibal giants, they slashed through the giants' hands and then swan to their ship.

Ulysses' traits
Ulysses showed himself as a good leader, when he took charge and decided that his men should not be allowed to eat anymore lotus flowers. On the other hand, he also showed himself as someone who is easy to give in to peer pressure, like when one of his men convinced him that it was a good idea to attack the island, thus bringing the Ciconians down on them in fury. Ulysses also showed himself as a brave, if not more than a little rash, when he defeated the Cyclops Polyphemus, because he was willing to do with whatever he had, but in the end he still revealed himself as Ulysses and not Nobody, which ultimately brought Poseidon's wrath on him and his crew.

-- "If anyone else asks you, it is not Nobody, but Ulysses who has done this to you!" page 26
-- "I can't help you,' said Aeolus. 'I cannot help he whom the gods detest, and they detest you, man-- they hate you." page 39
-- "The west wind rolled off the mountain and filled their sails." page 35
-- "the sky held its gold; shadows yawned and swallowed the light" page 43
--" A brutal bellowing yell shattered the air," page 44

hellenes: Greeks
fatigue: tiredness
dispatched: sent off

symbolic image. they're sailing under a ladder with a bucket on top. it's bad luck, which is what makes the journey interesting
symbolic image. they're sailing under a ladder with a bucket on top. it's bad luck, which is what makes the journey interesting

Circe until Scylla and Charybdis
starts Monday the 16th

Ulysses' problems
In these next chapters, Ulysses faces troubles equally difficult to overcome. The first of these next problems was when he sent out some of his men to scour Circe's island, and they ended up turning into pigs. Coming with that was the price he had to pay for getting his men turned back into people-- he had to stay and live with Circe as her new husband. The next problem they had to face was when they tried to avoid the prophecy the ghosts made when they sought their guidance in the Land of the Dead, and ended up getting their ship scratched and chipped by "wandering, floating rocks." When they decided not to avoid the prophecy after all, to avoid trouble, they ended coming into the course of the Sirens, whose song, even when he was tied up, made Ulysses feel as though he needed to dive into the water or die a burning death.The last problem that they faced so far was when they had to sail right in between two monster, Scylla and Charybdis, one of whom would pluck sailors up from the boat and eat them, and the other would suck up a great big whirlpool and suck up the whole ship in it.

and how he solved them
Ulysses, as usual, solved these problems. With Hermes' help, he solved his problem by holding a special magical flower, which prevented Circe from cursing him and turning him into an animal or something like that. Doing that, he won Circe's heart, and so she struck a bargain with him. If he would stay for some years with her as her husband, them she would let his men change back into humans. Later, after staying with Circe for some years, he begged her to let him go on his voyage once again, for he claimed that it was his nature, just as she said, when he was near death, she would turn him into a fox to suit his nature, just as she had her other human husbands whom she pitied. She told him to set sail for the Underworld, where he can seek guidance from Teiresias. Though he tried to avoid the prophecies made by the ghosts of friends and family past, in the end he went along with it. When they passed the Sirens, Ulysses plugged his men's ears with beeswax, and, wanting to hear the Sirens' song for himself, asked his men to tie him to the mast while he listened. He managed to break free once, but his strongest men, Eurylochus and Perimedes, bound him again, this time with the chain of the anchor. Sailing between Scylla and Charybdis, he sailed straight through the middle, but Scylla grabbed two of the oars and pulled the ship closer, and gobbled up six of his men.

Ulysses' traits
Ulysses showed himself a little rash and yet careful in these few chapters. He listened to Hermes' advice and ended up getting out of Circe's island anyway. He showed himself a little selfish and maybe even a little bit desperate when he threw one of his men overboard and drowned him just so he could follow his ghost into the underworld. As always, though, he showed himself a leader, organizing his men and keeping telling them to keep their ears blocked when they passed the Sirens, etc., though maybe he was also a bit unwise, choosing to hear the Sirens and therefore almost getting himself drowned, had he not put Perimedes and Eurlyochus on guard.

torment: torture
whimpering: to cry with low, broken sounds
flay: skin, as in, skin them

-- "For in those voices were sounds that men love" page 88
-- "When Perimedes and Eurylochus saw the madness fade from their captain's face, they unbound him" 90

-- "They watched in amazement as the water fell to the left, showing a shuddering flash of sea bed and gasping fish" page 94
-- "He was aflame with a fury of desire," page 89
-- "These rocks shepherd me" page 85

this is supposed to be Ulysses' boat sailing, seen from the top. The reason the color of the waters are different is because Ulysses has had to choose between things a lot in these chapters. Circe's island, or voyage. Prophecy or no prophecy.
this is supposed to be Ulysses' boat sailing, seen from the top. The reason the color of the waters are different is because Ulysses has had to choose between things a lot in these chapters. Circe's island, or voyage. Prophecy or no prophecy.

The Cattle of the Sun until the Return (end)
starts Monday the 23rd

Ulysses' problems, and how he solved them
Ulysses faced a few more troubles in these last chapters. The first trial he faced, right after getting past Scylla and Charybdis, he landed in the Land of the Cattle of the Sun. When they arrived there, Ulysses immediately warned his men of what the ghosts in the Underworld had predicted. They were not to eat any of the golden sun cattle. Ulysses sent out his men to scour the land for game. The people sent out to get water came back successfully, for there was lots of clear water on the island. But the party sent out to get game came back unsuccessfully. They only came back with some pigs, etc. There were no stags, or anything; just the fat golden cows. Soon, Ulysses' men were savage with hunger.When Ulysses was sleeping, they slaughtered some of the cattle, and roasted them on pits over the fire. Ulysses woke up from dreaming of food, but the smell remained. Then, he realized that his men must have slaughtered the cattle. Panicked, he rushed to the crime scene. There, he saw the meat. He asked his men where they had found the meat. They lied to him, and said it was from stags on the other side of the island. Ulysses was skeptical at first, but hunger beat his common sense. He sat down with his men, and ate. Helios the Sun god, the owner of the cattle, prayed to Zeus, and Zeus struck lightning upon Ulysses' men, killing the all, and burning the ship. Ulysses alone survived. But the south wind was also against him. he was pushed back to the narrow strait that had Scylla and Charybdis on either side of it. Ulysses clung to a piece of driftwood until Charybdis spat out the sea again, and when she did, he swam along her side of the strait, well away from Scylla who he knew would surely eat him. Out at sea, he swam until he landed on an island. This was the island of Calypso.Calypso was a Titan offspring; her father was Atlas. Calypso was tall and beautiful, and in some ways much like Circe. Her island was full of flowers and other beautiful things. She wanted Ulysses for himself, so she cast enchantments on his memory so that he would forget his home, and his wife, Penelope. But one day, Hermes came to Ulysses, after Ulysses had poked the fiery log Calypso used to see memories, the future, etc. Hermes told Ulysses that he could return to his voyage now, and convinced Calypso to let him go. She provided him with a nice little boat and provisions. As it happened, Poseidon's attention was not on Ulysses, but when he returned, and saw that Ulysses was still alive, he sent a huge, raging storm, and Ulysses' boat was shattered to pieces. But Ulysses met, Ino, a nereid who secretly hated Poseidon. She gave him a veil which would allow him to keep swimming, and one that would return to Ino once Ulysses threw it into the sea when he no longer needed it. Swimming away, Ulysses soon reached land. This land was the land of King Alcinous, whose daughter Nausicaa was a beautiful princess with many suitors. Ulysses was stranded there, near the spot where Nausicaa and her ladies had come to wash in the river, Nausicaa having had a dream of Athena telling her to go there. They found Ulysses, and brought him back to the kingdom. The king was doubtful of Ulysses, because earlier tha tday, he had been to the oracle and received a prophecy warning him of shipwreck, storytellers, strangers. But Nausicaa, using her song at the banquet that night, managed to get Ulysses to reveal himself for who he was, and, knowing that now, the king gave Ulysses provisions to sail home. It is said that Nausicaa became the first woman bard, enchanting people with her song, for she swore she would not love anyone else but Ulysses. The shield of Athena accidentally came down upon them, and turned Ulysses' boat into stone, thus blocking the harbor, just as the prophecy said. When Ulysses was no longer stone, he sailed home. There, he disguised himself as a beggar and met with his old servant the swineherd, and his son, Telemachus, who was by now a grown man. Together, they defeated Penelope's suitors, by sending them out to sea. Poseidon, thinking they were Ulysses' friends, sent a storm on them.

Ulysses' traits
Once again, Ulysses proves himself a desperate man, especially when handling the cattle. This makes him easy to trick or convince. He was so hungry he allowed his men to convince him that the meat they were roasting were imaginary stags and not the Sun cattle, even though, deep down inside him, he knew that the meat was the Sun cattle's. Ulysses has also once again proved himself a determined man. This trait has appeared in him a lot throughout the book, but twice in this last section of the book. He was tempted to stay in one place by so many women who loved him, but he was still faithful to his wife, Penelope, and his son Telemachus. He was so determined to return to them and his kingdom he was willing to risk his life sailing time and time again.

-- "The gods speak in riddles. You know that. Especially when they visit us in dreams." page 131
-- "Ulysses landed on a lonely part of the shore," 147

-- "Others say that she fell in love with a blind poet who took all of her songs and wove them into one huge tapestry of song," page 146
-- "He looked about, at the hills and the cliff beyond, the wooded hills the color of the sky," page 147
-- "His face and arms were wet with the night fog, and his hair was webbed with tiny drops," page 153

this week's image is of Ulysses, before the War and Odyssey, and after the Wrar and Odyssey. He leaves polished and ready, but he comes home old and unruly-looking, pretending to be beggar. the voyage has changed Ulysses a lot