The Adventures Of Ulysses by Bernard Evslin


The Ciconians April 12, 2012 week 3

During this chapter, the Hellenes encountered the Ciconians, kinsmen of the villages. The Hellenes’ voyage began peacefully. A fair northeast wind blew, filling the sails of the little fleet and pushing it steadily homeward. The wind freshened at night, and the three ships scudded along joyfully under a fat moon. But when they saw the beautiful little town without walls, rich with green parks and grazing cattle, their luck changed. Ulysses’s tough, crafty old warrior Eurylochus thought the town was a gift from god and convinced Ulysses to attack the town. From house to house the armed men (the Hellenes) went, helping themselves with whatever they wanted. Afterward they piled the booty in great heaps upon the beach. The men of the city withdrawn into the hills and gather all the kinsmen of the villages, the Ciconians, and attacked the Hellenes who are full of food and wine from the looting and festing.

Ulysses raged among his men, slapping them with the flat of his sword, driving the fumes of wine out of their heads and led them back to their ships. They roll their ships into the water, leap into the rowers’ benches and row away. But eighteen men were left dead on the beach-six from each ship-and there was scarcely a man unwounded.

During this case, Ulysses showed a good leadership skill, because he was the one who helped his men to get out of the fumes of the wine and he led his team back to their ships and run away. He’s also pretty opening minded, because he listened to his man’s idea, which is to attack the town, even the result wasn’t so good. He showed mercy to his men, he didn’t killed Eurylochus because his idea made the death of 18 men. But he wasn’t a nice hero, he’s a rubber in this story.

But the main problem Ulysses encountered was with Poseidon, it was a misunderstanding, but for sure Poseidon doesn’t know, nor did the Hellenes. When the Hellenes were forced to throw their treasures away because the ships were foundering, a shoal of naiads-beautiful water nymphs-were drawn by the flash of the jewels and came around the boat. Poseidon was wakened from the sleep by this sound of laughter and he thought the Hellenes were trying to steal his naiads. He decided to teach the Hellenes manners by changing their way home. He asked his son Aeolus who’s the god of wind and led the Hellenes towards the hump of Africa called Libya.

New words:

The Lotus-Eaters

Morpheus is the God of Sleep, it was his task to fly around the world, from night falls to dawn, scattering sleep. Morpheus planted the Lotus-a flower colored black and purple like sleep, with one petal of fire-red for dreams on Libya. It was toward Lotusland that Ulysses and his men were blown by the gale. The wind fell while they were still offshore. The sky cleared, the sea calmed, a hot sun beat down. To Ulysses, dizzy with fatigue, weak with hunger, the sky and the water and the air between seemed to flow together in one hot blueness. The Exhausted men bent to the oars and row toward land. The exhausted men bent to the oars, and the ships crawled over the fire-blue water. With their last strength they pulled the ships up on the beach, past the high-tide mark, and then lay down and went to sleep.

The God of Sleep made the men fall into a deep sleep, dreaming about home, and don't want to wake up again. Ulysses got the spell too, he felt his eyelids drooping, his arms growing heavy, and he thought: "it is these flowers that are making us sleep, Their scent alone brings sleep. I must not eat them." He forced himself walk into the sea, which made his head cleared. Then one by one he carried the sleeping men to the ships and propped them on their benches. His strength was going. The honey smell was invading him, making him droop with sleep, so he cut a sharp splinter of wood to prop open his eyelids, staggered back among the men. Finally, the beach was cleared and the Hellenes were able to continue their voyage again.

The Cyclops Cave

Ulysses and his men + Cyclops

Ulysses is a hero. He led his men back to their homeland safely and killed lots of scary monsters on the way. But he’s also a stupid trouble maker. He angered the God, which made his way home billion times harder, by his own pride. And this chapter is where he first showed his foolishness.

After leaving Lotusland, Ulysses found that he was running from one trouble into another. They were still at sea, and there was no food for the fleet. The men were hungry and getting dangerous.

Ulysses made a landfall on a small, mountainous island. He was very careful; he had the ships of the fleet moor offshore and selected twelve of his bravest men as a landing party. They beached their skiff and struck inland. It was a wild, hilly place, full of boulders, with very few trees. It seemed deserted. Then Ulysses glimpsed something moving across the valley, on the slope of a hill. He was too far off to see what they were, but he thought they must be goats since the hill was so steep. And if they were goats they had to be caught. Si the men headed down-hill, meaning to cross the valley and climb the slope. What Ulysses didn’t know was that this was the very worst island on which the small party could have landed. For here lived the Cyclopes, huge savage creatures, tall as trees, each with one eye in the middle of his forehead. Ulysses and his men were caught by a Cyclope named Polyphemus and were ready to be eaten. Before Polyphemus could swallowed another man, Ulysses shouted and presented him a full flask of unwatered wine. Polyphemus didn’t know what is wine, so with curiosity, he put it to his lips and gulped. He coughed violently and stuck the sailor in a little niche high up in the cave wall. Polyphemus was lightened by the wine and decided to save Ulysses till the last, but Polyphemus was too drunk he need to have a sleep first before he could eat another man. After the great body crashed full-length on the cave floor, making the very walls of the mountain shake. Ulysses got his men to their feet and told them his plan. He’s going to stroke the giant’s eye with the blade which just been into the fire. Their plan succeeded, they were able to get away from the giant, but Ulysses will regret his final taunt, which is telling the giant his name-Ulysses. Polyphemus prayed to Poseidon for punishing the act of Ulysses, which caused Ulysses more troubles.

For sure, Ulysses showed leadership skill while saving his men and himself. He’s also a very clever leader, different from other normal leader, he chooses to trick the Cyclops instead of fighting against it directly. But he was driven by his pride at the end of battle, he told the giant his name, which was very bad for his voyage.

Keeper of the winds

Ulysses was wild with eagerness to get home to his family; he’s so impatient that he took the helm himself and kept it night and day. At the end of 3rd night, just as the first light was staining the sky, he saw something very strange-a wall of bronze, tall and wide, floating on the sea blocking their way. After he went behind the bronze wall, he saw a beautiful island.

Ulysses had no way knowing this, but the mischievous Poseidon had guided his ships to the island of fortress of Aeolus, Keeper of the Winds. Ulysses met Aeolus, who loved stories. Aeolus asked Ulysses to tell him a story, and Ulysses told him the Trojan War, and how he wondered on the Lotusland, and how he fought the Cyclops Polyphemus. Aeolus was very pleased with his stories. Aeolus decided to grant Ulysses a wish, which is going home. Aeolus gave Ulysses the west wind, north wind and south wind and told Ulysses how to use them. But Ulysses was betrayed by his men, two of his men stolen the bag of winds. Aeolus was disappointed and sent Ulysses out of the island.

Ulysses was a great leader, but he put too much trust on his men. Which lead to what happened today.

Cannibal Beach

Ulysses had to put into harbor six days after the sailing, because the ships were in very poor trim. Ulysses found a perfect island for his purpose; the island had a natural basin of tideless water cupped by a smoothly curved out-cropping of rock.

Ulysses ask the men to work in groups, some built fire and began to cook, and some mended sail, some caulked hulls, and sentries kept watch. Ulysses asked one of his men to climb a tree and look what’s on the island, but the sailor didn’t return after a while. Ulysses thought it’s odd, but he didn’t gave too much thoughts, he thought the sailor fell asleep up there, so Ulysses ask another man to climb the tree to see what happened to the first one. After a while, the 2nd sailor didn’t return either, Ulysses frowned and asked the third man to climb the tree. Then he kept guard there on the beach. The third man still didn’t return until the next morning, so Ulysses decided to climb the tree himself. It was a good half-mile from where he stood, a huge solitary tree stretching up, up. When he reached it he saw that its bark was wrinkled in a most curious way; it fell in soft brown folds unlike any bark he had ever seen. And when he grasped the tree to climb it, the bark felt like a heavy cloth beneath his hands. But it made climbing easy. Up and up he went; up, up in the thickening darkness, climbing with the ease of a man of the Middle Sea who had begun to climb masts as soon as he could walk. Ulysses climbed and climbed, and then he suddenly heard a mumbling, chuckling sound as if some beast were crouching in the branches above. He stopped climbing and looked up. He couldn’t see anything. He waited right where he was, until the blackness thinned. He realized that the hairy foliage was a beard. A huge bushy beard, hanging some forty feet above ground. Above the beard was a grinning of enormous teeth; above the teeth the muddy gleam of eyes as large as portholes. Ulysses’s head swam with fear, he had been climbing no tree. It was a giant’s leg he had climbing.

Ulysses showed braveness, he loosened his grasp and slid down so swiftly that he tore the skin off his hands, but he was mindless for that. He quickly raised a shout as soon as he hits the ground, but it was too late. The sailors are already paralyzed by the fear. Before Ulysses could rally his men, the giants tramped the ships like twigs, scooping the men up and popping them into their mouths. Ulysses quickly led a group of men onto a ship and swiftly raised sail and darted through the throat of rock out into the open sea.

Ulysses should have been more cautious. He asked 2 men to climb the tree, and they both didn’t come back. So he asked the third man to climb the tree, if he’s careful enough, he won’t asked the third man to climb the tree, he should have thought something might had happened to them. So Ulysses was the one who caused the death of his men.

Circe Week 4. April 22, 2012

New vocabs:

- Moored

- Joyous

- Consult

- Twig

- Peril

- Eye sockets

After the battle with the giant cannibals, Ulysses found himself with only 45 men left out of a hundred. He was determined to bring these men home safely or di himself. The Hellenes found a low-lying, heavily wooded, with a good sheltering harbor. Although the men got terrible treatment everywhere they had landed since leaving Troy, they are running out of supplies, so they have to take the risk of landing.

Ulysses was very cautious, he moored the ship off shore go ashore himself-alone, to make sure there will be no danger on this island. After getting on shore, Ulysses climbed low hill, then climbed to the top of a tree to get a clear view of the island. His attention was caught by something looked like a feather of smoke rising from a grove of trees. He couldn’t see through the thick trees so climbed down and picked his way toward the smoke. He saw a castle made out of polished gray stone, he did not dare to go near because the strange howling sounds he heard. While going back to his men, Ulysses thinks hard on deciding whether to leave immediately or take the risk to seek food on this island. Ulysses was aware of the howling sounds, so he decided to leave the island and seek food in somewhere else. But his decision changed after he hunted a great stag for his hungry men. He decided to take risk to seek food on this island because of this giant stag, he thought there might be greater price then this stag on this island and with games like that, the ship could be provisioned in a few days.

So the next day Ulysses divided his men into two groups and sent the other group led by Eurylochus to explore that castle. Eurylochus’ group got to the castle and met the “tame and friendly” animals who are so intelligent. Eurylochus decided to kept guard outside the castle because something said to him to be careful, so he asked the men to keep going while he’s guarding the castle. When the men got in, the saw a beautiful, tall women who sings beautifully. The woman named Circe, she treated the men generously with a great meal, and the food was so good that the men kept on eating. Circe passed among the men, smiling, filling the bowls again and again. And the men, waiting for their bowls to be filled, looking about, seeing each other’s faces smeared with food, thought, “How strange. We’re eating like pigs.” Even the though came, it became more true. For as Circe passed among them now she touched each one on the shoulder with a wand, saying: “Glut and swink, eat and drink, gobble food and guzzle wine. Too rude, I think, for humankind, quite right, I think, for swine!” As Circe said these words, the men turned into pigs.

Eurylochus was waiting at the gate, but after noticing the men didn’t come back, he was seized by fear, so he quickly go back to Ulysses and tell him what happened. Ulysses decided to go save the men himself because then oath he sworn. During the way, Ulysses met a God- Hermes. Hermes guided Ulysses because Hermes disagreed with how Poseidon is torturing Ulysses, so he came to make things balance.

Ulysses came to Circe, and made Circe to swear that she won’t hurt either Ulysses or his men. Then Ulysses lived with Circe like husband and wife for a while. Even Ulysses lived happily with Circe and don’t have to worry about Poseidon’s decreed, but Ulysses has to leave. When Ulysses decided to leave the island because the oblige with his family, Circe guided Ulysses.

In this case, Ulysses seems like a dependable person because he keeps his promise. He’s also very clever, he retreat quickly after seeing Hermes. In Circe’s words, Ulysses was a foxy leader.

The Land of dead

To escape the decreed of Poseidon, Ulysses must visit the land of death and find a certain ghost who will plan the Ulysses’s homeward journey. Ulysses couldn’t believe that he have to go to the land of dead because the land of dead is where of the ghost, and spirits of dead goes. But Ulysses had no choice, so he led the ship headed west and sail to the land where no one ever sailed to. When they are entering Tartarus Ulysses asked a sailor called Elpenor climbed to the mast and try to see some distances ahead, no sooner had Elpenor reached the top of the mast than the ship yawed sharply. Ulysses had lost his footing and stumbled against the mast. The fog was too thick that no one saw Elpenor fall, but they heard his terrible scream turned into a choking gurgle. And they knew that he had been shaken from the mast and had fallen into the sea and been drowned. No sooner after Elpenor’s death, the fog thinned, and they saw a white gull rise screaming and flew ahead them. Ulysses said, “Follow that gull, he will lead us where we must go.”

When they get to Tartarus, Ulysses encountered his mother, Anticleia, Archilles, Ajax, the sage Teiresias and Elpenor, who told Ulysses what will happen on Ulysses’ way home. After hearing all the counsels, Ulysses and all of his man embarked again.

The Wondering Rock, the Siren, the Scylla and the Charybdis

Ulysses didn’t really trusted in the ghost’s counsels, and the wind was so good, so Ulysses decided to sail straight to Ithca. But there happened to be a floating reef of rocks, jagged boulders bobbing on the waves like corks. Rubbing against each other and making that moaning, grinding sound he heard a while ago. They rocks are coming quickly to the ship, so Ulysses must turn the ship and head to where they must go, unless he want to crash his ship. Ulysses’ trip was led by the wondering ship. In the first light of morning Ulysses awoke and called his crew about him. Ulysses told them about how dangerous the Sirens could be, then he tell the crew to tie him up on the mast and cannot release him no matter how hard he struggles. After that he came to every single man in his crew and plugged the men’s ears with soft wax, he caulked their ears so tightly that the men couldn’t hear anything except the thin pulsing of their blood. Then after they entered the rocky islet and Ulysses heard a beautiful voice that made him loses all his power.

The Cattle of the Sun, Calypso, Ino’s Veil, Nausicca, the Return