Chapter 1, 2 & 3- Ships and Men, The Ciconians & The Lotus-Eaters
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In Chapters 1, Ships and Men, Ulysses starts his journey home to Ithaca. In Chapter 2, The Ciconians, Ulysses attempts to attack the Ciconians, and is successful in stealing their loot. However, the Ciconians attacked them back, and he leaves the loot on the beach after they have a feast. After fleeting to the ships and losing eighteen of his men, Ulysses' and his men are forced to fleet. However, the ships are damaged and have holes, so Ulysses and his men have to throw the treasure from Troy into the water. The treasure attracts beautiful water nymphs who swam around the ships happily. However, these Nymphs were Poseidon's and Poseidon sent a gust of wind, sending Ulysses and his men to Lotusland. In Chapter 3, The Lotus Eaters, Ulysses' men were becoming extremely hungry and tired, so they docked their ships onto the island of Lotusland. As they slept, the Lotus-eaters put food by them. Morpheus, nephew of Persephone, who was extremely intrigued by dreams, watched over the men as the slept, and fixed every one of their nightmares to make them happy dreams. When he reached Ulysses, he realized that Ulysses was a hero, and therefore could not fix his dreams. Ulysses then woke up out of his awful nightmare, and realized that the flowers were making them sleepy, so with one last effort, pulled his men back onto the ships and set sail again.
Chapter 4- The Cyclops' Cave
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In Chapter 4, Ulysses men are becoming so hungry that their hunger is turning into anger. His men are mad at him because they are mad at Ulysses that he took them away from Lotusland. Ulysses fears that there is going to mutiny, so he docks his ships to the closest island. This was probably the worst island that Ulysses could have docked on. This is because a group of Cyclops lived on this island, and their favorite food is human flesh. so, the largest Cyclops, Polyphemus, couldn't believe his luck when he saw a group of large men docking their ships on his island. As bait, he roasted goats on a large fire. When Ulysses' men smelled the goats cooking, they were immediately drawn to the smell, and started running towards it. When they got to the goats, Polyphemus closed them in his den, and ate three of the men. As a last resort, Ulysses offered the cyclops wine, in hopes of getting him drunk. The cyclops soon passed out, just at Ulysses had hoped. Ulysses then told his men to hold down Polyphemus, and stabbed him in the eye. Polyphemus, then, waking up blind, started a huge fit and ran around. Ulysses and his men held on to the bottom of the goats, and as the cyclops opened the cave door, all the goats and Ulysses men ran out. As Ulysses and his men ran towards the shore and got on their boats, Polyphemus threw a boulder at Ulysses' ship, almost sunk the ship and killed a bunch of Ulysses' men.
Chapter 5- Keeper of the Winds
In Chapter 5, Poseidon guides Ulysses' ships toward the island fortress of Aeolus, keeper of the winds. After an enchanted sleep, Ulysses and his men and Aeolus and his children meet for a feast. During this feast, Ulysses pleases Aeolus with his war stories and adventure stories. In return, Aeolus gives Ulysses a bag of wind that would change the direction of his ships if he opened it. However, Aeolus warns Ulysses that only Ulysses can open it, or there will be great consequences. Aeolus then sets Ulysses and his men on their journey with a steady west wind that sends them on their way home. After nine days and nine nights, in which Ulysses does not sleep, or leave his post, guarding the bag of winds at all times, Ulysses and his men see home. Ulysses, seeing that in an hour they will be safely home, Ulysses finally goes to sleep. However, two of Ulysses men become very greedy and curious, and thinking there is treasure inside, cut open the sack of winds with a sword. The winds are released, swirling and sending Ulysses ships back to where they started, even more damaged than they were before.
Chapter 6- Cannibal Beach
After seeing what rough shape the ships are in after the crew releases the bag of winds, Ulysses heads for shore on an island. After sending a man up to keep lookout and see if there was anyone else on the island, the man does not return. So, Ulysses sends a second man up. Again, the man does not return. After sending three men up with none of them coming down, Ulysses decides that he needs to go up for himself. After going halfway up, Ulysses discovers that what he is climbing up is not a tree, but actually a large giant. When he and the crew try and run back the shore, the large giants chase Ulysses and crush two ships, killing two thirds of Ulysses' men.
Chapter 7- Circe
Ulysses and his men dock on an island with a large castle in the middle. Ulysses stays at the beach with a group of men, and sends Eurylochus with another group of men to look around the castle. When Eurylochus and his men arrive at the castle, they discover lions and dogs in the courtyard. However, these were tame lions and dogs that had a look of longing and sadness in their eyes. They heard beautiful singing, and after following the sound of it, found a beautiful woman weaving. Her name was Circe. She gives the men baths and feeds them wonderful scented porridge. They eat like pigs and Circe soon turns them into swine with her wand. Eurylochus runs back to Ulysses, telling him everything. Ulysses then goes to the castle to see for himself. Before he goes in, he sees Hermes, the messenger god, who gives him a flower that protects him from Circe's magical powers. Because of his protection from Circe, Circe is enchanted and believes that Ulysses is magical. She quickly makes him her husband and tells him that all the other animals on the island are her past husbands, that she kept immortal in animal form. She then says that he is her favorite husband she's ever had, and gives him a choice. Immortality with her and only her, or mortality and he can go home. Ulysses chooses mortality, and Circe sends him back to sea, but not home, to the land of the dead, Tarturus, so the souls there can create the fate of Ulysses and his men.
Chapter 8- The Land of the Dead
When Ulysses entered the area that was said to be near Tartarus, The Land of the Dead, nighttime fell over the sky, creating a blackness that would not lift, no matter how much time passed. The ship sailed along the waters blindly and the men hardly spoke. Ulysses never slept, sticking wood chips in his eyes so that his eyelids would stay open. Finally, after a week, a tiny bit of light peeked through the dark sky, but it wasn't sunlight, it was a thickening gray fog. He sent a sailor named Elpenor to climb the mast. They heard a giant scream then gurgling. Elpenor had fallen into the water and died quickly. Right after, a gull came up from the ocean. The men said it was the spirit of Elpenor, and Ulysses decided to follow it. There was a strong roaring of waters, until they found themselves in a strange place. A river, called the Styx. At this, Ulysses knew he had sailed into the Kingdom of the Dead. He led his men to a field with black goats. He slit two of the goats throats and let their blood drip into a trench, because he knew that fresh blood attracts the ghosts. He soon saw steam coming his way, and the steam separated into figures that leaned over the trench to drink the blood. The first ghost he saw was Anticleia, his mother. Then Achilles, another war hero. Then Ajax, then Elpenor, who told Ulysses that he was to haunt him until he buried him and put his oar on top of the tomb. All the ghosts told him that there were to be a strait he has to pass through, and on one side, there was a monster, Scylla who would eat six of his men if they got to close and on the other side, there was another monster, Charybdis, who would create a whirlpool and suck up the whole ship and men if Ulysses got to close to that side. Finally, the ghost Teiresias, the master of prophecies, came. He told Ulysses that they would reach Sicily, the island of the Sun-Titan, and by that point all of there food would be out. But, he warned, that Ulysses could not let his men take one of the beef on the island, or they would never return home. After this, Ulysses took his men and headed back to the sea, ready for the perils that would come his way.
Chapter 9- The Wandering Rocks
As Ulysses was back out sailing after being at Tartarus, on the way he heard a weird noise. Although, he could only see tiny black things in the water that he wasn't sure were real or not. When they were close enough to see, Ulysses could tell that they were actually rocks, jagged boulders floating like corks on the misty water. To his horror, the rocks started circling around the ship. When he turned south, they stopped circling. So, he set his course for Sicily, the Island of the Sun-Titan.
Chapter 10- The Sirens
When Ulysses realized they were reaching the island where the Sirens dwelt, he prepared for the singing. He plugged his ears with the beeswax used for keeping the rope slick. However, he did not plug his own ears, because he felt, as a captain, that he should be able to hear everything so that he can hear what is up ahead. Then he tied himself to the mast. He told his crew to not, under any circumstance, untie him. When the singing starts, it is the most beautiful and joyous thing Ulysses had ever heard. He broke free of the ropes, but his two best men, Eurylochus and Perimedes, stopped him and tied him up to the mast again. This time, however, with a stronger rope from the anchor. Then, as they were passing extremely close to the island, he saw the actual sirens. They were disgusting, sitting on bones with the bodies of birds and the face of young women. Their horrific appearances blocked out the singing, and after they passed the island, Ulysses' crew let him down. Right as he got down, he heard a whirlpool, and knew that they were approaching Scylla and Charybdis.
Chapter 11- Scylla and Charybdis
When Ulysses reached Scylla and Charybdis, he realized that the only way to get passed the two monsters safely, was through a narrow straight that was just barely wide enough for him to slip by unharmed. He realized that the distance was so large that he would have had to sail perfectly straight, not going off course for even a tiny bit. When he started, Ulysses sailed almost perfectly. But, he had overlooked something, when measuring the distance. While they were right between the two monsters, Scylla grabbed the oars, slanting the boat sideways. Ulysses held on and Scylla took six of the men. Ulysses tried to fight her off, but he was too late. Scylla swallowed the men whole, and Ulysses and the other men barely got by.
Chapter 12- Cattle of the Sun
Ulysses docks his boat on the island that belongs to the Sun-Titan, Hyperion. He tells his crew what the spirits in the underworld had warned him of. How, if the men ate even one of the sun-cattle on the island, they would never see home again. For thirty days and thirty nights, the crew ate boiled pigs they had found on the other side of the island, until all of them had been killed and eaten. The men were desperately hungry. They ate anything that was remotely edible. One night, when Ulysses was asleep, Eurylochus brought the men together and slaughtered six of the fine sun-cattle. Ulysses awoke, smelling the food. The crew convinced him that they had found a group of stags on the other side of the island, so Ulysses ate up. He then saw the leg of the stag and realized that it was actually one of Hyperion's sun-cattle. When Hyperion saw Ulysses and his crew eating his beef, he prayed to Zeus, who swore vengeance against Ulysses. Then, a strong north wind came, the kind that would take Ulysses and his crew home, and they rushed to the boat. As they were on the water, Ulysses saw a strange sight. A large mass of dark clouds. By the time he realized, it was too late. A huge wind came hurdling in. The mast snapped and a lightning bolt came from the sky. Huge amounts of choking yellow smoke arose. The heat was so unbearable, all the men jumped out of the ship, dying instantly when they hit the water. He found a small raft and held on. However, he could feel himself being dragged back to Scylla and Charybdis. Holding onto the rocks, he stayed away from Charybdis. For nine days and nine nights Ulysses was on the raft. When he reached an island, a huge mass of black mist arose, engulfing Ulysses and the raft.
Chapter 13- Calypso
When Ulysses awakens, he sees a demigodess who tells him that he is on the island of Ogygia, and that she is Calypso. She gives Ulysses food and wine and is extremely hospitable. She tells him that she is of the Titan breed, daughter of Atlas, and that she had watched Ulysses throughout his whole voyage. Calypso then shows him images of his family back home. Of his wife Penelope, now a widow, and his grown son, Telemachus, who had just been a small infant when Ulysses left. She then shows him images of when he was heroic. In the cyclops' cave, during the Trojan War, and he feels that he is worthy enough to love her, a titan's daughter. Calypso shows Ulysses her birds, which were also her past husbands who she had changed, much like Circe. Ulysses makes a crow fly back to Ithaca, and see how his wife and son are doing. The crow comes back with news, that his wife stays faithful, and same with his son. Calypso then tells Ulysses she can give him immortality, but he prays to Zeus, asking him for help. Zeus convinces Calypso to let Ulysses off the island, and she does, however reluctantly.
Chapter 14- Ino's Veil
Calypso lets Ulysses off the island very generously, with a ship suited for one man. However, Poseidon sees Ulysses on the water when heading back to Olympus. He is infuriated, thinking he had drowned Ulysses ages ago. He creates huge waves, completely demolishing Ulysses' boat. Holding on to the broken ship, he sees a final wave that he believes may be the last thing he ever sees. Suddenly, a woman appears. She is a nereid named Ino. She gives him a veil and tells him that it will keep him safe if he swims back to shore. He puts the veil around himself, and swims to shore. The water becomes calm and buoyant, and Ulysses swims to a near island. However there are rocks along the shore, and he scrapes himself on them. He scales the rocks and finally finds beach. Ulysses get onto shore, throws the veil back into the water, and collapses in the reeds.