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“No more seafaring/homeward for these, no sweet day of return;” May 12, 2011

Posted by equinson in : Mythology, Odyssey , trackback

A two parter! First, was Odysseus right not to tell his men about the decision to sail toward Scylla? What would have happened if he had told them everything? Second, What does Eurylochus say to persuade Odysseus’ men to slaughter and eat the cattle of Helios? Why is Odysseus unable to prevent them? Do members of the crew deserve their punishment for killing the cattle? Be sure to use many text-based details to support your answer and respond to at least one other comment in this thread.

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# j-dog24 - May 12, 2011

Yes, Odysseus was right by not telling his men about the decision to sail toward Scylla. After their reaction of Charybdis, I wouldn’t want my men to know that we are passing by the island of a sea monster who likes to eat people. This is another example of Odysseus’s strong leadership and smart, quick decision-making. If Odysseus told his men, they would have been too scared to row the ship past Scylla; when they heard Charybdis they let their oars go!

Eurylochus persuaded Odysseus’s men into disobeying Odysseus’s orders to not slaughter Helios’s cattle. Odysseus knew not to do this because of Tiberias. Sadly, his men did not follow his orders and died because of upsetting Helios. Eurylochus told the men that they were bound to die where they were; they would never be able to go back to sea. He said that famine is the worse way to die, so they might as well feast and then die because of eating. The men are dumb enough to listen to Eurylochus instead of Odysseus. Odysseus was unable to prevent this from happening because he was sleeping. He claims he was put to sleep by the Gods. In my mind, no one deserves to die. But, during this time period and the way myths happen, Odysseus’s men deserved to die because they disobeyed Odysseus, disobeyed Helios, and slaughtered cattle that wasn’t theirs.

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# Nicole - May 12, 2011

I think Odysseus was right not to tell his men everything because they lacked the bravery that Odysseus had, so they would not have agreed to sail past Scylla. Odysseus is very clever and smart in his decision-making. A god example of his god decision making was when they passed the Sirens, he put wax on his men’s ears so that they wouldn’t hear the sirens luring them to their deaths.

Eurylochus persuades the crew to kill and slaughter Helios’s cattle because they are sos stricken with famine. Odysseus had ordered them not to kill the cattle because he knew that Helios would be infuriated. However, Odysseus was unable to prevent such an event from happening because he was asleep.

I don’t think the men deserved to die necessarily. However they do deserve a very severe punishment. Because they were so hungry, they probably thought it was necessary for their lives to eat the cattle which is ironic because they killed the cattle to survive but were killed because they ate the cattle.

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    # victoriaz2 - May 12, 2011

    I agree, the punishment of death seems a little harsh. A torturing or a lifetime of wandering would be more suitable, because they did still eat Helio’s scared cattle.

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      # PaEbTcEdR - May 13, 2011

      Both of those options for punishment sound equally as horrible as death.

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    # maishak1 - May 13, 2011

    Death penalty is unnecessary, however, it is greek mythology we are talking about.

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# ethany1 - May 12, 2011

I also think Odysseus was right not to tell his men. As Odysseus explains, they would have just dropped their oars in panic, and go under decks for cover. This part shows again how witty Odysseus is (which is probably why he is loved by Athena). In all his adventures, he is saved only by his brains, for his brawn is useless against monsters like the Cyclops and Scylla. If not for Odysseus’ smart decision, he and his men may have never passed Scylla and Charybdis.

To persuade Odysseus’ men to slaughter and eat the cattle of Helios
Eurylochus tells them to fear famine, and kill the cattle so they can survive. In addition, he says that they can kill the cattle as a sacrifice. This inspires the men to the cattle, which they do while Odysseus is away. As a result, Odysseus cannot do anything to stop theme from committing this terrible misdeed.

Lord Helios, the “owner” of the cattle is furious, and convinces Zeus to punish Odysseus and his men. Zeus agrees that the men ought to be punished. On their voyage back to Ithaca (after six days of feasting on the cattle) Odysseus and his men encounter a great storm. During the storm, Zeus destroys their ship with a thunderbolt. This kills of Odysseus’ men, but Odysseus survives. I think the men deserved their punishment because they had killed Lord Helios’ sacred oxen. To Helios this was a great insult, and it is understandable why he wanted all the men punished.

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# Shadow the Fladopus (jenna) - May 12, 2011

After learning about the next part of their journey by Tiresias, Odysseus and his men continue to sail. One danger they come to is Charybdis; they see smoke in the distance and sounds of fighting. Even though they do not come into contact with the monster, all of the crew becomes terrified and they drop their oars. Then, when they pass the island, another danger arises. They head towards Scylla but the crew does not know this. Odysseus hides this fact to prevent his men’s fright. Because of this, his men continue on until they meet Scylla’s wrath. Even so, most of the men survive the whirlpools and continue to sail to their next trial. Because only some of the people died, it was the right thing for Odysseus to do. If he had not lied to his men, they would have panicked and they would have been caught between two monsters or they would have been killed.

When the men reach the island where Helios’ cattle are, Eurylochus persuades the others to sacrifice the best cattle to the gods. He tells them that this will get them home, but it would actually turn out to be there downfall. They sneak away and capture the cattle; they then flay the cattle and make offerings to the Gods. While this occurs, Odysseus prays to the Gods who put him to sleep. He does not wake until after the men kill the cattle, so he could not prevent this from occurring. Even so, Odysseus does try to punish the men, but Helios finds out and cries out to Zeus. Zeus hears his pleads, so he takes action by hurling down a lightning bolt. While this punishment is harsh, the men do deserve it. They were told not to touch the cattle, and they disregarded this warning. Also, they should not have gone against a God. This action could be considered hubris, so the Gods did not become happy from the offering. Still, it is sad that Odysseus has to suffer alone of an island with Calypso for his men’s actions.

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# Zachariah hairahcaZ - May 12, 2011

I think not telling Odysseus’ men about Scylla was a good decision. Like j- dog said, Odysseus’ men were terrified of Charybdis and they would probably have the same reaction if they saw Scylla. If Odysseus told his men about Scylla, they would probably stop rowing and pray to the gods to save them. That would make matters worse. If they stopped rowing the boat, the boat would stay still, making the boat and easy target for Scylla. Praying to the gods would probably not help them just like when Odysseus prayed to Zeus before his men killed the cattle of the sun god. Odysseus saved his men’s lives by not telling them about Scylla.

When Odysseus’ men encounter the cattle of the sun god, Odysseus tells them to not kill the cattle. Eurylochus finally persuades the men by telling them that a death of starvation was much worse than a death by drowning. During this time, Odysseus prayed to Zeus and ended up falling asleep while his men slaughtered the cattle.
I do not think Odysseus’ men deserved to die, but rather Eurylochus did. Odysseus’ men were not smart. For example, they accepted the lotus flower from strangers without having a second thought about what they were going to do. Eurylochus persuaded the men into killing the cattle. He betrayed Odysseus and deserved to die. If Eurylochus did not persuade the men, I think that Odysseus’ men would have not killed the cattle.

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# victoriaz2 - May 12, 2011

I think Odysseus was right about not telling the men about what would happen when they sailed toward Scylla because even though it would prepare them for the upcoming danger, it gives them less confidence and courage than what they possessed before. They would get more and more nervous as they got closer to the island and would panic, potentially ruining everything. After all we’ve seen of his crew, they don’t really come off as the brightest or most courageous people. This shows Odysseus’s wiseness and great leadership skills, as we have seen time and time again. If he told them, they might be afraid to row anymore and they would never have gotten out of there alive. They probably wouldn’t even have the guts to row near it, let alone past it, and no pep talk that Odysseus gave them would convince them to sail past a monster who could possible gobble them up. It would have taken Odysseus even longer to get home if he had told them what was coming.

When they get to the island where the cows of the sun god live, Odysseus warns them not to slay any of them or the gods’ wrath will be upon them. He provides them with plenty of provision while they wait for the winds to calm so that they can start sailing again. But soon, they run out and become desperate for food, killing birds and fish but still famished and thin from starvation. Finally, Eurylochus can’t take it anymore and he calls the crew around and tells them that many deaths can be torturing but none more than famine and urges them to kill the cattle as a sacrifice to the sun god. When they return home, he says they will build a temple in Helios’s honor, but if he is angered by this action and all the gods are with him, it is still better to die by whatever punishment they are given than to slowly waste away on the island. They all murmured in agreement and went off to search for the juiciest cow. Meanwhile, earlier that day, Odysseus had left his crew and went to pray to the gods, hoping that the gods might show them sympathy and give them a way out. But for his prayers, the gods gave him in return, a deep slumber. This lasted until the men had already slaughtered and eaten the sacred cows.

This shows how untrustworthy his crew is, since Odysseus can’t even take a nap without them going against his word and doing something stupid, putting all their lives at stake. The crew members deserve their punishment for being so obnoxious and going against Odysseus’s word. They are so foolish and rash, not even thinking about what Zeus might do to them if he knew what they did. They knew from the beginning that great harm would come upon them if they ate Helios’s sacred cows and they should pay. Now all their hard work to return home would’ve been for nothing, they cost themselves that because of one act of foolishness. If Odysseus withstood the hunger, why couldn’t they? They are shown again and again to be weaker and more child-like than Odysseus who is portrayed as the adult figure, who is wise and more experienced.

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# JuSTin - May 13, 2011

I believe Odysseus was correct to not tell his men about going in Scylla’s direction. Odysseus is smart, he uses brain, not brawn. Without his witty brain, he would not have been able to survive terrible monsters such as the Cyclops. Odysseus did not tell his men because his men were afraid of Charybdis, and if they knew about Scylla, they would have stopped rowing the ship. If the boat stayed still, Scylla would have easier targets and an easy time plucking the men from the ship. If he told them, they would probably hide, and Scylla might have eaten the ship as a whole.

Odysseus, after consulting Tirebias, tells his men not to eat the cattle of Helios. However, Eurylochus persuades them into eating. He tells them that they were going to die anyways, but starvation is a worse way to die compared to drowning. I think his men did not deserve to die. A little punishment might fit them better. I believe the only one who should have died was Eurylochus. Odysseus’ men were not very bright, so they could fall for such tricks. However, the one who tricked them and convinced them to eat the cattle should be killed. I do not think Odysseus’ men would have eaten the cattle if Eurylochus did not say anything.

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# rachel - May 13, 2011

I believe that Odysseus was absolutly right in not telling his crew what was coming. It says right in the text that he feared that if they knew they would be frightened and not row or work or fight. It is a bit cruel and mean, but it is quiet possibly the only way that they would have gotten past Scylla and Charybdis. Also, if they had known that Scylla would take several of them and eat them, they probably would have hidden below, and Scylla might have taken apart the whole ship in order to find her prey.

Eurylochus convinces the men to kill the cattle by saying that they will die anyway, and they might as well die with a full belly as starving. Personally, I find this argument to be incredibly stupid. There is always a chance that they might be able to get off the island and get home, but if they kill the cattle, like they were specifically told NOT to do, they will never, ever reach home. Of coarse, they kill the cattle anyway, and Odysseus can’t stop them because he is asleep. He said that the gods made him sleep, but I’m not sure about that. I don’t think that the men deserved to be killed. They deserved punishment, since they disobeyed clear and reasonable instructions, but death might have been a little harsh.

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# Shauna Jemma Nisa-Ree - May 13, 2011

I think that he was right, not to tell his men. It’s like me going to the dentist (which I hate). If I don’t know I’m going, I’m fine for most of the car ride. Then, I get an anxiety attack that this will be extremely painful once I’m in the office. However, I’m grateful for the peaceful time I had in the previous moments. Though I understand that the dentist and a bloodthirsty sea monster may not be the same thing, i think that this is a similar concept, only on a smaller scale. If Odysseus had told them everything, the men wouldn’t have been working as well due to stress.
Another part of the story is where Odysseus’s men eat Helios’s cattle. They seem to have put themselves in a very bad situation. With whatever they do, they are going to lose. Their first option is that they eat Helios’s cattle. However, then Helios will strike them dead in anger. The other option is that they don’t eat the cattle, consequentially dying of starvation. Poor guys. They choose option number one, and are murdered by a furious sun god. Oddyseus lives, because he warned his crew not to eat the cattle.
I think that the Crew deserved to BE punished, but I don’t think they deserved their punishment. Stealing is wrong. They could have… eaten some for of edible plant. I mean, If they were going to steal cattle, steal NORMAL cattle! For crying out loud!

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# JCNinja - May 13, 2011

I think that Odysseus was correct in judgement for not informing his men about the approaching island of Scylla. If he did, they would have chickened out, and not have performed very well. After all, if they knew a giant sea monster, whirlpools, and a sacred island of powerful god were up ahead, then they would have abandoned Odysseus or have just turned away from home. Odysseus was cunning and by diving his men headfirst into the oncoming danger, he “burned the bridge of return” like Napolean.

When they approach the island of Scylla, they are famished and long for something to eat. However, Odysseus bids them to not slaughter any of the cattle to whet their hunger, in order to prevent inciting Apollo against them. But the foolish Eurylochus, decides to convince the men to slaughter, sacrifice, and feast on the sacred cattle. The men think only of the short term satisfaction and ignore the possible consequences. Odysseus, unable to prevent this in his sleep, awakens and smells the burning meat and attempts to appease to gods to no avail. Zeus strikes a lightning bolt at the ship, killing all the men except for Odyseeus, who clings on to a piece of wood as he is drifter back toward Scylla and Charibdyis. I thought that this punishment was a bit harsh, since the gods should have helped them in their hunger instead of waiting for a wrongdoing to occur. Also, Apollo had many cows, only one or two wouldn’t really affect him to a large extent.

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# Ariana - May 13, 2011

I think not telling his men about his decision to sail toward Scylla was smart. Had Odysseus told the crew it would have created a state of panic. The other men lack the confidence of Odysseus, and telling them would have made sailing past the great beast that much more stressful. Odysseus’s men don’t obey him, as we learned from the episode with the Lotus-Eaters, so had he told them about the impending danger they probably would have not listened to his command and would have stopped rowing. This could have been even more dangerous than sailing past Scylla. It would have given her the opportunity to eat even more men. Odysseus knows that he will have to sacrifice some of his men in order to pass. However, had they known this, they might have hidden or tried to escape Scylla. In the end, this would have caused Odysseus’s journey home to take a longer amount of time.

Eurylochus persuades the other men to kill and eat cattle of Helios because the men are all starving. They are trapped on an island because of violent winds and they are waiting for the winds to calm before they go back out to sea. Helios is the Sun God, and this herd of cattle is sacred to him. Odysseus warns his men that no matter how hungry they get they may not slay these cows. The crew does listen, but not for long. At first they fish and killed birds, but neither of these animals are satisfying to them. Finally Eurylochus has enough and he rallies the men together convincing them all to kill and eat the cows. Meanwhile, Odysseus is busy praying to the Gods for a way to escape the island. In return they give him a deep, restful slumber. But when Odysseus wakes up he finds that all is not well. The men had killed a cow and there was nothing Odysseus could do to stop the wrath of Helios.

I think that the crew did deserve to be punished, but not quite as harshly as they were. Death is not an appropriate punishment for slaughtering a cow. Cows are animals, and men are humans. There is a difference in killing an animal than killing a human. This part once again demonstrated how untrustworthy the crew is. Odysseus can’t even take a nap without something going wrong. Odysseus is these men’s leader, but it seems that his job is more like a babysitter. They need his presence to do anything correctly, or anything at all. He has to motivate them and when they mess up it is his job to try and fix it.

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# Misaki of Fushigi No Kuni: Jen - May 13, 2011

Odysseus’s choice of not telling his man that they were going to Scylla was smart and the right thing to do. Perhaps it wasn’t the right thing to do morally, but a man who does perform deeds base on good morals would more likely to die before one who doesn’t. In this case, Odysseus chose the smartest thing to do, because frankly, his crew is made up of cowards and people who are easily tricked. Most humans are dimwitted cowards though, so one couldn’t really just blame his crew for being that. Next to Odysseus, almost everyone today would look like feebleminded cowards, but I digress. If Odysseus had told his men what was coming up, they would have probably all hid, and prayed to the gods for help. This would have left the ship defenseless, and an easy target. Almost everyone, if not everyone would be killed. Or they could have just veered off course, making the trip even longer. Either way, by keeping silent, only six of Odysseus’s men were killed by Scylla. Not that it made any difference anyways, for they soon die by their own stupidity.

When they reach the land were Helios’s cattle graze, Odysseus’s men are famished. Odysseus instructs them not to eat the sun god’s cattle, because nothing good will come out of it if they did. However one particularly clever man named Eurylochus convinced the others to eat the son god’s holy cows. He persuaded them with his logic; that famine was the most pitiful way to die, so they might as well eat the cows. The rest of the men were easily persuaded, for they were very hungry, and there was no Odysseus to stop them from doing so. Odysseus wasn’t there because he went to pray to the gods for help; and in answer, the gods put him to sleep, thus preventing him from stopping his men from slaughtering and eating Helios’s cows. Of course, their actions do not go unpunished and unnoticed. When Odysseus and his crew go back out to sea, Zeus struck the ship and all the men died. This punishment was harsh and it wasn’t quite just. (Then again everybody has their own ideas of justice.) None of them should have died; they only should of faced torture that made they wish they were dead. Though Odysseus’s crew were fools and cowards, they still deserved to see their loved ones back in Ithaca, and their loved ones deserve to see them.

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    # Misaki of Fushigi No Kuni: Jen - May 13, 2011

    crew was*

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# The Ethanator - May 13, 2011

I think it was a good idea for Odysseus to not tell his man about Scylla. His men are a mutinous and rowdy bunch, and it is best for them to not always follow their instincts. I think Odysseus know this, and knows that if he were to tell them about horrible Scylla, they would panic, and stop rowing. Either that, or they would lack the confidence to get past Scylla, and that would also cause them to stop rowing. Odysseus, however, possesses both the courage to push on his unknowing men, and to keep his cool in the face of death. His men soon find out about Scylla though, via ingestion of them selves’, courtesy of Scylla. They, of course, managed to get past Scylla, and lost a few men on the way. Had they known about Scylla before, they may have lost many more men. Good job, Odysseus.
Odysseus and his men stop to rest and escape the harsh winds of the sea on the island of the sun god, Helios. Helios owned cattle on that island; he gazed lovingly upon them every day when he rose into the sky on his chariot of fire. Odysseus was previously warned by Tiresias that if he or his men slaughtered any of the cattle for food, they would pay dearly for it. After a month on this island, his men became extremely hungry. Then, one night, one of the men, Eurylochus, persuaded Odysseus’s men to slaughter the cattle for food by telling them about how they would sacrifice many animals and create a temple dedicated to the sun god when they returned to Ithaca. His men found this reasonable, and agreed. They slaughtered the cattle while Odysseus was sleeping, oblivious to the events occurring outside. Helios then saw what Odysseus’s men had done, and told Zeus to punish them by destroying their ship with a lightning bolt. Honestly, I don’t think what Odysseus’s starving men did was that horrible, and they did not deserve that harsh of a punishment. Starving men do irrational things, as anyone who read any shipwreck books like “In the Heart of the Sea” might know. They needed food, or they would die. Helios was too harsh.

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    # anabelk2 - May 13, 2011

    I agree, I think that the crew’s punishment they got was too harsh because they were hungry. However, part of me is saying that they got what they deserved for not listening to Odysseus.

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      # sophia isreallycool - May 13, 2011

      It was pretty harsh but they didn’t just disobey Odysseus- Circe warned him and therefore he was basically warned by the gods. In an unintentional way, the crew was kind of committing hubris…

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# maishak1 - May 13, 2011

I think that Odysseus made the right choice in excluding the fact that they were sailing towards Scylla because the men would become tense and overcautious. They would try to attack the beast, which would anger other beasts/gods. However, they could have prepared for the worst.
Eurylochus persuades Odysseus’s men by telling them it is better to die at the hands of the gods then perish of famine. I think Odysseus could not prevent this from happening because his men lost his trust in him. This goes against my first point, but then again, if Odysseus did tell his men they were headed towards Scylla, they would just find another way to blame Odysseus because men would still die. I think the members of Odysseus’s team deserve their punishment because suspicion and distrust got to them. And we are reading about tough warriors, they should be able to go without food for awhile ;).

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# anabelk2 - May 13, 2011

Yes, I think that it was right that Odysseus did not tell his men about the decision to sail toward Scylla. I think that telling the men would have gotten them nervous. This is similar to test taking- sometimes it is better if the test is unexpected, rather than stay up all night studying and getting nervous. Odysseus’ men were scared of Charybdis and if he told them about Scylla, they would stop the ship, and that would cause Scylla to kill even more men.

Once on the island, Odysseus warns his men not to kill the cattle of Helios. Tiberius warned Odysseus that the god will be angry. The men agreed and ate only the food they had. However, soon their supplies ran out and they were starving. Eurylochus tells the men that they would rather die with food and be punished than die starving. The men agree to what Eurylochus says and kill the sacred cattle. Odysseus cannot stop them because the gods put him to sleep. The members of the crew are all killed by Zeus, and get the punishment they deserve. The crew members were foolish by not listening to Odysseus’ warnings. They were not smart, trustworthy, or responsible. They need Odysseus to constantly make sure that they are not doing anything wrong. When Odysseus is gone for just a little bit, in that time they manage to mess everything up.

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# _josh_e_27_ - May 13, 2011

I do not think Odysseus was right to not tell his men about his plan to sail to Scylla, because I think that his men had a right to know what they were about to get themselves into, although I think that if they had known, then they might have committed mutiny, so I do understand Odysseus’s reasoning. To persuade the men to slaughter the cattle of the sun god, Eurylochus says that they have encounter death many times, but hunger would be the worst way to die. He says that if the gods should decide to strike them down, then so be it, because that death is better than the death from hunger. Odysseus is unable to prevent the men from slaughtering the cattle, because he is asleep in the cave. He wakes up to find the cattle slaughtered, and is enraged. I think that the crewmembers deserve their punishment for killing the cattle, because they know better than that. If someone knows something will lead to trouble for them, they shouldn’t do it, it seems logical. Just as humans are constantly punished for an act they know is wrong but commit anyways, hubris, doing knowingly wrong is, well, wrong.

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# sophia isreallycool - May 13, 2011

I’m not sure if I think Odysseus was right to not tell his men about approaching Scylla. Defending Odysseus, he knew that they would have to go through it, regardless of whether or not he told them. Plus, after seeing their reaction to Charydbis, it is understandable that he wanted them to stay calm and focused. He thought that they could fight it off, like they did with the other beasts. He was basically right- he only lost six men, as apposed to how many he could’ve lost if they gave up and let themselves die. However, if I was a crew member, I would be annoyed with Odysseus. They could’ve died without warning. He was doing what he thought was best for the group as a whole and did not try to appeal to individual opinions. I think this was a smart choice -maybe not morally “right”, but it worked. His decision showed his leadership because he risked them being mad at him to help them focus and continue on.

Eurylochus appealed to the men in their hunger and their frustrations with Odysseus, as well as their pride. He was sneaky and somewhat of a coward- he presented this idea while Odysseus was asleep. Odysseus didn’t have a chance. These men had been through everything and were proud warriors. When Eurylochus said, “famine is the most pitiful, the worst / end a man can come to” the crew could not refuse. They slaughtered the heifers without Odysseus’s consent. They were also probably mad that Odysseus did not tell them about Scylla, for the reasons stated above. ^^
Yes, I do believe the crew deserved their punishment. Although they were hungry and somewhat delusional, they disobeyed their leader and the gods and suffered the consequences.

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# Alison in Wonderland - May 13, 2011

I think Odysseus was right for not telling his crew about how they were traveling near the sea monster, Scylla. If he had told his men then some might have been too scared to keep their wits about them, or some men might have just refused to go near her and fighting could have started. Odysseus did what was best for crew’s survival. This shows that he is a very capable leader.

When the crew reaches the island where Helios’ cattle live, they begin to run out of food and start to become hungry. A member of the crew, Eurylochus, persuades them to kill and eat the cattle by telling them that dying from starvation would be an ignoble death. Odysseus is unable to prevent this because while he is praying to the gods he falls asleep. Their ships were destroyed and all of the men died save Odysseus who escaped the island on a raft.

These men deserved to die because they disobeyed Odysseus. It was their own fault because they knew that by slaughtering the cattle Helios would be angered. This showed hubris because they had gone against a god not caring about that god’s wrath. It was a dumb move on their part and they deserved to be punished.

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# PaEbTcEdR - May 13, 2011

I do not think that Odysseus was right in not telling his men that they were sailing towards Scylla. Even if Odysseus’ men did cower at the last monster, we cannot forget about how they reacted to the Cyclops. They acted with courage and with honor when they were trapped in the cave with the one-eyed beast. Also, if I were aboard Odysseus’s ship, I would want to know what I might encounter. It is not right for a leader to withhold information from his men if it possibly puts them in danger. The soldiers have the right to know that they are in danger. Once they know all of the facts about their situation they would definitely act with courage.

Eurylochus persuaded Odysseus’s men to kill the cattle by making the men fear the famine that they might encounter if they obey Odysseus and do not slaughter the cattle. In order to do this without Odysseus stopping them they have the feast while he is asleep. I think that the crewmembers do deserve punishment for what they have done because not only did thy kill cattle that belonged to Helios, but they also disobeyed their captain. However, I do have to agree with almost everyone and say that the punishment of death is a little harsh.

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# tarag1 - May 13, 2011

I believe that Odysseus made an extremely wise decision in not telling his man that they were heading towards Scylla. If Odysseus were to tell his men that they were now heading towards a place that is home to a man-eating sea monster, I am not sure that they would have taken well to the news. When Odysseus makes these decisions, he is demonstrating what an outstanding leader he truly is. He puts the needs of his men before his own and he has learned when to open his mouth and when to put a lock on it.

When Odysseus and his men arrive at Scylla, everyone is starving beyond belief, but Odysseus orders his men not to eat the sacred cattle to relieve their hunger. However, Eurylochus decides to persuade Odysseus’s men to sacrifice and eat the sacred cattle of Helios, Odysseus was asleep at the time of this event so he had no way of preventing it from occurring.

I believe that Odysseus men deserved their punishment. It was not so much that they were being punished for eating a cow, but they were being punished for yet again disobeying their leader’s orders. This part of the poem reminded me a little but of the story of Adam and Eve. It wasn’t that Adam and Eve were being punished for simply taking an apple, but they were punished because they did the thing that they were specifically asked not to do. The same goes for Odysseus men, it doesn’t matter what the reason was, how hungry you were, or what person persuaded you, at the end of the say his men acted both disloyal and untrustworthy and they needed to be severely punished.

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# AudreyTheValleyFrog :) - May 13, 2011

Odysseus definitely made the correct decision when he did not tell his fleet that they were approaching Scylla. After experiencing the sea monster, Charybdis, the men were horrified and knowing of another monster would not do them any good. If Odysseus did decide to tell his men of Scylla, they would have probably gotten nervous, and it is hard to think straight when nervous. They may have even stopped rowing, creating an easy target for Scylla to attack; since it is easier to attack a motionless ship rather that a moving one. Odysseus had a tough decision to make, and he made a good choice. It may have been mean, because the men were oblivious to what was about to take place, but is was definitely the right choice that Odysseus made.

Eurylochus persuaded Odysseus’ men by telling them that it is painful to die of starvation, so they should feast while they can. The men do so, and disobey Odysseus’ orders. Odysseus was asleep at the time, so he was unable to prevent this from occurring. The men feast on the cattle, and that angers Helios. Helios then convinces Zeus to harm the fleet in some way, and Zeus decides to strike the ship with lightning, killing each man except Odysseus. This is how Odysseus ends up alone. I think the men are partially responsible of this. They are not too smart, obviously, and Odysseus was asleep so they had nobody to ask for advice. They deserve to be punished for disobeying Odysseus, but not this harshly. Eurylochus is who should be severely punished, not the fleet. He is the one who convinced them to kill the cattle, after all. It surprised me that Helios wasn’t angry with him instead of the men.

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# tiarar1 - May 13, 2011

Eurylochus were trying to convince Odysseus’s men to slaughter and feast on Helio’s cattle. When they reached land they were famished, they were willing to do anything. They did not know that if they killed this cattle, Helio would be angered and kill them. Odysseus knew this however, and he had told them not to slaughter the cow. They disobeyed Odysseus and were killed. Odysseus was sleeping and when he woke up, he blamed it on the gods. He claimed they put him to sleep.

I think Odysseus was right about his decision of not telling his men that they were going to Scylla. If I knew i was going to a land of sea monsters I certainly would not leave the boat and try anything to prevent going there. He chose his actions wisely and did the right thing.

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# Mackenzie - May 13, 2011

I believe that Odysseus made the right choice by not telling his men that they were sailing towards Scylla. If he did, who know what would’ve happened. I would assume they would probably become very nervous and disobedient. Eurylochus persuades Odysseus’s men to slaughter and eat the cattle of Helios. He gets them to do this by telling them it would be better to die at the wrath of the gods, then to die of starvation. I believe Odysseus was unable to prevent this from happening because his men didn’t respect or trust him anymore. I assume that they figured slaughtering and eating the cattle was the most reasonable thing to do. So when Odysseus was safely asleep they performed the slaughtering. What does this say about his men? I think that they are very cowardly to tell the truth. If they cannot stand up for their opinions over life or death, what can they do? As for whether or not the men deserved their punishment, i am unsure. It think that since they disobeyed Odysseus they should be punished, but what they did was human nature, and their longing for survival was greater than being obedient to their master.

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# Lauren<333 - May 13, 2011

Odysseus’ decision to not tell his men about Scylla was the right decision to make in his circumstances. Some can argue that he should have prepared his men for what was coming and to be honest with them, but if he had done that his men would have turned around and refused to enter Scylla. In this case Odysseus had to sacrifice some men to get everyone else home safely to their families. Plus, the men would have died sooner or later due to a lack of food. In my opinion it’s better to die fighting than being a coward and not even trying.

Eurylochus persuaded Odysseus’ men to eat the cattle they were specifically told not to eat. They went against their captain’s orders and the result of eating the cattle was death. The men were starving and were desperate for food and were easily persuaded. I think the men did deserve to be punished because it was their decision to eat the cattle; they are grown men and even though Eurylochus told them to eat it they did not have to.
Odysseus was sleeping when his men made the decision to eat the cattle so he could not stop them. Odysseus blamed the gods for putting him to sleep.

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# Taylor R - May 17, 2011

I think Odysseus’s decision to not tell his men about sailing towards Scylla was a wise one. If he had told them everything, they would’ve been cowards and refused to go. While Odysseus might’ve been dishonest and unfair to his men, he had to make the decision on his own whether his men approved or not.

In order to persuade Odysseus’ men to slaughter and eat the cattle of Helios, Eurulochus says that dying of starvation isn’t honorable, and it’s better to die from punishement from the gods. Even though the men were very hungry, Odysseus ordered them not eat the cattle and they disobeyed his orders.

Odysseus is unable to prevent them because he was asleep during this event. I think the members of the crew deserve thier punishment because they are responsible for their own actions and they acted wrongly. It’s like comitting a crime; not matter what your reasoning behind it was, you committed the crime, and you deserved to be punished, especially since you were aware that you werent supposed to do the thing you did.

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