The Odyssey Study Questions- Books 11-12

Why does Odysseus travel to the Land of the Dead in Book 11? To get home.
Who sent him to the Land of the Dead? Circe
Who is he looking for? The prophet Teiresias.
What does he use to lure the blind prophet close enough to talk to him? A black lamb sacrifice, so that Teiresias can drink the blood, which he does.
What does Teiresias tell Odysseus about his journey home? Go through a strait to Thrinakia, the land where Helios pastures his sacred cattle.
What dangers does Teiresias warn Odysseus about? Odysseus’s ship & crew will be destroyed if they eat cattle. Odysseus will also find his house “filled with trouble,” the suitors, if he eats the cattle.
What does Teiresias tell Odysseus he needs to do to get Poseidon off his back? Take an oar inland until he finds people who have never seen the ocean. He must plant the oar int he ground & make a fair sacrifice to Poseidon.
Who does Odysseus see among the spirits in the underworld that surprises him? His mother
Why is seeing his mother surprising to Odysseus? Because his mother was alive when Odysseus left Ithaca.

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