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You are watching: Who is teiresias and what does odysseus want from him


In Homer’s standard The Odyssey , Teiresias to be the many respected of every seers, and also was a valued advisor to generations of emperors in his native Thebes and, of particular importance, was a reliable advisor come Helios (also well-known as Apollo), god that the Sun. In book X, Odysseus...

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In Homer’s classic The Odyssey, Teiresias was the many respected of every seers, and was a valued advisor to generations of majesties in his aboriginal Thebes and, of particular importance, to be a trusted advisor come Helios (also well-known as Apollo), god of the Sun. In publication X, Odysseus is instructed by the Circe, goddess that potions and also herbs, come detour to the underworld, ruled by Hades, and seek out “the ghost of of the remote Theban prophet Teiresias whose factor is still unshaken.” Circe educates Odysseus that Teiresias will foretell around the former’s trip home, specifically, “what stages you room to make, and how you room to sail the see so as to reach your home.” Odysseus notifies his crew the this unwelcome detour ~ above their voyage home, which upsets the sailors yet who identify that they must follow their leader lest they never ever see their homes again. That is in publication XI whereby the encounter in between Odysseus and also the ghost the the blind Teiresias bring away place. Odysseus defines the early stage encounter together follows:

"Then came also the ghost the Theban Teiresias, through his gold sceptre in his hand. The knew me and said, "Ulysses, noble son of Homer, Laertes, why, poor man, have you left the light of day and also come under to visit the dead in this sad place? Stand ago from the trench and also withdraw your knife that I might drink the the blood and also answer your questions truly"."

During this discussion, Teiresias educates Odysseus the the last will never arrive safely house unless he makes amends through the powerful god Neptune, who rules the seas – a position of some influence for a group of sailors who must sail those seas in order to complete their journey. Teiresias also tells Odysseus that the sailors must resist the temptations the the island that Thrinacian, top top which resides many sheep and cattle “belonging to the sun,” (read: Helios, god of the Sun) “who sees and also gives ear come everything.” Teiresias warns Odysseus the failure to abide by this rule will result in “the destruction of both of your ship and of your men.” Additionally, the ghost of the blind seer informs Odysseus that, after reaching home and taking his revenge on his wife’s suitors, he must go on yet an additional mission to appease Neptune:

". . . You should take a well-made oar and carry that on and on, it spins you come to a nation where the people have never ever heard the the sea and do not even mix salt v their food, nor carry out they recognize anything about ships, and also oars that room as the wings of a ship. Ns will provide you this details token which cannot escape her notice. A wayfarer will accomplish you and will speak it must be a winnowing shovel the you have gained upon your shoulder; top top this you should fix the oar in the ground and also sacrifice a ram, a bull, and a boar come Neptune. Then walk home and also offer hecatombs to an the gods in heaven one ~ the other. As for yourself, fatality shall come to you from the sea, and also your life candlestick ebb away very gently when you are complete of years and peace the mind, and your people shall bless you. All the I have said will come true.”

While Odysseus’ crew, stranded on Thrinacian by a series of fierce storms, ignores the warning against killing the cattle and sheep, Odysseus’ voyage, the course, will certainly continue, and he will certainly execute the mission mentioned by Teresias.