The Odyssey: The Lotus Eaters

The Odyssey: The Lotus
Plot Summary
• Odysseus and his men made their way to
Ismaros where they met the Ciconians.
• They destroyed the city, killed the men, and
kept the women, some cattle, and goods.
• The men had a feast, but some Ciconians,
held captive, escaped to their neighbors.
• The neighbors came and killed six men from
each ship, while Odysseus and his men went
to safety.
Plot Summary cont.
• Zeus sent clouds over the land and sea and
brought night to earth.
• The winds were so strong that the ships’ sails
ripped, and the men spent two days and two
nights in hardship and anxiety.
• On the third day, light came, but the sea current
and wind brought the boats outside Cythera.
• They spent nine more days out at sea, but on
the tenth, they reached the land of the lotuseaters, who get their food from flowers.
Plot Summary cont.
• Odysseus sent two men
and a runner to meet
the lotus-eaters and
found them to be
• The men were offered
the honey-sweet lotus
flower, and when they
ate it, they lost their will
power and refused to
return to the ship.
• Odysseus found his
men. He tied them
up and dragged
them back to the
• They quickly rowed
into the ocean and
were on their way to
the land of the
What is a “runner”?
• The long run of Philippides, the messenger who
conveyed news of the victory to Athens, became
the inspiration for the marathon race, first staged
at the 1896 Olympic Games."
• Nike is the Greek goddess of victory. According
to legend, in the battle of Marathon, the winners
sent a messenger back to their hometown and it
was about 25 miles. The messenger was so
exhausted when he got there that he said one
word: Nike! which also means victory in Greek,
and then died from dehydration and exertion.
Lotus Symbols
The lotus represents many things:
• It can represent the good life, wanting to
stay and never coming back, not wanting
to do anything, and selfishness and greed.
• More…more…more, two of the 7 deadly
sins (greed and gluttony), and forgetting
about everything else and only caring for
your needs are also things that can
symbolize the use of lotus in the text.
Compare and contrast Odysseus
to Capt James T. Kirk
Characters cont.
• Lotus Eaters-These are the
people whom some of
Odysseus’s men met.
• They get their food, which is lotus,
from flowers.
• Lotus is very honey-sweet and
makes its eaters want more.
Modern Society Event in the Bible
• Even though the Bible is old, it connects to
the lotus eater adventure.
• In the story of the Prodigal son, a father
gives his son all of his money, but the son
wastes all of it for himself.
• In connection to the adventure, the Prodigal
son represents the men that ate the lotus, the
money represents the lotus, and the
spending of money represents Odysseus’s
taking away the men from the lotus.
Difference Between Modern and
Greek Society
• In Greek society, men took things for
themselves by force, but in today’s society,
people take things for themselves by choice.
• Back in Greek society, they probably didn’t
know it was a sin to be greedy and eat with
greed, but now, it is a deadly sin to be greedy
and eat a lot (gluttony).
• Still, some people today and back then want
the easy way in life and only think for their
needs (selfishness).
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