Study Guide

Eurylochos in The Odyssey

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Eurylochos is one of Odysseus' companions. He's a cautious man, refusing to enter Circe's hall even when accompanied by armed men—until he's not cautious at all, like when he convinces everyone to stay on the island of Helios' cattle, and then eat those cattle despite repeated and explicit warnings against it.

You have to admit he has his reasons. As he says it, "if we ever come back to Ithaka, land of our fathers, presently we will build a rich temple to the Sun God Helios Hyperion, and store it with dedications, many and good. But if, in anger over his high-horned cattle, he wishes to wreck our ship, and the rest of the gods stand by him, I would far rather gulp the waves and lose my life in them once for all, than be pinched to death on this desolate island."' (12.340-351)

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