Tiresias, the Theban seer, informs Odysseus of the reasons for his misfortunes, which are linked to the blinding of Polyphemus, the son of Poseidon, the God of the seas. He explains that the cause of his trials is not only the wrath of the gods, but also the actions of people. He instructs Odysseus to walk inland with an oar until he finds a place where it is mistaken for a winnowing fan, and then to plant it and make sacrifices to Poseidon. This scene is significant in the epic as it shows Odysseus transitioning from a warrior to a caring husband, father, and ruler. Tiresias then warns Odysseus and his companions to restrain their desires and not to do anything foolish. He tells them of the island of Trinacria, where the sacred bulls of the sun God Helios graze, and that they should approach it. The journey to Ithaca will be full of danger, but they will all make it home alive if they do not harm the sacred animals of Helios. If they do, then all of Odysseus’ companions will die and he will never find happiness and peace, even if he returns to his homeland. The only way for Odysseus to end his suffering is to meet people who have never seen the sea and take the oar he will carry on his shoulder for a shovel. Hecatombs must be offered to Poseidon in order to reconcile the god with Odysseus, and then he will live a life of respect, wealth, and peace until he reaches a ripe old age. After hearing the prophecy, Odysseus states that he will accept whatever is assigned to him by the gods.
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