Why did Odysseus seek Teiresias?

In the Odyssey, Odysseus heeds the advice of Circe and travels to Hades to speak with Teiresias, a blind prophet, to learn how to return home. Circe suggests that Teiresias can tell Odysseus who will cause him trouble and how to avoid it. Teiresias has the gift of prophecy and remains aware even in death, providing Odysseus with guidance on how to appease the gods and return home.

Teiresias warns Odysseus about the dangers that lie ahead of him. He advises the hero to appease Poseidon before returning to Ithaca, as the god of the sea holds a grudge against him. The prophet also tells Odysseus to avoid killing the Cattle of Helios if he wants to ensure his safe return home. Teiresias’s role in the Odyssey is not to provide Odysseus with travel directions, but rather to guide him towards his destiny and the right course of action.

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While Circe ultimately tells Odysseus where to go, it is Teiresias who advises him on what to do once he gets there. Seeking out the prophet’s shade in Hades is crucial for Odysseus to receive this vital information. Despite being dead, Teiresias retains his prophetic gift, and his advice helps Odysseus navigate the perils that he must overcome to return home safely.

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