Restitution or Penalty They Shall Pay

Upon arriving at the unknown island of the Lotus Eaters, the gullible actions of the men are portrayed when they set to explore the island sparked by curiosity and impulsively agree to eat the lotus plants which leads to destruction that could potentially alter and worsen the path of their journey. Because Odysseus and his crew are unaware of what is on the island, Odysseus sends some of his men to go searching for people when they arrive.

The curious men went looking, only to find the Lotus Eaters who invited the men to try some Lotus with them. Soon enough the men “fell in” and decided to take part of the trick which altered their minds (204). Because of the crew’s impulsive actions sparked by curiosity, they fell into a trap. When Homer says that the men “fell”, falling symbolizes the idea of a downfall in the crew’s journey which foreshadows the idea that curiosity potentially leads to destruction which will not only affect the crew themselves, but Odysseus and the journey home. When the men gullibly agreed to eat the lotus, the men “longed to stay forever” , and even forgot about Odysseus waiting for them to carry on with their expedition home (209). In this situation, the men’s curiosity led them to have their minds altered.

Under the influence of the Lotus plant, the men have forgotten about everything.Their gullible actions are shown when the easily persuaded men start to forget about everything in their future just for some Lotus plants. The word “forever” symbolizes a future for the men, but the lotus incident is only the start of the destruction; further in the epic, they might not be so lucky to have come out alive as the consequences start to intensify. Odysseus’ heroic traits are revealed when he saves the men and forces them back the ship, but in the future Odysseus might not know what to do for the men if the crew’s curiosity keeps interfering with the voyage.. Because of curiosity, the men face their minds being altered and slow down the journey home, but luckily they are still alive and continue on.

Because everyone returns to the ship safely, the men are able to carry on with their journey, but when they encounter the enchantress of Circe and are overcome with curiosity, they violate the cultural value of hospitality and have to face more destruction than altered minds to overcome to continue their journey. The men’s curiosity is so strong they violated their Ancient Greek culture. Odysseus and his men encounter the enchantress of Circe, but don’t respect her hospitality and barge into her home because they were curious of what was inside. Soon enough, the men once again were manipulated and found themselves to be “all swinish now” (572-573). This time the crew’s curiosity led them to having an altered identity which is greater destruction compared to an altered mind.

The men, now pigs, are going to have to face the consequences that started off with the violation of hospitality because of their curiosity. The symbol of a swine suggests unlawfulness due to the fact that the men’s curiosity is growing inhumane. They are starting to shed their human like qualities of respecting cultural clause that are expected during the Ancient Greek era. Soon enough, their actions will not be tolerated and will lead to major destruction. Luckily, Odysseus saves the men again, and they come out alive, but this time he needed extra help from outside resources. It is clear that the crews’s actions of violating cultural values are sparked by curiosity are affecting Odysseus and causing extra trouble along the journey.

Eventually the self-destructive curiosity leads to complete destruction when the crew impulsively makes the poor decision to touch Helios’s Cattle out of curiosity after being instructed not to do so. Upon arriving at the island of Thrinakia, the men know not to touch the cattle. Even though Tiresias and Circe warned them of the consequences, Eurylochus manipulated the crews’ heads and made them want to eat the cattle. The men could have carried on without eating the cattle, but their curious minds agreed with Eurylochus. Lord Helios declared that the men will face “restitution or penalty they shall pay”, and Zeus’s thunderbolt kills all the men (928). This time, the level destruction is not altering the men’s mind or identity, but lead them to death. In this situation Odysseus can’t do anything but learn from their mistakes, as he is forced to survive on the journey all alone. If it weren’t for the men’s curiosity to touch the cattle, they would’ve been there to help Odysseus, but their poor decisions lead them to their ultimate demise and total destruction.