Bradley Robbins

Scylla and Charybdis

Even though Ulysses heard in Tartarus that there were two monsters that guard Thrinicia, Ulysses decided to go there, and hope for the best. If they could avoid Scylla and Charybdis, they could get into Thrinicia!

As his men rowed his boat toward the area, he thought of a plan that might get him and his men through without being eaten by the monsters. If they rowed in between the caves where the ugly, bloodthirsty monsters dwelt, he might be able to stay clear of the treacherous whirlpool, and the monster’s huge hands.

Unfortunately, one thing didn’t go their way. Ulysses forgot that the oars would be in range of the monster’s grasp. One of the monsters, named Scylla, grabbed the oar and broke it. It caused the boat to turn a bit, and Scylla was able to reach six of the men. With her gigantic hands, she pulled them right out of the boat. Ulysses watched helplessly as Scylla ate the six men. Nevertheless, he kept the rest of his men rowing; there was no time for mourning. Sure enough, they made it into Thrinicia with no more difficulties!

Ulysses: Brave, never giving up (persistent), clever:

He proves that he is brave when he keeps his men rowing even when a bunch of them are eaten by Scylla. He risked his own life by atttempting to kill Scylla with his sword. Even though it doesn't work, he was brave for trying. Ulysses is also persistent by sticking to his plan and continuing to row. He is clever by making the plan that caused him to succeed into getting to Thrinicia.

Scylla and Charybdis: voracious, hideous, terrifying, dangerous, mean. They are trying to kill Ulysses and his men and try not to let anyone by.


A conflict in the story is when six of the rowers get taken by Scylla, Ulysses probably wondered whether he should try to save them, but risk the lives of him and the other sailors in doing so. This is a person vs. supernatural conflict.

The climax in the story is when Ulysses goes through the narrow passage and must avoid both monsters, escaping with his men after losing six of his crew to Scylla.
Figurative Language:
Some figurative language in the story: “Your hunger shall become thirst. As you once devoured the land that belonged to me, now you shall drink the tide thrice a day—swallow it and spit forth again—and your name will be a curse to sailors forever.” (Imagery)
“From where he sat he could see Scylla’s rock, could see her squatting at the door of her cave. He saw her plainly, stuffing the men into her six bloody mouths. He heard the shrieks of the men as they felt themselves being eaten alive.” This language is very graphic and detailed. (Imagery)

Lesson Learned:
To face fears but not to barge (no pun intended) right into them. Instead, make a plan, face them slowly, and when the obstacle of fear gets to be too much, do not go back on your plan, just keep moving steadily ahead.

Connection to Modern Day:

Same as lesson learned. But, as an example, when facing a stronger opponent in Scrabble, or any other game, stick with your normal play routine and don’t play scared or deviate from your plan just because there’s a “monster” on the other side of the board.