Odysseus leaves Circe's island of Aeaea reluctantly, and at the insistence of his men, in order to return home. They had all been living on the island for a year with the witch, who had become Odysseus' lover.
Their time on Aeaea had been far from unpleasant, following the subduing of Circe. Nevertheless, Odysseus' men became eager to continue their homeward journey.
Circe does not provide complete directions back to Ithaca. Instead, she guides the crew to Hades, or the Land of the Dead, and tells them to speak with the blind Tiresias there for further instruction. She also provides Odysseus and his men with supplies.