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Surreptitious Odysseus

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 06:28 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 53.7 
  • Words: 501
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When The Odyssey was written, the Greek poet Homer defines his main character, Odysseus, as a great war hero.   As the story progresses, Odysseus is   many things other than the average warrior on a long, perilous journey home.   One outstanding characteristic of this not so typical man is his wiliness.   Throughout The Odyssey, Odysseus exemplifies his wily leadership qualities while he overcomes many obstacles during his journey home.  

        Odysseus first demonstrates his wily attributes when he meets the Cyclops, Polpyphemus, on the island of present-day Sicily. He and his men are in the possession of the Cyclops because they trap themselves in his cave accidentally.   When Polyphemus asks Odysseus’s name, he identifies himself as, “Nohbody.”   His deceitfulness proves useful later on when Odysseus blinds the Polyphemus’s only eye and the other Cyclops' shout to see what the matter is .   Polyphemus tells them that Nohbody has harmed him, so they leave without thinking any more about Polyphemus’s situation.

        Another cunning decision is made by Odysseus during his journey after he learns about the fate of his faithful crew.   Odysseus gains this information from a dead poet named Teiresias in Erebus, the land of the dead.   The dead man tells him about Charybdis, the risky whirlpool, and Scylla the six-headed, female monster.   If Odysseus decides to chance his crews lives with Charybdis, all of the men might survive,   or the swirly monster may devour all of the crew.   Or Odysseus could steer by Scylla and definitely lose six men, one for each mouth of the monster.   His decision to sacrifice six men to Scylla was made for the benefit of the group as a whole at that moment, but what his group does not know is that Teiresias tells Odysseus is that the entire crew will die, but Odysseus will survive.   Most likely he does not inform his men of this most likely because of an internal fear of mutiny, which would have greatly...


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