Cunning Odysseus

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Cunning Odysseus

            The Odyssey is pits the essence of strength over the virtue of cunning. Running parallel is the story of the perseverance and loyalty of odyssey’s wife, Penelope, amid suitors who are exploiting her hospitality. In the course of the former’s journey the reader concludes that wits are more effective than strength. The odyssey is centralized around Odysseus who strives to return home to his wife and son in Ithaca amid layers of impediments. In the rigors of odysseys travels he encounters multiple enemies, mostly mystical creatures that can not be challenged by brute strength (Kazantzakis 46). It follows that Odysseus leverages the strategic brilliance that made him a legend in Iliad. For instance, in the course of his travels he encounters Polyphemus, the one-eyed Cyclops, who he defeats it by using the creature’s stupidity to pierce his eye and break free. The act gives him reprieve but frustrates his later travels. As the Polyphemus is the son of Poseidon the act pits Odysseus against a god, a battle he cannot win. The intervention of Athena helps to save the protagonist from certain demise.

Intelligence in The Odyssey demands manipulating the characters’ natural tendencies. To this end, multiple characters both man and god employ disguises to elicit genuine reactions from their interactions. Athena visits Odysseus and his sin through a myriad of disguises from a young girl to seasoned woman. Similarly, upon returning to Ithaca Odysseus is disguised as an old beggar (Homer 199). The above helps him to maintain strategic advantage, the element of surprise, over the suitors. Odysseus acknowledged that despite his decorated resume as a warrior he could not single handedly overcome the vibrant male suitors that had camped in his halls. As such, he orchestrated a scheme that made him the only armed man in the house subsequently eliminating all of them.

 

 

Works Cited

Kazantzakis, Nikos. The Odyssey (A Modern Sequel). California Books Inc., 2014.

Homer. The Odyssey of Homer. Seattle, WA: Loki’s Publishing, 2014. Print