The Odyssey Literary Analysis

The Odyssey Literary Analysis

Is someone thought about intelligent if they use cheats and deceptions to weave through hardship? The Odyssey, a legendary poem composed by Homer around 700 B. C., informs of a male called Odysseus dominating trials and tribulations with both disguises and deceptions. This male was definitely considered smart by those he encountered. Odysseus’ heroic quality is his metis, or “shrewd intelligence,” and his name implies ‘trouble’ in Greek (he certainly entered into a lot of trouble). In The Odyssey, Homer’s Greek audience generally admired Odysseus’ creative traits, despite his occasional dishonesty.

Odysseus’ ability at comprising false stories and developing strategies along with his covert disguises are nearly matchless to any other character in Homer’s legendary, offering him a benefit over his adversaries. Odysseus’ Trojan horse plan, his numerous techniques against Polyphemus the Cyclops, and his concealment as a beggar to leave the suitors demonstrate this benefit over his many opponents as he uses his cunning intelligence and ingenious disguise. Probably his biggest invention of all, the Trojan horse scheme, gives Odysseus the upper hand over Troy.

This cunning method to surpass Troy is explained when Demodokos the minstrel sings for Alkinoos and Odysseus. A bit of his lyrics are as follows: “… For Troy needs to perish, as ordained, that day/ she harbored the excellent horse of lumber; concealed/ the flower of Akhaia lay, and bore/ massacre and death upon the guys of Troy” (Homer VII. 537-551). This plan to overtake Troy was incredibly cunning and it worked remarkably well. This shows how Odysseus cunning plans offered him power.

As well as the Trojan horse strategy, Odysseus several tricks versus Polyphemus show his intelligence and cleverness: namely the escape from the monstrous Cyclops while being trapped in its cavern. Odysseus keeps in mind that the Cyclops typically lets his sheep graze in the fields outside the cavern, and he feels to hold on to the bottom of the sheep by grasping the “sheepskin ringlets for an iron grip” (Homer IX. 474), so that “the giant’s blind hands messing up never ever found [Odysseus] (Homer IX. 483). This cunning deception plainly demonstrates how smart and difficult Odysseus’ thoughts and actions really are.

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  • Odyssey Loyalty

After Odysseus’ escape from Polyphemus, he makes the long journey back to his homeland only to be welcomed by insolent suitors making moves on his partner Penelope. Odysseus’ disguise as “a beggar man” (Homer XVII. 257) to escape the suitors and then later ruin them is another piece of evidence that shows his capability to use deceptiveness and camouflage. These skills, specifically his disguises, assisted Odysseus conquer his trials and become stronger mentally. With his countless tests of faith (thinking that his partner still liked him) he received great rewards (being with his household again).

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