Essay Preview: The Odyssey
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In Homers epic The Odyssey, Odysseus is able to use his stregnth, courage, and smart wits to overcome numerous challeneges impossible to others. His use of trickery does not rebuke his heroicness but rather enhances his intelligence and bravery. His actions were not just “heroic” or “cunning” but a mixture of both and in using his intelligence he was able to overcome many challenges impossible to others, making him a great hero of his time. In this greek time it was those that brought glory and victory who were praised and worshipped as heros along with those that could learn from their victories and mistakes and lead others to a better fate.
In greek culture a hero was not just one who showed great stregnth but also one whose stregnth, honor, and connection to the gods was valued over their personality all of which ___ Odysseus. On many occasions it was his actions that single handedly saved many others, bringing victory. Odysseus cunning intelligence won the war for the Acheans with his plan of building a large wooden horse within which the Achean army could hide. This allowed for a surprise attack to defeat the Trojans and take over the city of Troy. On the Island of the cyclops Odysseus and his men became trapped inside a cave with the great Polythemus. Odysseus, unable to defeat the large creature by pure stregnth masterminds a plan to outsmart the cyclops and by blinding the creature and clinging to the underside of the sheep the men are able to escape undetectable to the cyclops. Odysseus also tells Polythemus that his name is “nobody” and so when the creature calls others for help he states, “Good friends Nobody is killing me by force and treachry.” In all of these events Odysseus is the true hero for without his quick intelligence he and his men would have been lost.
True to being viewed as a great hero in his time, Odysseus could not have achieved many of his victories without the help from the gods. When odysseus men are turned into animals on the island of Circe, the god Hermes gives him an herb inorder to prevent her from cursing him and allowing him to convince her to turn them back into men. Athena the god of wisdom helps him many times along his journeys. Most importantly she helps him to regain his reign on Ithica by disgusising him as a begger so that know one can recognize him. “Palas Athena, harbouring kindness for the hero, drifted a heavy mist around him, sheilding himÐthe goddess herself came to meet him there.” “and Athena heard his prayer and begun making preparations for his journey.” Athena also saved Odysseus when Posideon struck his ship with lightening preventing him from drowning. The gods allow odysseus to succeed in situations that no other mortal man could.