inter questions Essay

Submitted By slonecko123
Words: 1742
Pages: 7

Thesis - Odysseus’s real power as a hero does not come merely from his physical strength, but instead his cunningness, ability to resist temptations, and fearlessness, the qualities he demonstrated during his quest home. The Odyssey is one of the two major Greek epic poems written by Homer. It is a sequel to Iliad, which describes the fictional conflict between a coalition of Greeks and the occupants of Troy, known as The Trojan War. After the Greeks victoriously end the war, due to Odysseus’s cunning Trojan horse subterfuge, the Greeks are faced with even more danger in their long voyage back to Greece. Odysseus, the protagonist of Homer’s epic poem, is one of the last few Greeks who have not returned home. Unexpected events, such as his encounter with the nymph Calypso and the shepherd giants, the Cyclopes, force him to use his cunningness, intellect and strength to his full capacity in order to successfully return back to his beloved family, and restore order in his stony Greek homeland of Ithaca. Odysseus’s real power as a hero, however, does not come merely from his physical strength, but mainly through his cunningness, ability to resist temptations, and fearlessness, which he demonstrates is his quest home.
Odysseus defines the meaning of a real hero through his cunningness, perseverance and courage. In Book 9 of The Odyssey, he encounters the island of the Cyclopes. Homer describes them as, “lawless savages who leave everything to the Gods. They have no assemblies or laws but live in high mountain caves, ruling their own children and wives and ignoring each other.” The courageous and curious Odysseus decides to explore and learn more about the inhabitants of the island. He takes his crew from one of the ships and starts the exploration. Eventually, he stumbles on a cave in which the great Cyclopes, Polyphemus, lives. When Polyphemus returns home with his flocks of sheep and goats he encounters Odysseus and his men. He blocks the entrance to the cave with a great stone that only he can lift, and savagely decapitates and eats two of them. Odysseus knows that he doesn’t have much time before he kills them all. When Polyphemus “fills his belly with human flesh,” Odysseus’s first though is to “draw his sharp sword and drive it home into the chest where the lungs hide the liver.” He blocks his urge to kill the Cyclopes and reanalyzes his judgment. Instead, he decides to think and rationalize, since by killing the Cyclopes his whole crew would die along his side. Groaning through the night Odysseus thinks of a plan. The next day when Cyclopes returns home, Odysseus politely offers him “some sweet wine of maron,” tricking Polyphemus into inotxication. When Polyphemus starts to feel the effects of his drunkenness he asks Odysseus his name. Odysseus lies about his name by calling himself “Noman.” With the help of his companions they heat up a pointed olivewood stake, and lift it together and plunge it into the Cyclopes’ eye. Polyphemus “screams, and the rock walls ring with his voice.” The other Cyclopes living in nearby caves gather from all sides around the cave to see what the noise is all about. When they ask him what happened Polyphemus replies “ Noman is killing me by some kind of a trick.” They calmly tell him to pray to his father, Poseidon, since no one else could help him with no man. Frustrated Cyclopes seeks revenge. The next morning he opens the cave to let the goats and sheep out of the cave. Odysseus with his ingenious idea binds three of the sheep and goats together, so that each man could hide underneath the middle one. That way Cyclopes could not feel them under the animals. Odysseus was left with a ram, which was Cyclops’s favorite. To Polyphemus surprise the ram was the last to leave, which is symbolic to Odysseus heroic character. He makes sure that all his crewmembers leave first, so that if something unexpected was to happen he could try to protect them. Some people…