Homer’s Trickery Shown as Themes
Trickery is to be dishonest, deceptive, and double-dealing. Trickery goes all the way back to Genesis in the Bible when the serpent tricked Adam and Eve into the eating the apple which led to sin and unholiness. In The Odyssey trickery is a pretty powerful and significant motif within the book. In The Odyssey by Homer, the motif of trickery is shown when Athena unwrinkled the fair skin, Odysseus told the cyclops he is named Nobody, and when Circe’s mountain is deceitfully filled with animals by her wicked potions.
Athena shows trickery towards Odysseus’ men by shutting their eyelids. The book states, “Then they poured sweet sleep across my eyelids. Meanwhile Eurylochus began to give disastrous advice to my companions”(Homer 12.293-295). This shows trickery because Athena was pouring sweet sleep on Odysseus crew’s eyelids. While she was doing this she was giving the men bad advice. The men think that Odysseus is speaking yet it is not it is Athena disguised as Odysseus giving them advice that seem fine but are actually bad. The men thought Odysseus was giving them the advice. She blinded the men from seeing that the voice of the advice that they were receiving was not actually Odysseus himself it was Athena. Athena is shown to be tricky by fooling all the men.
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Trickery is shown when Odysseus tells the Cyclops that he is Nobody. A quote proving this is when Odysseus says “ I’ll tell you. Then you can offer me a gift, as your guest. My name is Nobody. My father, all my friends- they call me Nobody” (Homer 9.352-355). This is showing the motif of trickery because when the Cyclops is hurt, nobody is helping him. Then Odysseus makes him think that he is nobody. When he says “ You can offer me a gift, as your guest” Odysseus is showing how a person named nobody is introducing themselves to the Cyclops. Odysseus is inferring the Cyclops has nobody and no one. So seeing this, Odysseus is shown to be tricky by making the Cyclops think that he is nobody.
Circe’s trickiness is shown when her mountain is being filled with animals by her wicked potions. The book says “There were mountain wolves and lions round it, all bewitched by Circe’s wicked potions”(Homer 10.186-187). The way Circe shows trickery is when people come to her mountain she scares them with her animals. It is tricky because having potions on the mountain brings animals which scare people whenever they come to the mountain. It even affected Odysseus’ men by turning them into pigs by the wicked potion . Circes is tricky by making people scared by her animals and fooling Odysseus’ men .
Trickery held Odysseus and his crew back and messed up their whole journey and purpose many times. Another example of trickery was when Athena tricked Odysseus’ men and gave them bad advice so they would not know who was giving the advice. It is shown for a second time when Odysseus tells the Cyclops that he is nobody so the Cyclops received no help. One more time where trickery is shown is when Circe scared people with animals by her wicked potion, when they would go on her island. Trickery is bad because Odysseus could never trust a person or thing. The motif of trickery matters because it has a very big role in the book; it is shown many times in the book. The Odyssey by Homer is showing the reader not to be foolish and to always be attentive. If not, choices will set yourself over for failure, because people love it when other people fail.
- Homer. The Odyssey Abridged. Translated by Ian Johnston. Richer Resources Publications, 2006. Print.”