Odyssey Paper

Category: Literature
Date added
2019/08/16
Pages:  4
Words:  1180
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“Sing to me of the man, Muse, the man of twists and turns driven time and again off course, once he had plundered the hallowed heights of Troy. Many Cities of men he saw and learned their minds, many pains he suffered, heartsick on the open sea, fighting to save his life and bring his comrades home” . One is left to wonder how a man of great skill was able to fight terror and triumph and battle through many fights. Was it his strength that powered him through or his wits that guided his path?

Odysseus’ insight may be his most vital attribute, as it is the thing that recognizes him from the other incredible legends of Ancient Greece. Where others can utilize their strength, riches, speed and pure magnificence, Odysseus thinks carefully, and with time shows signs of improvement of his enemies thereafter. Odysseus clearly has extraordinary strength, but he relies more on his mind than muscles to conquer his quests.

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He knew when to ask for help and when to be most brave. He was able to get those around him to trust and defend him. When he met kings and queens in other countries, he was able to get them to trust and favor him while showering him with gifts. There is no doubt that Odysseus was a highly intelligent man, who knew just when to use his smarts to fight even the hardest of battles. We see the beginning of Odysseus’ wit when he finds a way to win the Trojan war.

With all the bloodshed and loss of men, Odysseus comes up with the idea to gift the Trojans with a horse. He builds a massive wooded horse to hide himself and all his men to get them into the city. When the time was right, they would strike, and no one would be the wiser. This plan was so brilliant that no one else would have ever thought of it. Although this story is not necessarily a part of the book, it is part of his legend and a great introduction into the cleverness and wit of the man known as Odysseus.

“The Trojans fell for it. They brought the statue inside the walls of Troy where the soldiers were waiting inside. When they exited the horse, they let in the rest of the soldiers, thus defeating the Trojans and ending the war. Although Odysseus was reluctant to fight in the war, it was his idea that eventually enabled the Spartan’s victory” . Here we see a clear picture of wit outweighing strength.

After Odysseus’ victory he starts on the path to home. He faces many challenges but none more memorable than his encounter with a one-eyed creature. During Odysseus’ ten-year journey home, he comes to a cave where he meets Polyphemus, the cyclops, who encloses the cave with a large rock that only the cyclops could move. Odysseus feeds Polyphemus wine and gets him drunk. While he sleeps, Odysseus stabs him in the eye. When Polyphemus shrieks and demands the name of the man who stabbed him, clever and witty Odysseus replies with “Nobody”.

When his neighbors run to him, he yells out that “Nobody” is trying to kill him. Since “Nobody” was killing him, his friends just turned and left him. “Nobody, friends’-Polyphemus bellowed back from his cave- “Nobody’s killing me now by fraud and not by force!” . A sure sign of pure genius. Not only does Odysseus outsmart the cyclops but finds a way out with most of his crew that are strapped to the bellies of the sheep. He is surly cunning and uses trickery to save himself and his men. Another sign that clearly shows the cleverness of the King of Ithaca, Odysseus.

If we weren’t convinced yet that Odysseus was a man of great intelligence, we get another look into his mind as he hears the Sirens during his journey home. Knowing the dangers that would face him and his crew if they heard the songs, he has his men clog their ears with wax and then tie him to the mast of the ship. He demands of them that under no circumstances are they to release him.

Believing hearing the songs and surviving will only make him wiser, he does what he can to hear the songs and avoid catastrophe. “So they sent their ravishing voices out across the air and the heart inside me throbbed to listen longer, I signaled the crew with frowns to set me free-they flung themselves at the oars and rowed on harder” . Although Odysseus may have had prior knowledge of the sirens and the effect they would have on him, he outsmarted the powers by having himself tied to the mast so he could endure their sounds.

He will inevitably face more temptations and trials on his journey home, while using his great mind to get him through almost anything. After twenty years of fighting in war and enduring an aggressive way back to Ithaca, Odysseus, with a mind that should be tired and frayed, has one more tick up its sleeve. He feels he must conceal his identity and use his wits to reclaim what is his and do away with Penelope’s suitors. Odysseus is aware he will be no match for the suitors. He disguises himself as a beggar so no one would recognize him. By using a disguise, Odysseus can see who is still loyal to him and who his wife’s suitors are while formulating a plan for revenge. Once Odysseus successfully enters his kingdom, he takes back what is rightfully his. A man of great stature shows no fear, no sign of weakness.

Does Odysseus rely more on strength or wits on his great Odyssey home? I think the question answers its self. His strength may have kept him fighting but it was his clever, witty, skillful mind that kept him afloat through his very long 20-year journey of war and struggles to get back home. Fighting is more than muscle. Odysseus was able to use his strong wit, where others were sure to fall short, on a journey that entailed war, cyclops, singing sirens, spells, ocean creatures, temptation and a fight for his wife. Without a doubt, Odysseus posses unworldly brilliantness, which is carried through The Odyssey.

Although The Odyssey begins with a war, themes which are seen throughout the story, we see mental sharpness outweigh physical skill many times. Odysseus is cunning, witty and a mastermind in creating his journey home. He clearly depends more on his mind than muscle, which is something not everyone of his time could do.

This ancient poem sets the stage for Odysseus’s story of how his mental agility was stronger than his muscles, which is still relevant in many ways in today’s society. Our human interactions are very similar to those of ancient times. Our minds are a great tool which can only make us stronger beings, and Odysseus sets the stage to show us just how to use a great mind.

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Odyssey Paper. (2019, Aug 16). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/odyssey-paper/