Brains Vs. Bronze Essay

1002 words - 4 pages

Brains vs. Bronze
What separates a hero from a regular man? Does large muscles and courage make a hero, or intelligence and wisdom? Andrew Bernstein once said, “A hero holds purposes appropriate to man and is, therefore, a thinker.” In this instance, Odysseus in The Odyssey is the accurate definition of the epic hero. Odysseus overcomes crazed goddesses, raging seas, and vengeful gods; however, by cunning or strength? Cunning versus strength has been the age-old question concerning the ‘hero’ of epic tales of all times. In The Odyssey, Odysseus exhibits many signs of cunning versus strength to get himself and his crew out of tough situations.
To begin with, there are many examples of Odysseus using his mental strength over his physical strength. To illustrate, in book 9 Odysseus and his crew is faced with an unmerciful Cyclops named Polyphemus. Odysseus and his men were subject to watch their own be smashed to pieces and ate as a meal by the Cyclops - helplessly. Odysseus restlessly thought of a plan to rescue himself and his men, but if he just killed the Cyclops, he and his remaining men would never escape the Cyclops monstrous cave. Therefore, as he witnessed his crew’s lives end, he reverently devised a plan to escape the Cyclops cave. He finally conjured an ingenious plan. Odysseus fills the Cyclops with fine wine; however, his most ingenious aspect was what he spoke to the Cyclops, “you ask me my name…my name is Nobody” (Homer IX, 365). This was the most important aspect because after Odysseus stabbed the Cyclops eye out the Cyclops screamed, “It’s Nobody’s treachery, not violence that is doing me to death” (IX, 408). So, obviously with ‘Nobody’ attacking the Cyclops, nobody came to his aide. Odysseus and his remaining men escorted themselves out the cave by hanging off the Cyclops’ sheep’s bellies. Odysseus only barely escapes by exploiting the Cyclops stupidity and using his strength as a part of a larger plan to deceive the brute. In addition, in the case of the suitors Odysseus intelligence allows him to dispose of everyone of the suitors with barely any brute strength. To rid himself of the moochers in his home Odysseus did not have to subject him to a crazed rampage. Odysseus simply devised a foolproof plan to capture all the suitors in his home so he could kill all of them and not let any escape. Odysseus exclaims, “Telemachus and I will keep these arrant Suitors penned up in the hall, however hard they fight” (XXII, 170). Not only does he deceive the suitors into allowing him into his own house, he sets up the slaying scene exactly how he wants. Odysseus ends up being the only one armed out of the whole group of barbarians and murders every last suitor. In addition,...

Find Another Essay On Brains vs. Bronze

charant Creon as the Main Character of Antigone

1231 words - 5 pages Creon as the Main Character of Antigone   Throughout the Greek play Antigone by Sophocles, there exists a dispute as to who should receive the designation of main character. Antigone, the daughter of the cursed King Oedipus, as well as Creon, stately king of Thebes, both appear as the key figures in this historic play. I believe that Creon, king of Thebes, should be considered the main character in this work of Greek theater. Three

Free Macbeth Essays: Sleep and Sleeplessness

525 words - 2 pages The Sleep and Sleeplessness Motif in Macbeth We have consciences that function to tell us the difference between right and wrong. If we have clear consciences, we usually possess the ability to sleep. But when our consciences are full of guilt, we experience a state of sleeplessness. In Macbeth, Shakespeare uses the sleep and sleeplessness motif to represent Macbeth's and Lady Macbeth's consciences and the effect Macbeth's conscience has on

Life Outside of Life in Hawthorne’s Wakefield

898 words - 4 pages Life Outside of Life in Hawthorne’s Wakefield   Efficacy lies at the heart of human desires for immortality. Characters throughout literature and art are depicted as wanting to step aside and see what their world would be like without their individual contributions. The literary classic A Christmas Carol and the more recent, but ageless, film It’s Wonderful Life both use outside influences (three ghosts and Clarence the Angel

Essay on Identity in Song of Solomon

2172 words - 9 pages Searching for Identity in Song of Solomon         Abstract: Whether Africans really fly or just escape a monumental burden, perhaps only through death, is a decision Toni Morrison has apparently left to her readers. Never the less, no matter what you believe, within Song of Solomon, the suggestion is, that in order to "fly" you must go back to the beginning, back to your roots. You must learn the "art" from the old messages.   O

The Character of Oedipus in Oedipus and The Infernal Machine

904 words - 4 pages The Character of Oedipus in Oedipus and The Infernal Machine    The stories of Oedipus, as told through Seneca's Oedipus and Cocteau's The Infernal Machine, contain both similarites and differences. Both authors portray the character of Oedipus as being obstinate, ignorant, and inquisitive. Yet Seneca and Cocteau differ on their interpretation of the motives that propelled these characteristics of Oedipus. Seneca portrays Oedipus as a

Okonkwo's Tragic Flaws in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

3121 words - 12 pages        An increasing amount of contemporary literature traces its origins back to the early works of Greece. For ages, humans have fascinated themselves with the impossible notion of perfection. Unrealistic expectations placed on those who were thought to be the noblest or most honorable individuals have repeatedly led to disappointment and frustration, either on the part of those particular individuals or those they influence. Classic

Sophocles' Antigone - Antigone Must Challenge Creon

889 words - 4 pages Antigone Must Challenge Creon in Antigone   In his "Funeral Oration" Pericles, Athens's leader in their war with other city-states, rallies the patriotism of his people by reminding them of the things they value. He encourages a sense of duty to Athens even to the point of self-sacrifice. He glorifies the free and democratic Athenian way of life and extravagantly praises those willing to die for it. In Antigone, Creon, Thebes's leader in

The Role of Women in Homer’s Iliad

796 words - 3 pages The Role of Women in Homer’s Iliad Homer’s Iliad is undoubtedly focused on its male characters: Achilles, primarily, but also Hector and Agamemnon. Nevertheless, it seems that the most crucial characters in the epic are female. Homer uses the characters of Thetis, Andromache, and Helen as a basis for comparison to the male characters. Homer wants his audience to see and understand the folly of his male characters in choosing war over peace

A Comparison of Butler's Life and Kindred

1915 words - 8 pages A Comparison of Butler's Life and Kindred   What lies in the mind of an author as he or she begins the long task of writing a fiction novel? This question can be answered if the author's life is studied and then compared to the work itself. Octavia E. Butler's life and her novel Kindred have remarkable comparisons. This essay will point out important events of Butler's life and how they link to the mentioned novel. Octavia Estelle

Pillars of Metaphorical Ambiguity in The Scarlet Letter

1439 words - 6 pages Pillars of Metaphorical Ambiguity in The Scarlet Letter Among the multiplicity of arcane elements hidden beneath the words in Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter", none is so apparent, yet strikingly subtle to the reader's perception and consumption of characterization than the allegorical play on words within the names of the characters.  Both the protagonist and her rival within the plot are blessed with conveniently appropriate, fitting

An Analysis of Robert Ji-Song Ku's Leda

2003 words - 8 pages An Analysis of Robert Ji-Song Ku's Leda       In Robert Ji-Song Ku's short story "Leda," the main character, Sorin, leads a life of imitation. He applies himself to his graduate studies in comparative literature a little too readily: he compares not just text to text; he also compares his life to text, to "works of literature" (Wong 281). If his life does not match that of at least one literary character on several levels of interpretation

Similar Essays

Reality And Illusion In Shakespeare's Hamlet Reality, Appearance And Deception

896 words - 4 pages Reality and Illusion in Hamlet   Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, begins with the appearance of a ghost, an apparition, possibly a hallucination. Thus, from the beginning, Shakespeare presents the air of uncertainty, of the unnatural, which drives the action of the play and develops in the protagonist as a struggle to clarify what only seems to be absolute and what is actually reality. Hamlet's mind, therefore, becomes the central force of the

Sub Plots In Hamlet Essay

1118 words - 4 pages Sub-plots in Hamlet   There are many things that critics say make Hamlet a "Great Work," one of which is the way that Shakespeare masterfully incorporates so many sub-plots into the story, and ties them all into the main plot of Hamlet’s revenge of his father’s murder. By the end of Act I, not only is the main plot identified, but many other sub-plots are introduced. Among the sub-plots are trust in the Ghost of King Hamlet, Fortinbras, and

Hamlet As Victim And Hero Essay

1301 words - 5 pages Hamlet as Victim and Hero      Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, a Shakespearean tragedy, tells the story of Prince Hamlet, who gained the knowledge of a terrible incident that his kingdom had suffered. Claudius, the king of Denmark and Hamlet's uncle, had killed his own brother, the king, who was also the father of Hamlet, and married his brother's widow. Hamlet suffered these traumas to a severe degree, and his only relief was to defeat his

Essay On Light And Dark In Antigone

1188 words - 5 pages Use of Light and Dark in Antigone   The "Golden Age" of Greece is noted for its many contributions to the creative world, especially in its development of the play. These performances strived to emphasize Greek morals, and were produced principally for this purpose. Antigone, by Sophocles, is typical. The moral focused on in Antigone is the conflict between physis (nature) and nomos (law), with physis ultimately presiding over nomos