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First Assignment

603 words - 3 pages


The character Odysseus is a protagonist whose extraordinary adventures feature in Homer’s Odyssey, which is an epic poem and Sophocles Philoctetes which is a tragedy. This essay will display the differences and similarities of Odysseus character in these two excerpts.
The two excerpts have a similar portrayal of Odysseys because they both illustrate how cunning his character is. In particular, they highlight how he uses this skill to concoct schemes. In Homers work Odysseus uses a plan to disguise himself as a man from Crete to trick the goddess Athena, who is impressed by his cunning calling him ‘foxy, ingenious’. The fact that Odysseus is receiving this praise from a goddess shows his prowess in thinking of artful plans. Likewise in Sophocles version, Odysseus is cunning which is shown through his plot to deceive Philoctetes. Odysseus commands Neoptolemos ‘to take Philoctetes by deceit’. This manipulative plan illustrates this characteristic in Odysseus because of the careful strategy and finesse that he implements into it to make it successful. Further evidence for this particular character trait is discussed by Dr. Seth L. Schein ‘In Philoktetes Odysseus is, of course, still a figure of cunning intelligence and treacherous deception’. These pieces of evidence show how both the texts present Odysseus as a character that is cunning particularly when he is planning and executing schemes.
A divergent element between these two excerpts is the way that Odysseus talent for lying is contrasted through different opinions of it. In Homers Odyssey the reader is shown that Odysseus is a very adept liar and this is praised. When Athene addresses Odysseus upon his return to Ithaca she is impressed by how good he is at deceiving people saying ‘Those wily tales that warm the cockles of your heart’! ...

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