The Odyssey Of Homer: Homer Essay

942 words - 4 pages

The Odyssey, a Greek legend my Homer, describing a man named Odysseus and his journey to return to his homeland of Ithica after the end of the Trojan Wars and the trials he faced during his excursion. Odysseus, the "man of man wiles", suffered great losses, yet he was able to recover his lands and his family in the end. The central theme, which this epic is based upon, is that strength is a valued characteristic, but intelligence and wit succeed where strength fails.In book nine Odysseus recounts his tale of how he defeated Polyphemus, the Cyclops and son of Poseidon. Polyphemus has many advantages over Odysseus; he was larger, stronger, and fiercer. His one pitfall was that he was not very intelligent. Odysseus ends up captured by the Cyclops, who holds him and some of his men in his cave which he closes each night with a larger boulder. Polyphemus goes on to devour two men for each meal. The captives soon realized that there was not way for them to escape, if they killed Polyphemus they would be trapped within the cave. Odysseus devises a plan, some way the captives must find a way of getting Polyphemus out of his cave and to keep him from rolling the rock back into place. After much thought and the loss of a few crewmen, Odysseus succeeds in getting the Cyclops drunk, and then he went on to tell him that his name was "No-One". After Polyphemus had passed out Odysseus and some other men drove a sharpened stick into the Cyclops' eye. The monster then flew into a rage and ran out of his cave to call for his brethren to help him. When they asked him who was attacking him he said "No-One". Thinking that perhaps Polyphemus was suffering some sort of enchantment they ignored his plea for help. The next morning Odysseus and his men were able to escape from Cyclops' cave when he led his sheep out of said cave with the remaining humans clinging to the bellies of the animals; the blind Polyphemus was none the wiser. So even though Polyphemus had an advantage in strength it was intellect that played the deciding factor in the survival of the humans.In book 12 Odysseus is again faced with a situation that requires brains and not brawn. A decision lies before Odysseus, as he is confronted with the two beasts Scylla and Charybdis. These two creatures live on either side of a narrow straight, Scylla is a fearsome monster with six heads, each of which will grab and consume one of Odysseus' crewmen. On the other side is Charybdis, a kind of living whirlpool that sucked in water only to regurgitate it at a higher elevation. So...

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