Homer’s Odyssey challenges the common view on deception as employed only maliciously. Both a mortal, Odysseus, and one of the most revered goddesses, Athena, have the common noble goal of bringing Odysseus back home to his family after nearly two decades of absence. To achieve that goal, they mainly use deception and disguise in various forms that their physical and mental powers allow. Odysseus is famous for wittily deceiving others through verbal means, fact noted by Menelaus and Helen of Troy (Book 4). He even doubts Athena, as his own skills have made him doubt other’s honesty. Athena states after realizing Odysseus’s disbelief, “Would not another wandering man, in joy, make haste home to his wife and children? Not you, not yet” (8. 420-422). Odysseus wants to make sure that Athena gives him substantial evidence regarding his family and being back because “empty words are evil” (4. 891). After this exchange, when Odysseus knows him and Athena are on the same team, they use those skills to uncover the truth of matters or people’s character and return home.
From the beginning until the end of the Odyssey, Athena and Odysseus use physical disguise to ensure that justice and truth prevail. Athena uses her infinite disguising powers to change status, sex, and age and appear as the Mentor, a little girl, a “young man’s figure” and more (3.281). While all disguising instances are essential towards helping Odysseus go back home, the Mentor disguise seems to be the most important. In Book 2, Athena transforms into “Mentor’s form and voice” as a strategy to persuade Telemakhos to believe in his potential and pursue the journey ahead of him (2. 425). Mentor is in fact a person here, Telemakhos’s tutor and Odysseus’s comrade in batt...
... middle of paper ...
... in deceptiveness and similarity with her: “Two of a kind, we are, contrivers, both. Of all men now alive you are the best in plots and storytelling. My own fame is for wisdom among the gods-deceptions, too” (8. 379-383). It is as if though Athena represents these qualities heavenly, whereas Odysseus represents them on earth. Athena further exclaims to Odysseus, “Whoever gets around you must be sharp and guileful as a snake; even a god might bow to you in ways of dissimulation. You! You chameleon! Bottomless bag of tricks!” (8. 371-375). It is of no surprise that by Odysseus and Athena gathering forces and wit in this journey, nothing could stand in their way and Odysseus’s homecoming. Thousands of years later, the Odyssey stands proof to that.
Homer, and Robert Fitzgerald. The Odyssey. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1998. Print.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Use of Disguise in Homer’s Odyssey The difference between a wise and a foolish decision is often found in discerning when to conceal and when to reveal. This discretion in concealing and revealing is a major theme within The Odyssey. There is a proper time to deceive and a proper time to tell the truth; thus, it is crucial that one act accordingly. This importance is exemplified in Odysseus' life. When he is discreet in his timing, he achieves his goal. One example of this is the Trojan War.... [tags: Homer Odyssey disgody]
2140 words (6.1 pages)
- Hiding behind a false identity or a false story is sometimes the easiest way to face difficult decisions. Some believe that, if they make others think something other than the truth, they will have an advantage and, in turn, be superior. Stephen Porter and John C. Yuille acknowledge that “deception is the deliberate misrepresentation of facts through words or actions” (450). Deception is a form of disguise used by humans to hide who they are, what they feel, or even what they have done. In the Bible, it states that “even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light,” showing that, not only mortals use falsehood to achieve what they strive for, but that deities also utilize these methods of d... [tags: Ancient Greek epic poems]
1034 words (3 pages)
- Theme of Homecoming and Reunion in Homer's Odyssey The theme of The Odyssey is one of homecoming and reunion with loved ones. Though the proem of the epic states that Odysseus' own purpose is simply the fight to save his own life and return his shipmates home safely, the gods of Olympus are the unknown captains of this journey. It is an epic story of the making of men, mainly Odysseus and Telemakhos. Homer methodically details the struggles set forth by the gods. The contests of Odysseus' wisdom, honor, piety and prudence.... [tags: Odyssey essays]
3126 words (8.9 pages)
- “The Odyssey” is an epic poem that tells the story of Odysseus and the story of his many travels and adventures. The Odyssey tells the main character’s tale of his journey home to the island of Ithaca after spending ten years fighting in the Trojan War, and his adventures when he returns home and he is reunited with his family and close friends. This literary analysis will examine the story and its characters, relationships, major events, symbols and motifs, and literary devices. There is a copious amount of major characters in the story.... [tags: Homer's Epic poem]
1143 words (3.3 pages)
- The narrative epic, ‘The Odyssey’ composed by Homer between 750 and 650 BC recounts the nostos or homeward voyage of Odysseus If I were you, I should take steps to make these men disperse. Listen, now, and attend to what I say: at daybreak call the islanders to assembly, and speak your will, and call the gods to witness: the suitors must go scattering to their homes. Then here’s a course for you, if you agree: get a sound craft afloat with twenty oars and go abroad for news of your lost father— perhaps a traveller’s tale, or rumored fame issued from Zeus abroad in the world of men.... [tags: Classics]
2211 words (6.3 pages)
- The Use of Disguise in Odyssey In Homer's Odyssey, the use of disguise to help convey a false identity assists the characters in accomplishing their plans. Without the use of disguise it would thwart Odyssey’s attempts at arriving back to his homeland. Each disguise has its own individual purpose, for example Athene's image as Mentor to advise Telemachos. The main intention being to assist and encourage Telemachos into searching for news of his long lost father without revealing her true identity of divinity. Being old and wise, and more specifically male, enables Athene to place more power behind the words spoken by Mentor. This is since men were received with greater influence... [tags: Homer, Odyssey Essays]
1060 words (3 pages)
- Concealment and Disguises in Homer's Odyssey Did you know, that although caves, and disguises play a small literal role in The Odyssey, are major symbols, and sometimes even considered archetypes. Sometimes when quickly reading through a book, one does not pick up on the symbolic interpretation of many images created throughout the book. A man named Homer wrote The Odyssey around 800 B.C. The story was a Greek epic poem, illustrating the struggle of Odysseys, the hero, to return home.... [tags: Homer Odyssey disgody]
2752 words (7.9 pages)
- Use of Disguises in Odyssey The characters' use of disguises in Homer's Odyssey is a crucial element that helps to catalyze the victory of good over evil. Each disguise is unique, created for a specific purpose. Before she talks to Telemachos, Athena disguises herself as a wise old man in order to ensure that her words carry weight and are taken seriously. She knows that she must assist and encourage Telemachos into searching for his long lost father without revealing her divine nature, so she assumes the guise of Mentor because men were generally given more credibility in those days. In a similar vein, Odysseus disguises himself as a homeless man in order to exude anonymity s... [tags: Homer, Odyssey Essays]
975 words (2.8 pages)
- Disguises in Homer's Odyssey In Homer's Odyssey, disguises help convey a false identity that assist the characters in accomplishing their plans. Each disguise has its own purpose, such as Athene's image as Mentor to advise Telemachos. Her purpose was to assist and encourage Telemachos into searching news of his long lost father without revealing her true identity of divinity. Being old and wise, and especially male, helps put more power behind the words spoken by Mentor because men were received with greater influence than women were. Similar, Odysseus, through his clever use of false storytelling and disguises as "nobody" and a vagabond, is able to safely return to Ithaka and s... [tags: Homer Odyssey disgody]
938 words (2.7 pages)
- Women and Deception in the Odyssey As Agamemnon tells Odysseus, “Let it be a warning even to you. Indulge a woman never, and never tell her all you know. Some things a man may tell, some he should cover up” (Book XI 199). This is not news to Odysseus, who treats all women with caution ever since he was betrayed by his wife Helen, who acted in a way that defiled all womankind. Agamemnon did not come to this realization all by himself, however; his statement represents the common sentiment that existed throughout all ancient Greece.... [tags: Homer, Odyssey Essays]
1974 words (5.6 pages)
- Fate vs Freewill in Romeo and Juliet
- Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Simone De Beauvoir, and Virginia Woolf: Champions of Equality for Women
- Mary Shelley, Sartre, and Virginia Woolf
- Child Abuse and Neglect
- Evaluating The Obscene and Indecent: The Evolution of Indecency Tests in Canadian Law
- Malware and Phone Scams