Deception in Homer's The Odyssey Essay

Deception in Homer's The Odyssey Essay

Length: 1034 words (3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

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 duplicity to infiltrate the minds of the mortals who worship them, or even in their own myths, where the immortals trick others for their own advancement (The Official King James Bible Online, 2 Cor. 11: 14). Deception is used for many different psychological reasons and it is used in Homer’s The Odyssey by many characters in the poem, including mortals, gods and goddesses.
Odysseus is a man of many faces: war hero, adventure seeker, devout Hellenist when he chooses to be, and even bloody murderer. The face he is most known for in The Odyssey, though, is a cunning and deceitful face. As he is planning to escape the cave of the one-eyed son of Poseidon, the Kyklops Polyphemos, Odysseus tells Polyphemos that “[his] name is Nohbdy: mother, father, and friends,/ everyone calls [him] Nohbdy’ (Homer: IX, 397-8). According to Ahuvia Kahane, “calling himself ‘[Nohbdy]’ is Odysseus’ strategy for survival in a deadly world of monsters,” and in this instance, Odysseus does survive, along with most of his men by creating a false identity so t...

... middle of paper ...

...dings on Homer. Ed. Bruno Leone. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1998. 158-164.
“Dissociative Identity Disorder.” NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illnesses. NAMI, 1996-2014. Web. 14 May 2014.
Homer. The Odyssey. Trans. Robert Fitzgerald. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1998.
Kahane, Ahuvia. “The Odyssey.” Homer: A Guide for the Perplexed. New York: Bloomsbury, 2012. 121-145.
“Other Translations of 2 Corinthians 11:14.” The Official King James Bible Online. King James Bible Online, 2014. Web. 14 May 2014.
Porter, Stephen and John C. Yuille. “Deception.” The Encyclopedia of Psychology. Ed. Alan E. Kadzin. Vol. 2. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. 448-452.
“Poseidon.” Mythology of Ancient Greece., 2013. Web. 14 May 2014.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Deception and Disguise in Homer’s Odyssey Essay example

- 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)....   [tags: literary analysis, homer, odyssey]

Strong Essays
1153 words (3.3 pages)

Women and Deception in Homer's Odyssey Essay

- 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]

Strong Essays
1974 words (5.6 pages)

Parallels between Virgil’s The Aenieid and Homer’s The Odyssey Essay

- In Virgil’s The Aeneid, there are many parallels found in Homer’s The Odyssey. In each epic, the heroes, Aeneas and Odysseus, are on a journey “home.” Aeneas is on the search of a new home for he and his companions to settle since Troy has been destroyed, Odysseus on the other hand is attempting to return to his home he left years earlier to fight the Trojan War. They both have Gods against them and helping them, both Aeneas and Odysseus are both held back by women, both voluntary and involuntarily, and they both have experiences visiting the Underworld....   [tags: deception, strength, society, gods, values, heroes]

Strong Essays
829 words (2.4 pages)

Analysis Of Homer 's ' Odyssey ' Essay

- Up to this point in The Odyssey, Homer has introduced several characters, including the gods, Telemachus, Odysseus, and several more. The Gods first appear when they discuss what they should do about Odysseus’s turmoil as he attempts to get home to his wife and, now grown, son. Afterward, Athena appears to Telemachus as Mentor, an old companion of his father, Odysseus. She convinces Telemachus that he should set sail in order to find out if his father is dead or alive and also to take back control of his father’s kingdom from his mother, Penelope’s, suitors....   [tags: Odyssey, Odysseus, Trojan War, Homer]

Strong Essays
1018 words (2.9 pages)

The Role of the Sirens in Homer's Odyssey Essay

- The Role of the Sirens in Odyssey The Sirens in the Odyssey represent more than just a maritime danger to the passing ship. They are the desires of man that he cannot have. The Sirens can also be construed as forbidden knowledge or some other taboo object. Whatever these singing women actually are, the sailors are wise to avoid them. As usual, the wily Odysseus cheats at the rules of the game by listening to their song under the restraints constructed by his crew. In their critical review, Horkheimer and Adorno treat the song of the Sirens as a forbidden knowledge of everything....   [tags: Homer Odyssey Essays]

Strong Essays
546 words (1.6 pages)

Free Essays on Homer's Odyssey: Powerful Women of Homer’s Odyssey

- The Powerful Women of Homer’s Odyssey There is really no way to generalize the women in Homer’s Odyssey because they all have their own distinct traits that make each of them great, strong, and powerful women. A very powerful woman is Arete. She is as powerful as the king, Alcinous. Her daughter Nausicaa is an amazing woman, even though she is so young. She displays great intelligence in handling Odysseus. These women I speak of above are great women in a good sort of way but there are also some very bad women that still have some amazing qualities....   [tags: Homer Odyssey Essays]

Free Essays
1806 words (5.2 pages)

Use of Disguise in Homer’s Odyssey Essay example

- 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]

Strong Essays
2140 words (6.1 pages)

Essay on Symbolism, Imagery and Diction in Homer’s Odyssey

- Symbolism, Imagery and Diction in Homer’s Odyssey During the course of history, the world has seen many fine works of literature like Homer’s epic, Odyssey. This book is a standard against which to compare all literary novels. The symbolism permeates the pages drawing the reader into the intriguing plot that includes twists within the central theme. Also, the author intelligently uses imagery and diction painting dramatic images in the reader's mind - building upon major the themes. The book contains a captivating use of symbolism making the story more interesting and understandable....   [tags: Homer Odyssey Essays]

Strong Essays
887 words (2.5 pages)

Homer's Odyssey: Themes of Homecoming and Reunion Essay

- 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]

Strong Essays
3126 words (8.9 pages)

Women in Homer's Odyssey Essay

-       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.” (P.199, Book XI) This is not a revelation for the wayward King. Odysseus treats all women he encounters with the same caution alluded to by Agamemnon when the shade tells him how his treacherous wife Clytemnestra acted in a way that defiled all women kind. Agamemnon is giving words to the concept of women that existed in Greek times, and still exists today although it is hopefully not expressed as much....   [tags: Odyssey Homer Essays Papers]

Strong Essays
1946 words (5.6 pages)