Cunning over Strength

analytical Essay
935 words
935 words

Cunning over Strength

The cornerstone of early Greek culture was using strength instead of your mind to get you through dangerous situations. From the statues and the stories Greek heroes were always portrayed as powerful and athletic, and used this to there advantage. The Odyssey written by Homer is an epic poem that shows that it’s not always your strength but your cunning ability to get you through treacherous situations. Throughout The Odyssey there are numerous examples in which characters show this skill including, Odysseus’s escape from Polyphemus, his resistance of the Sirens, and Penelope’s ability to trick her suitors.

Odysseus and his men land on the island of the Cyclops extremely hungry and looking for food. He and his men carefully search the island despite the “....instant foreboding that we were gong to find ourselves face to face with some barbarous being of colossal strength and ferocity, uncivilized and unprincipled” (Homer;9;213;216). The Cyclops also known as Polyphemus returns home from tending his animals to find twelve strangers in his cave. He quickly returns the boulder back in the door way and begins asking the men who they are and where they came from. At first Polyphenus shows hospitality to them until Odysseus replies to him with a lie. Polyphenus is outraged and quickly grabs two of Odysseus’ men and bashes their brains out and begins to eat them. Odysseus and his men are terrified that such a horrific creature could do such a thing. He then realizes that will have to use their whits to get away from this creature not their brute strength. He then hardens a stick out of a piece of olive wood and hides it under some dung in the cave. When Polyphenus returns to the cave Odysseus then sets out to ...

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...built with brute strength the Greek civilization shows us that being able to rationalize problems is often a better solution than using just brute strength. In Homer’s The Odyssey there are several examples of the characters proving that cunningness is often a better choice that strength alone. Odysseus freed him and his men from the barbarous Polyphemus by using his cunning mind to devise a plan. He was able to realize that his strength lone could save him from this terrible creature. Also his cunning to use beeswax and tie himself to there ship rather than jeopardizing his crew to the seductive voices of the Sirens. Odysseus’ wife Penelope cunning ability while deceiving the suitors by making them thing she is creating something that she really isn’t. The ability to use cunning over strength is still evident in society centuries after the Greek civilization.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how the odyssey, written by homer, shows that it's not always your strength but your cunning ability to get you through treacherous situations.
  • Describes how odysseus and his men search the island of the cyclops despite the foreboding encounter with a barbaric creature.
  • Analyzes how odysseus is warned by circe that the sweet voices of the sirens' bewitch anyone who comes near to them.
  • Analyzes how odysseus is cunning, and penelope is defending her marriage against the suitors. she develops an ingenious plan to stay faithful to her long lost husband.
  • Analyzes how odysseus freed himself and his men from the barbarous polyphemus by using his cunning mind to devise a plan.
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