When Odysseus falls captive to the Cyclops, Polyphemus, he is forced to take action. The stereotypical epic hero might have tried to display his strength by using physical force to overcome the one-eyed Giant; however, Odysseus chooses wisdom as his weapon of choice. The plan that Odysseus forms for the Cyclops is very intricate. His emotions are provoked when his men are brutally slaughtered by the brute; nevertheless, he refrains from physical violence and devices a plan. Regarding his intense desire to avenge his men, he “refrained, realizing [he] would seal [his] own fate” it was “ impossible with …unaided hands to push aside the huge rock with which [Polyphemus] had closed the great mouth of the cave” (118, lines 303-306). Odysseus and his men face Polyphemus in the recesses of a cave that is blocked by an enormous stone; a stone that cannot be budged by a company of men. He displays his wisdom by observing the surroundings of the cave. Without the observations he made, they would have killed Polyphemus and sealed their fate. In order for them to escape the recesses of the cave, h...
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...e it easy for him to overcome the ruthless men. If he would have marched in and started attacking, he would have placed his life in jeopardy. Odysseus’s intellectually devised plan allowed him to carry out an effortless victory over the suitors.
Whether it was the ruthless Cyclops, the seducing Sirens, or the discourteous suitors, Odysseus relied on his intelligence to overcome adversity. He used his intelligence in the Cyclops’s cave to manipulate Polythemus into developing a corridor of escape. He used the divine knowledge and instruction of Circe to tune into the astonishing serenades of the Sirens. Finally, he used an intellectually devised plan that allowed him to overpower the defenseless suitors. Although Odysseus was not the stereotypical epic hero, he proved that there is power found in knowledge. He found truth in the concept “knowledge is power.”
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