Literary Analysis of the Odyssey Essay

Literary Analysis of the Odyssey Essay

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Brains over brawn, who will win this battle?Homer's tale of Odysseus' adventures in “The Odyssey” show that being intelligent and cunning can be far better than having physical strength. Being physically strong certainly has its advantages, but not in all circumstances. Strength in intelligence shows new meaning of strength. Odysseus is amused with himself when he defeats Polyphemus. His great skills with a bow outweigh the others abilities. Knowledge of the placement of his bed win his beloveds heart.

Polyphemus had strength that was no match for men. Odysseus had physical strength, but his real strength is the mind. Odysseus would find himself in many predicaments in which he would have to choose how he will tackle the situation. One such occasion happens to be when Polyphemus captured Odysseus and his men and would not allow them to leave the cave. The boulder is placed in front of thee opening so that none of the men could budge it. The only way out would be to have Polyphemus push the boulder back out of the way. Odysseus must think of a way to make this happen. Odysseus tricked Polyphemus into opening the door by through a series of events. First, Odysseus filled him with wine making him sleepy. Once asleep Odysseus poked his eye with a hot spike. He then tells Polyphemus that no man has tricked you. “And I was filled with laughter to see how like a charm the name deceived them.” (Page 907) Odysseus was well pleased with the way he handled this situation. As an epic simile this line shows how Odysseus must rely on something other than strength, and that he tricked him, like a charm had been used into doing what he needed Polyphemus to do. He used intelligence to get the Cyclops to do as Odysseus would want. Just as Ody...


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...t get close to Penelope, only her true love. This statement proves that it is in fact Odysseus and that he has returned. Penelope knows he is the only one to know how he made the room. Odysseus used his knowledge and intelligence to win back his love. No other person was ever able to move the bed except for Odysseus. He and Penelope were the only two people who knew how the bed was made. Odysseus again conquers his task through his intelligence.

Intelligence is the key to conquering most battles. One can not just rely on the power of the physical strength to get the job done. There is more to strength than just muscles. Overcoming obstacles was part of Odysseus' daily routine. He was a smart man who knew how to get the job done and what tools should be used. The lesson to be learned is that the brain can be very useful in battle, no matter what the enemy is.


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