Character of Odysseus

Topics: Odysseus, Odyssey, Man Pages: 2 (827 words) Published: March 3, 2013
English make up quiz 01
The Odyssey (Books IX, X)

Q. Give a character desorption of Odysseus based on the two books, what would you identify as his most essential, defining character traits? How would you describe him as a leader/commander?

I find Odysseus as a very complicated character. He is strong, courageous, Intelligent, confident and most importantly very cunning character with judgmental problem. As I read book IX, I find him as a self assured man, so proud of identifying himself. The form that Odysseus’s revelation of his identity takes is interesting. Reputation is of paramount importance in this culture. Odysseus begins by saying that it is a great thing to listen to such a minstrel perform his songs, but that by asking for the cause of his sorrow he causes more grief. Odysseus doesn’t simply utter his name; rather, he attaches to it an epithet, or short, descriptive title. For example, in book IX (p313), after he made Cyclops blind, he says, “Cyclops- If any man on the face of the earth should ask you who blinded you, shamed you so- Say Odysseus, raider of cities, he gouged out your eye, laertes’ son who makes his home in Ithica!” Odysseus is here going through the motions of confirming his glory, he wants to make sure everyone knows about his great deeds as Odysseus believes that the height of glory is achieved by spreading his name abroad through great deeds. Most importantly, we find Odysseus as a cunning character. Odysseus’s quick thinking helps him out of some very tough situations, as when he escapes from the cave of the Cyclops in Book IX. When the Cyclops returns, Odysseus cunningly offers him wine and tells him that his name is "Nobody." As soon as Cyclops collapses with intoxication, Odysseus and a select group of his men drive the red-hot staff into his eye. Cyclops wakes with a shriek, and his neighbors come to see what is wrong, but they leave as soon as he calls out, “Nobody’s killing me” (9.455). So they did not come to...
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