The Greeks valued intelligence and wit very strongly. “The Odyssey” offers countless examples of this. In fact, Odysseus himself gets out of many tough situations and conquers many obstacles with his wit and cleverness. He tells Polyphemos the Cyclopes that his name is “Nobody” and succeeds in blinding him and getting away. He overcomes Circe’s bewitching magic. He fills the ears of his companions with wax and demands that they tie him to the mast in order to safely pass by the tantalizing Sirens. Homer remarks that Odysseus is “far the best of mortal men for counsel and stories” and even suggests that he is able to match a god in wits and trickery. Odysseus’s wife, Penelope, is just as cunning and smart. Feigning the task of sewing a shroud for Laertes, she secretly undoes what she does in the day during the night. It is also notable that Penelope gets so many suitors because she is so well-known for her wisdom and intelligence.
Another quality treasured by the Greeks was loyalty and fidelity. Despite enriching experiences and countless temptations along his travels, Oedipus never strays from his path and ultimate dream to return to his home and family. He loves his wife Penelope, he loves his home, and he yearns constantly for that. The beautiful nymph Calypso offers him the seemingly undeniable bribes of immortality and happiness. However, because he genuinely loves his wife and maintains fidelity towards her, he refuses Calypso’s offer. At the same time, Penelope remains utterly faithful towards Odysseus despite temptations from the... [continues]
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