Cunning Versus Strength

Topics: Odyssey, Homer, Greek mythology Pages: 1 (349 words) Published: May 24, 2013
Cunning versus Strength

When it comes to any movie, television show, video game or Greek epic poem, there are always two types of heroes, ones with great strengths and ones who practice cunning. The heroes with strength primarily uses their physical abilities such as strength and speed to overcome their enemies; the cunning heroes uses their intellect, speech, and careful planning to get out of situations and deal with things larger and tougher than them. The prime example of a cunning hero is Odysseus.

Odysseus, being the strong and tough man he is, does not always rely on his strength. For many situations that Odysseus is faced with, cunning overpowers strength, in order to succeed. One of the evidences is when Odysseus and his crew are trapped in the cave of the giant Cyclops, Kyklops. Instead of battling Kyklops to escape, Odysseus plans it out. He knows that he cannot overpower Kyklops or be able to budge the boulder from the door. He thus schemes around his disadvantage in strength by exploiting Kyklops’ stupidity. To begin with, Odysseus gets Kyklops drunk on wine that he brought along from the ship. He then lied about his name so neighbours of Kyklops misunderstand and fail to save the injured Kyklops. Lastly, Odysseus tied himself along with his crew at the bottom of the giant sheep, hoping to escape by the morning, because he knew Kyklops only sees the back of his herd. Though Odysseus does use violence to put out Kyklops’ single eye, this display of strength is part of a larger plan to deceive the brute.

Strength empowers a person to do something extraordinary where normal people cannot achieve, but cunning provides a deeper and more effective method than pure strength in the meaning of tactics. In the chapter where Odysseus encounters with Achilles in the underworld is a reminder that Achilles is the greatest warrior during his time, but life was brief and ended violently; Odysseus, on the other hand, by virtue of his wits, will live to an...
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