Comparison of Odysseus and Helen as Liars

Topics: Odyssey, Lie, Deception, Odysseus / Pages: 3 (744 words) / Published: Oct 21st, 2012
Comparison of Odysseus and Athena as liars
Deception, or the act of deceiving or defrauding, is a prominent theme in the Odyssey. Though inherently dishonest, deception can be used to gain information and knowledge. Different characters (and people) use it different ways. This essay will establish that, whereas Odysseus uses deception to help him progress from Nobody back to Odysseus, king of Ithaca, Athena does so to keep her identity secret when she disguises herself.
Odysseus ensures his security and protects his identity while deceiving Polyphemus, thus displaying his true cleverness. Odysseus tells Polyphemus that “Nobody is his name,” (9,365) he uses this clever deception so the other Cyclopes do not go after him after he escapes. Also, if Polyphemos knew who Odysseus really was then Polyphemos would've treated him differently. Odysseus wouldn't had received the hospitality that he did. By being his witty self, Polyphemos stated “I will eat you last” because he liked his cleverness which was actually his decievence. Odysseus is in sense a nobody, no one cared if he was king of Ithaca. This was his lowest point as he started to lie more in order to reconstruct his identity. In order to restore his identity, he had to continue with his lies, with that he began his Cretan lies. These Cretan lies deceived Athena, Eumaois, and Penelope. Odysseus used his first Cretan lie to Athena, who was disguised as a Shepard boy, ........ He takes pains to establish a sound character: "I have come here/with these gods that you see but leaving as much again to my children." (13,258) ...........
Later on he used his second Cretan lie to Eumaios, the swine herd, to gain information of what is happening at his home. He established a sympathetic character: son of a rich man and his concubine, the legitimate heirs gave him only a small portion of estate. He then condemned liars..... The immediate reason is that Odysseus is cold, and he's hinting for Eumaios to give him some

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