The Odyssey' places emphasis on cunning and guilefulness rather than strength as in the former epic; elucidated in Odysseus' dealings with Poseidon's son, the Cyclops Polyphemus. Compelled
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The Odyssey - Written Commentary Narrative Section: The Epos Key Passage: Book IX 394-449 Composed approximately in 700 B.C., Homer's epic narrative, 'The Odyssey' depicts the homeward voyage of the legendary Greek hero Odysseus. The Epos, commonly known as "The Wanderings of Odysseus" are the protagonists' recounting of his perilous misadventures to King Alcinous of the Phaecians; to date, the most celebrated and noted section of the great epic. Contrasting 'The Iliad', 'The Odyssey' places emphasis on cunning and guilefulness rather than strength as in the former epic; elucidated in Odysseus' dealings with Poseidon's son, the Cyclops Polyphemus. Compelled by curiosity to explore the island, Odysseus opts to refrain from pillaging a discovered cave glutted with provisions, choosing to his crew's dismay to linger and test the inhabitant's hospitality rather than scuttling to the ships. Holding no interest in civility or hospitality, the insidious Polyphemus entraps Odysseus and his men cannibalistically consuming them. Utilizing his guile Odysseus initiates through a chain of events his masterful plan of escape. This passage, illustrating the most renowned example of Odyssean cunning is vital to 'The Odyssey' because it exemplifies through motifs and literary devices the major themes of deception and cunning over strength. A critical component of the passage supported by motifs, the theme of deception helps to reaffirm the extract's importance to 'The Odyssey' as a whole.
Viciously rotating the pike into Polyphemus' eye, Odysseus and his crew's action is depicted by Homer as that of sailing a ship. Odysseus assuming his role of captain and guiding the pike, "turning it as a shipwright turns a drill" (417) and the crew falling into ranks, their action in ramming the pike into the beast's eye is exactly like that when at open sea. The significance of the epic simile serves to, as everything else in the passage, to fortify the theme. Even in his state of suppression, if only a few men attempted to blind Polyphemus confident of their might, the damage inflicted would be meager and the Cyclops awoken. Instead, employing his intellect, Odysseus "cheered [his] men along" (408) and functioning as a unit, their combined forces brought forth by Odysseus' astuteness was the true driving force behind Polyphemus' blinding. This idea is even demonstrated in the subtlest of manners by Homer in using an olive pike as the instrument of destruction. Traditionally a symbol of peace and prosperity, Odysseus applying his craftiness and creativity turned an object of peace into a weapon of annihilation, strengthening at the most basic level the theme of cunning and intelligence over strength for if Odysseus had not been resourceful enough to forge a the pike into a spear, then he and his crew would undoubtedly have been consumed.
Tone Diction and order of words Rammed the thing in the crater of the eye - different than saying I shoved it in, so the language and diction is powerful Drunk hiccupping not only is visually imagery but is also very powerful. Imagery brings out meaning more Power --> For a hero of the Iliad, they would have blinded polyphemus at first chance, but stressing the importance of the two themes of BLAH AND BLAH, the necessity of ...is seen in this passage. Motif of cunning tricks is not in this passage but the trick is in getting Cyclops drunk anyway. Odysseus's inventiveness in this situation is a tribute to the hero's manipulation of the truth. So basically by putting on a disguise he ensures the future safety of his men so Polyphemus can't curse them. Established by Homer in the beginning lines of the passage, the theme of deception works to clarify the importance of this passage. emphasize, in this cardinal representation of Odyssean cunning, the major theme of cunning over strength. In alien worlds with other people Machiavellian How it resembles cunning Talk about theme and how it is important to the story? And then connecting you can say how its shown. How it applies to rest of Odyssey and give examples. ?? ?? ?? ?? Jayesh Taunk Ms. Andrews October 14, 2005 IB English HL1
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