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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
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