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Odysseus, An Egotistical Cretan. Odysseus tells Athena, whom he believes is a shepherd, a false account, of how he came to Ithaca, primarily since he needs to keep his identity a secret, familiarize himself with the situation on Ithaca and formulate a pl

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Emily Noble Legacy of the Mediterranean Odysseus, an Egotistical Cretan Odysseus tells Athena, whom he believes is a shepherd, a false account, of how he came to Ithaca, primarily since he needs to keep his identity a secret, familiarize himself with the situation on Ithaca and formulate a plan to execute the suitors. He perceives that he has arrived in a mist-shrouded and unknown land. And thus secondarily, he needs to present a feasible reason for being alone and stranded with copious amounts of treasure for safety reasons as well as to allay suspicion in relation to his identity. Athena affects how he tells his lie because he can see and listen to her. To manipulate her more effectively, Odysseus exploits these factors to produce a story specifically tailored to the information Athena provides. Odysseus considers Athena's, or the shepherd she appears to be, appearance and response to his inquiry about where he is; by doing this Odysseus can form ideas about her social status, her intelligence, her nationality, and if she is hostile and unwelcoming or friendly. He does with the intention of creating a lie that she will believe as well as of sending a clear message that fulfills his primary goals concerning the suitors and himself. ...read more.


Odysseus continues with his murder of Orsilokhos, the King Idomeneus's son whom he killed for "desir[ing] to take away [his] Trojan plunder, all [he] had fought and bled for" (Fitzgerald Book 13 Page 238 Line 334-335). He describes the murder; he "hit him with a spearcast from a roadside...[and] took his life in secret, finished him off with [his] sharp sword"(Fitzgerald Book 13 Page 238 Lines 341-347). The event took place when "murky night shrouded all heaven" and he "made [the] ambush with one man at arms" (Fitzgerald Book 13 Page 238 Line 345). This depicts Odysseus ultimately as having acted without kleos or glory; he used the cover of night to ambush Orsilokhos giving Odysseus the advantages of location, concealment, and surprise. Furthermore, Odysseus brought a man at arms and thus outnumbered Orsilokhos two to one and still Odysseus used a ranged weapon to first injure Orsilokhos rather than engage him equally with melee weapons and then "finished him off." To the ancient Greek kleos is usually achieved through greatness in open and honest combat. Hence, this absence of kleos portrays Odysseus as calculating, merciless and dishonorable. This would warn the shepherd not to try to steal from Odysseus as Orsilokhos attempted because Odysseus does not care for glory and will slaughter him in any way he can whether or not it damages his reputation. ...read more.


He paid the Phoenicians to transport him because it was in his best interest to escape from Crete. This gives the shepherd motivation to assist Odysseus because though Odysseus is willing to kill, or commit treason to serve his interests, he is not averse to paying honest men for assistance. With this short fiction, Odysseus has essentially prevented the shepherd from trying to kill him, gained some of his trust, motivated him to aid him, and placed himself in a position to make a move against the suitors. Regrettably, his meticulously well-crafted narrative is not exceptionally useful as Athena was the shepherd all along. She went to advise him, unnecessarily, not to disclose his identity and did not need to be convinced to help him. Athena thoroughly enjoys his lie because as the goddess of wisdom, she appreciates the cunning with which he has established an alternate identity. She then warns him about the suitors, disguises him, and sends him on his way. Unfortunately, for this particular instance, his story only functions to amuse and impress Athena. Had there actually been a shepherd, Odysseus would have placed himself in a remarkable position to manipulate the shepherd and move forward with slaughtering the suitors; for the small price of portraying himself as an egotistical Cretan. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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