Comparison Of Odysseus And Athena As Liars

744 words - 3 pages

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 ...view middle of the document...

... The immediate reason is that Odysseus is cold, and he's hinting for Eumaios to give him some more cover--which Eumaios does. It's also believe to be a test, although Eumaios has already demonstrated the kind of person he is by sharing his meager necessities with this ragged stranger and by the concern he has shown for his master's family in his determination not to let anyone arouse false hopes that will just be dashed.

In particular, remember that just a page or so earlier, he has firmly forbidden the stranger to tell Penelope that he knows Odysseus is on his way home, because he has seen many other wayfarers tell her the same thing and be rewarded with a new tunic and cloak, and then leave her to be disappointed all over again. But when the stranger tells the story of how Odysseus conned another soldier out of his cloak so that the stranger could use it, Eumaios tells him that he will receive a new tunic and cloak soon, and then piles other covers over him in the meantime. Perhaps that anecdote rings so true as something Odysseus would have done that Eumaios is now convinced that the stranger does at least KNOW Odysseus.
His third Cretan lie was to Penelope to see if she was still true to him. He pretended to be the brother of...

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