Comparison of Odysseus and Helen as Liars

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 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.

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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 idomeneus, grandson of late king Minos. He gave a first name Aethon, and told Penelope about Odysseus, everything she wanted to hear. He told her a lengthy description of his “homeland” Crete…….. Similarly to Odysseus, Athena disguises herself as a mentes….

And disguises herself as a mentor………… This essay established that both Odysseus and Athena decieved in similar ways, to gain information. A……… The many acts of deception found in The Odyssey often are used to show a character’s cleverness or to show the importance placed on cleverness. Cleverness is one of the qualities that make Athena want to aid Odysseus throughout his trials. Cleverness is one of the qualities that is to inspire Odysseus to want Penlope.

Cleverness is what makes Penlope of value and is what makes Odysseus a hero. Deception in the Odyssey is always about appearances: Circe appears beautiful and benevolent, but is actually malicious. The men are made to appear as animals, but are actually still men in spirit and mind. Odysseus’s disguise as a beggar is much like Athene’s former disguise as a mortal; by dressing below their stations, these two are able to test the integrity of those they deceive.

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