writing assignment 2 intro


Throughout the epic, Odysseus’ caricature is painted: a hero of the Trojan war, a man with incredible physical and mental strength, beloved by people and adored by his wife—but there are times which his words and actions seems to defy this seemingly “perfect human” and instead make him stand out as a flawed individual. The episode with the Cyclops does just that. Initially, it seems Odysseus has saved his men yet again, reaching land and establishing relations with the giant. However, tensions boil, and Odysseus of course assumes the role as the “hero,” cunningly outmaneuvering and outsmarting the Cyclops, eventually leading his men to safety yet again. The problem arises as Odysseus and his remaining men sail away from the island, ruthlessly taunting the blinded Cyclops, not once, but thrice. Should Odysseus be perceived in the same light after mocking and degrading his opponent? As this is a retelling of his own story, why does he include the mockery in his narrative? Is this hubris or is it accelerating the development of his own kleos?


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