Odysseus In Homer's 'The Odyssey'

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The Odyssey Questions

Question 8.

Yes, Odysseus remains hopeful in a particularly bleak situation.

B. Blinded by Odysseus and his men, Polyphemus fills with rage and guards the cavern exit with ill intent to kill any who dare attempt escape. Although little hope remains in the hearts of Odysseus’ men, he knows that there must be a way for him and his comrades to escapes death’s outstretched hands. While many would have been consumed by overwhelming feelings of grief and despair, Odysseus uses those emotions, as well as an overlying sense of fear, to fuel his rapid thought process and figure out an ingenious escape plan almost too crazy to actually succeed. Knowing that death is near, the king of Ithaca quickly goes to work, silently preparing
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One of the earliest cases in which Odysseus reveals his selfish nature is after he and his crew scarcely manage to escape Polyphemus’ cavern with their lives. Once back aboard his ship, he orders his crew to begin rowing away from the island silently and with great speed, so as not to alert the Cyclops of their escape. As the men are pulling away from shore, Odysseus waits until he is as far away from the island as his shouting can be heard. Aiming his stinging remark at the now blinded Cyclops, Odysseus cries out that the Gods, and Zeus himself, have brought this upon Polyphemus. Filled with rage, and perhaps a bit* of shame, the towering Cyclops flings a piece of the very hills in the direction from which Odysseus’s insult came. The large piece of land narrowly misses the bow of the ship, and it causes a rush of water that pushes the ship almost completely back to shore. Panicked and afraid, the crew vigorously row to a safe distance again, whereupon Odysseus once more prepares to belittle and taunt the still fuming Cyclops. The crew’s disbelief quickly turns to discontent, and they make their anger and worry known with several muttered remarks on how Odysseus should bait the Cyclops no further, lest his throw be accurate this time. Selfishly, the King of Ithaca chooses his pride over his crew’s safety and lets Polyphemus know that it is Odysseus who has bested him. Again, the maddened Cyclops hurls a large boulder at the boat and only just misses. The splash propels …show more content…
After the Cyclops Polyphemus returns home to find that his cavern is filled with Odysseus and his men, he promptly eats two of the men before rolling a large, heavy boulder in front of the entrance, effectively trapping the others. That night, as the monstrous Cyclops lay fast asleep, the King of Ithaca crept to his side with his sword drawn. Resting the sharp point of his sword over the monster’s midriff, Odysseus suddenly comes to the realization that if he slays Cyclops he and his men would be forevermore trapped within the dank cavern. To kill the Cyclops would potentially doom his men, but to let Polyphemus live would mean that every day more and more of his men would be eaten. Odysseus has an important decision to make, one that would decide the outcome of his years-long journey. The King of Ithaca waits patiently for the morning to arrive, and he is then forced to stand by and watch as Polyphemus makes a meal out of another brace of men. The Cyclops and his sheep leave the cave, leaving Odysseus and his men to plot their escape. That night, after the Cyclops has returned and feasted upon two more men, Odysseus lulls the horrible creature into a drunken stupor and then sleep using the fiery liquor given to him by Euanthes’ son, Maron. The King of Ithaca and four of his men brandish the searing stake they roughly hacked from a fallen olive tree, and they drive it into the eye of the sleeping Polyphemus with all of their strength. The Cyclops is blinded, and thus

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