Role Of Deception In The Odyssey

429 Words2 Pages
The domestic setting of the Odyssey is just as much a battlefield as the war setting of The Iliad. However whereas great warriors in The Iliad relied on physical strength and prowess on the battlefield, in the domestic setting of The Odyssey wit and deception are more relevant strengths than brute power. As Penelope attempts to delay marriage to the suitors, Odysseus attempts to return to his home in Ithaka, and Athene outlines a plan to reunite the two, disguise and duality in words and tricks become powerful weapons in defeating adversaries superior in size, strength, or power. The character of Pallas Athene, typically known as the goddess of wisdom and war (among other crafts) exemplifies the relationship between cleverness in battle. She recognizes how one’s mind can be a powerful tool and it is this realization…show more content…
The goddess herself compares the two explaining to him “we both know tricks since you are by far the best among all men in counsel and tales, but I among all the gods have renown for wit and tricks” ( ). Their close relationship borders on flirtatious at points throughout the poem, but rather than physically expressing their affection for one another, the two engage in a mental affair that causes Nestor to proclaim that he has never seen “the gods showing such open affection as Pallas Athene” for Odysseus ( ). Although Athene has been planning for the safe return of Odysseus to Ithaca throughout the poem, she does not appear before him until book 13 when Odysseus has been left on the shores of Ithaka by the Phaiakians. Athene covers the surrounding shore with a mist so Odysseus cannot tell he is in Ithaka and approaches him in the disguise of a young man and tells Odysseus that he is in Ithaka. However whether it is force of habit, protection of his identity, or protection of himself for fear of

More about Role Of Deception In The Odyssey

Open Document