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The Odyssey - Mans Greatest Weapon Essay

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Below is an essay on "The Odyssey - Mans Greatest Weapon" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Odysseus’ journey from the Island of Sirens to Thrinacia provides great examples of intelligence overcoming temptation where strength may not. Upon reaching the Island of Sirens,
Odysseus has great foresight in knowing he and his men cannot physically overcome the temptation of listening to the Sirens. He orders his men to plug their ears with beeswax and tie him up to the ships mast. He alone needed to listen to “ravishing voices out across the air” (XII.208). Listening to the Sirens causes Odysseus to beg his men to free him and let him go to the Island. But as ordered, his men held him bound to the mast. If Odysseus had not thought to have his men tie him up, he would have likely been able to overpower his men physically to get himself to the Island where he would have been held captive. After steering away from the Island of Sirens, Odysseus and his men must navigate through the strait between Scylla, a six-headed monster, and Charybdis, an enormous whirlpool that threatens to swallow the entire ship. He thinks to himself “Deadly Charybdis - can’t I possibly cut and run from her and still fight Scylla off when Scylla strikes my men?” (XII.123-124) Odysseus chooses to steer tight against the cliffs of Scylla’s lair. This costs the lives of six sailors as the six heads of Scylla come swooping down to gobble up the sailors. As tragic as it is, Odysseus knows he must risk sacrificing the lives of a few of his men rather than risk going near or through the whirlpool and potentially killing everyone aboard the ship. Although Odysseus may have had the strength to swim by the whirlpool, it is almost certain that his men would not have survived. It is Odysseus’ smart strategy and willingness to sacrifice that allows the majority of the crew to survive. Even though Odysseus does not wish to stop at Thrinacia, his men urge him to stop to allow them to rest. Odysseus, being as intelligent as he is, commands his men not to...

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