Use this prompts as the basis for a 4-5 page (no fewer than four full pages, no more than five full pages) critical essay on the Odyssey:
1) Odysseus and cleverness. The first line of The Odyssey is “Tell me about a complicated man,” and complicated Odysseus is. Multiply described—by self, or others—as “deceitful,” “strategizing,” “wily,” and “lying,” how do you see the central quality of cunning as it relates to Odysseus? Is it a virtue? Who might see it that way? Or perhaps is it an extension of hubris, or pride? What do you think motivates Odysseus? In what ways does the text seem to celebrate or critique that motivation? And, significantly, are there moments where we—as contemporary readers—might hold a separate relationship with respect to these qualities as ancient audiences might?You do not have to answer all of these questions, but I do want you to interrogate the notion of cunning and cleverness—as virtuous qualities, or as negative, pejorative descriptions—as it pertains to Odysseus’s behavior and character.
Write an argumentative essay that reflects on how Odysseus
(and others!) perceive this quality of cunningness.
Important: the only book version that needs to be use for this essays is: