Odysseus Use Of Lies In Homer's Odyssey

1063 Words5 Pages
In Homer’s Odyssey, Odysseus uses lies as a protective disguise against strangers. Not only does Odysseus utilize lies to keep his identity a secret but also, through the use of specific language, he conveys unspoken points. These points invoke different feelings and opinions in the people to whom he lies. Odysseus can quickly tailor his lies depending on the person and the situation he is in. Odysseus’s skill of creating intricate falsehoods and his use of lies as a way of controlling the thoughts of person he’s lying to, reveals his exceptional tact and guile.
Odysseus, in some cases, uses lies to protect himself from strangers as well as to gain their help. In his first encounter back on Ithaka, Odysseus sees disguised Athena putting “a young man’s figure on… like a king’s son.”(XIII, 281-282) which makes assume that the young man is of power and strength. Odysseus feels threatened by the stranger causing him to create his lie with the goal of protecting himself. He says that he had killed a man, “Orsilokhos, the courier, son of Idomeneus,”(XIII, 332) which gives the undertone of nobility and wealth. He says that this young man “could beat the best cross country runners,”(XIII,
…show more content…
Depending on the circumstances and on the relationship he has with the person he is talking to, Odysseus can guide them into doing what he intends through his clever wording and lies. He often uses his lies for his individual welfare, such as keeping his identity secret or receiving help. Other times, Odysseus lies for the well-being of others, by giving them hope and happiness. Odysseus’s utilization of lie not only reveals his resourcefulness in his cunning, but also his thoughtfulness for others. Odysseus’s lies, which might be seen as only a way to conceal his identity, actual discloses aspects of his and other character personalities we would otherwise not
Open Document