Odysseus, An Egotistical Cretin

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Odysseus tells Athena, whom he believes is a shepherd, a false account, of how he came to Ithaca, primarily since he needs to keep his identity a secret, familiarize himself with the situation on Ithaca and formulate a plan to execute the suitors. He perceives that he has arrived in a mist-shrouded and unknown land. And thus secondarily, he needs to present a feasible reason for being alone and stranded with copious amounts of treasure for safety reasons as well as to allay suspicion in relation to his identity. Athena affects how he tells his lie because he can see and listen to her. To manipulate her more effectively, Odysseus exploits these factors to produce a story specifically tailored to the information Athena provides.…show more content…
Hence, this absence of kleos portrays Odysseus as calculating, merciless and dishonorable. This would warn the shepherd not to try to steal from Odysseus as Orsilokhos attempted because Odysseus does not care for glory and will slaughter him in any way he can whether or not it damages his reputation. The images evoked from Troy, “all I had fought and bled for”, serve to somewhat justify his murder of Orsilokhos and show some appreciation for honest work, when it serves him, and could function to make the shepherd feel less fear towards a murderous foreigner. Mostly, this information gives the shepherd a distinct warning not to attempt to harm or steal from him because not only is he a hardened warrior who survived a ten-year war at Troy, but he has already murdered royalty, dishonorably, in his own homeland for trying to take his hard-earned possessions. Obviously, he would have no qualms about killing a shepherd in a different country for attempting the same.
Odysseus also mentions that he was not subservient to Idomeneus at Troy. He even led a command of men not under Idomeneus, which would be skirting on treason. Though it was not admirable to disregard duty, it allowed Odysseus a unit of men who would presumably die for him and could potentially be used to overthrow Idomeneus

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