From the introduction made by the poet in book 1, I learned that Odysseus has been tormented for years after defeating Troy with the Trojan horse. Within these years, Odysseus and his men traveled from land to land, however, as much as Odysseus tried to bring them and himself home, he did not succeed. His crews recklessness and disobedience killed them after they ate Helios’s cattle on his island.
The description in lines 56-67 reveal that Odysseus, along with the ancient Greeks, value laws and hospitality, something that cyplopes do not have. The lines
Odysseus remark, “Ah, how sound that was! Yet I refused. I wished to see the caveman, what he had to offer” (pg.376, lines 130-131), he shows the quality of overcoming perilous situations. Instead of fleeing, what his men wanted to do, Odysseus chose to stay and meet the cyclops even if danger was brought from the savage man.
In his encounter with the cyclops, Odysseus shows his strength in his intelligence and his values. In the lines 183 to 184 on page 377, it states, “Tell me, where was it, now, you left your ship-“. Odysseus, seeing through the cyclops lie, answered with a lie, knowing that the cyclops would kill his men if he told him the truth. Odysseus also shows his strong intelligence when he gave the cyclops a fake name when he was asked what his name was. Odysseus tricked him into believing that his name was Nohbdy, making the cyclops cry out “Nohbdy, Nohbdy’s tricked me, Nohbdy’s ruined me” when he was attacked by Odysseus and his men.
Odysseus taunts the Cyclops as a way to show that he was defeated by him. Odysseus shows arrogance with his words the cyclops, “Cyclops, if ever mortal man inquire how you were out to shame and blinded, tell him Odysseus, raider of cities, took your eye: Laertes’ son, whose home’s on Ithaca” (pg.384, lines 415 to 419). The consequence this makes is the cyclops throwing a stone at their ship, though it did miss. The Cyclopes also made a prayer to have Odysseus have hardships when going home.
The character Eurylochus contrasts Odysseus with his cowardly ways when he leaves the men he led to Circe’s’ den after suspecting a trap and stays outside. Odysseus, being manly and brave, is left to save the men who had been turned into pigs by Circe.
The audience learns that Odysseus has a compassionate and sentimental side to him when he sees his mother, Anticlea and speaks with one of his men who had died in Circe’s’ den, Elpenor. He shows this when he promises Elpenor a burial of his body, he would be burned with all his gear, after speaking with him. He shows his sentimental side when he sees his mother and does not not let his tears fall even if it hurts him seeing his dead mother.