Creativity, Imagination, and Deception
You might say that "Creativity" or "Imagination" is Odysseus's stock-in-trade. In fact, he is not mentioned by name for the first 20 lines of the poem: the first word used to describe Odysseus at the end of the very first line of the poem, is polutropon, which literally means "of many twists." We might say "shifty" these days, except that Homer does not appear to mean anything negative by the word, merely descriptive—Odysseus is rather a twisty-turny sort of fellow: he has to be, just in order to survive.
It should be no surprise, then, to discover that Odysseus is beloved of Athena, who is the goddess of creativity and imagination. She and Odysseus have much in common, as she remarks in Book 1 (XIII.296-99), including a joy in "weaving schemes" (XIII.386).
A large part of Odysseus's creative energy is channeled into deceiving the people around him. In fact, Athena gives Odysseus what is either a left-handed compliment or a mild reproach in Book 13 when she says:
Wily-minded wretch, never weary of tricks, you wouldn't even dream, not even in your own native land, of giving up your wily ways, or the telling of the clever tales that are dear to you from the very root of your being (XIII.293-95).
Yet it is important to...
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