Introductory paragraph help for an essay about "wisdom and foolishness" in The Odyssey: I need a good topic sentence and a general introductory paragraph on Odysseus's characteristics of wisdom...

Introductory paragraph help for an essay about "wisdom and foolishness" in The Odyssey

I need a good topic sentence and a general introductory paragraph on Odysseus's characteristics of wisdom and foolishness. (Feel free to change the "foolishness" characteristic, if you'd rather.)

Asked on by auzzie123

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

There are several ways to proceed with this.  One such way is to explain how the protagonist can be seen as both wise and foolish, revealing that human actions are always multi- dimensional and complex.  Perhaps, a part of this could be seen as reflective of one's point of view.  For example, to Poseidon, Odysseus' actions with the cyclops are foolish and filled with hubris. Yet, in his own mind, he sees his actions as wise and filled with a sense of guile.  In analyzing his actions with Circe, one might say that he acted in the interests of his family in leaving her, while to her point of view, he acted quite selfishly.  I think that much in your work can be driven by the fact that making judgment calls on his behavior is highly determinant on context and point of view, highlighting the intricate nature of human action and freedom.

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readerofbooks | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

There are many ways to approach this. Perhaps a good way to start your essay is to talk about wisdom and foolishness on a general level first. Then you can delve into The Odyssey and examine how these themes fit into the work. You can states your thesis at this point. However, you don't have to use Odysseus as an example of both traits. You can say something like: Odysseus is a surprising hero, because he conquers not so much with the sword, but with his cleverness. Then for the rest of your essay you can give examples of his wisdom and the foolishness of others, like the cyclops, suitors, etc.

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