What qualities does Odysseus have that makes him such a successful hero in both The Illiad and The Odyssey?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Odysseus' sense of guile and intelligence strike me as qualities demonstrated in both of Homer's works.  In the Iliad, his idea of the Trojan Horse as a way for the Greeks to penetrate through the walls of Troy is a mark of extreme intelligence that benefits the Greeks.  It is also a decisive moment that officially turns the tide in favor of the Greeks and against the Trojans.  In the Odyssey, his attempt to return to Ithaca is only possible because of his intelligence.  Being able to deceive Circe and determining the moment to strike the Cyclops were moments where the guile and cunning nature of Odysseus were revealed.  Always in Athena's favor, his intelligence and sharpness in perception is what differentiates him from other in both of Homer's works.