In "The Odyssey," what survival qualities does Odysseus exhibit in his conflict with Polyphemus?

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cybil | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

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At this point in his journey, Odysseus has begun to develop more prudence, or wisdom, about his actions although he continues to make serious mistakes. He is clever to tell the Cyclops that his ship was smashed so that the giant can't attack his other men and that his name is "Nobody," a move that insures the other Cyclopes will not come to Polyphemus' aid. Also he manages to get the one-eyed monster drunk, blind him, and then hide under the sheep to escape the cave. All of these actions reveal Odysseus' guile and prudence, traits that help him survive.

Nevertheless, he does lose six men in the cave because of his own curiosity, and once on his ship again, his proud nature leads him to boast to Polyphemus, and he tells the Cyclops his real name and where he lives. Thus he brings on the problems at sea Poseidon causes because his son was blinded. Odysseus is heroic and clever, but he has not yet learned to be as wise as he should be. 


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