Master of many exploits” (387), and “The master improviser” (395). These all have to do with how ingenious Odysseus is when he needs something. All he does is tell some outrageous stories and he can get out of any tough spot and even receive prizes for his story telling. In chapters nine trough twelve, all Odysseus does is tell stories to the Phaeacians. In fact he tells ten very outlandish and descriptive tales. The first was the journey to Ismarus (211-214). Odysseus “sacked the city, killed men, but as for the wives and plunder, that rich hall we dragged away from the place-” (212).
His men then wanted to celebrate heir “booty” so they stayed and that proved to be fatal to his men. Many of them died because they were very conceded, but Odysseus sat and watched in disgust of their big heads, because he knew that they should have left right away. Odysseus prove to be, in this story, very intelligent because he knew that the Cicones’ would recover and reattack, and they did and his men had a great loss of life. Also because he sacked this city, for no reason, it shows him to be “a raider of cities” (472).
They next reached, “the land of the Lotus-eaters, people who eat the lotus, mellow fruit and flower” (214). The Lotus-eaters had no interest in attacking them, but they just gave them some Lotus to eat (214-215). The lotus was a, “honey-sweet fruit,” (214) and because it was so good, his men no longer yearned to return home. So, Odysseus had to drag them back to the ships. This proves Odysseus to be smart and willful because he was the only one who knew that they had to go home. (Cyclops story: See above) They went sailing once again and landed upon the Aolian island (231-233).
Odysseus sent his men to go search out the island and all of Odysseus’s men’s ships were in the harbor except for his. So, all of a sudden a bunch of huge giants come out from all over the place and eat all of Odysseus’s men except for his ship because he says, “put your backs in the oars-now row or die! ” (234) This proves Odysseus to not be the best leader, because he allowed his men to be eaten and destroyed. They then landed at the Aeaean island (233-248). So once again he sent his men to go check out the island.
They found the house of Circe and she fed them food that made them fall asleep and she turned them into pigs. One of Odysseus’s men escaped and told Odysseus what had happened and Odysseus set off to retrieve them. Hermes stopped him along his tracks and gave him an herb so that he would not fall asleep and he told him to threaten to kill her and that would make her want to sleep with him. So, that’s what happened and Odysseus retrieved his men back to original form and then they stayed at her house for a year.
This adventure shows him to be great (190,208,288) and clever (437,296) He then went to the House of the Dead (Chapter 11). Hades is a place where , “their realm and city shrouded in mist and cloud. The eye of the Sun can never flash its rays… deadly night overhangs those wretched men. (250). He then made his sacrifice, ” first with milk and honey and then a mellow wine, third water and last, and sprinkled glistening barley,” (250). The dead came swarming around and they all had to take out their swords to defend the blood because they needed Tiresias to come.
It was for him. But they just kept on coming, “blanching terror gripped me! ” (250) Tiresias came later and told Odysseus how to get home. In this chapter it shows Odysseus to be a “battle-master” (440, 441, 439) for defending the blood and sacrifice. This also proves him to be “long-enduring” (341, 344, 459, 485) ecause he will do and take what ever he has to, to get home to Ithica. These are just a few of the stories Odysseus told to the Phaeacians. As seen here, these stories were very elaborate.
Needless to say the Phaeacians loved him. So, when he asked for gifts and for them to take him home, they agreed. The king of the Phaeacians said, ” Come each of us add a sumptuous tripod, a cauldron! ” (286). Therefore Odysseus returned to Ithica with numerous riches. This also makes Odysseus out to be a “master of subtlety” (397) because he may not have even taken all these outrageous rips but, he subtlety got them to believe and to shower him with riches, because he could not go home empty-handed.
As you can see, Odysseus has many characteristics. He is sly, cunning, great, a master story teller, and a master at battle. Obviously when Homer wrote this story, he thought Odysseus, as a character, had to have these consistent traits to be able to make it through those twenty years. He was correct, because in the end, all of Odysseus’s men were not as cunning and tactful as he, and they all died in the end. That therefore, makes Odysseus a great and powerful man.