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Profile of Odysseus
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Odysseus's chief strength was
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Hi, I'm Zoya Popova for About.com, and today we're going to talk about Odysseus.Odysseus is a mythical Greek hero and a key character of the the Iliad and the Odyssey, as well as other Greek and Roman epic poems that recount the stories of the Trojan War. In that legendary war, Odysseus played a major part. At the outset, he was instrumental in recruiting Achilles, whose participation, according to the oracle, was essential for the Greeks to win the war. Later in the campaign, Odysseus provided more prerequisites of Greek victory as dictated by the oracle—for example, fetching Neoptolemus, the son of the fallen Achilles, and obtaining the poisonous arrows of Herakles.Odysseus's chief strength was cunning intelligence, and nowhere was it more apparent than in the trick with the Trojan horse. After a 10-year siege of Troy, Odysseus suggested Greek troupes feign a retreat. Meanwhile, a group of men led by Odysseus concealed themselves in a giant wooden horse that was left at the gate of Troy. The Trojans rolled the horse into the city as a trophy, and in the night, the Greeks opened the gates from the inside.After triumphing in the Trojan War, Odysseus began his voyage home. Early on, he and his crew were captured by the flesh-eating cyclops Polyphemus. Odysseus blinded him and escaped, but, in his spite, he told the cyclops his name. This brought upon him the wrath of the cyclops's father, Poseidon. He cursed Odysseus to roam the sea for 10 years, losing all his crew.The famous highlights of that journey include the temptation of the sirens' song, when Odysseus bound himself to the mast of his ship to stop himself from coming to their call; the challenge of passing between the six-headed sea monster Scylla and the whirlpool Charybdis; and the capture of Odysseus first by the witch goddess Circe, and then by the nymph Calypso, both of which became enamored with him.Having successfully overcome all the challenges, Odysseus returned home to his wife and son. And this is it for us for today.Thank you for watching, and for more information, please visit About.com.
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