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Jonathan Larbi
Period 7.8
The Cave of Cunningness
One day, you and your friends are going on a walk through the woods before you
stumble upon a spooky cave. The only words on it, is the "Cave of Cunningness." The only way
to get out of the woods is to go into this cave and use the only available resources to fight the
dangers the lie in front of you. Before your team goes in, a spirit gives you an epic, The Odyssey.
This historic epic will lead you through this journey in the "Cave of Cunningness."The Odyssey
is a famous epic by Homer that is about the king of Ithaca, Odysseus, who goes on a journey
back from the Trojan War to reunite with his wife, Penelope, and his unseen child, Telemachus
while dealing with the evil suitors . A major issue in this epic is cunningness. The theme derived
from it is that cunningness is key to getting out of any cave you face. What this really means is
that cunningness is the best way to get what you want like getting out of a cave. This is shown in
The Odyssey by Odysseus' fake identity with Eumaeus, his trial with Scylla and Charybdis, his
encounter with the Cyclops, and Penelope's reunion with Odysseus.
We first begin with Odysseus encounter with the Cyclops. This was the third trial of
Odysseus after he and his crew left for Ithaca. At first, they were lodging at a beach right next to
the Cyclops's mainland, but one morning Odysseus took some of his crew to go explore a cave.
Once they were in, a cyclop named Polyphemus came in with his sheep and closed the door to
the cave which made the crew stuck. Now, Polyphemus recognized them and he took two of
them and ate them. If you were in Odysseus' shoes, you would probably try and fight this oneeyed monster, but Odysseus used his cunningness to outsmart him in five steps to help him get
out of the cave. First, Odysseus and his crew gave Polyphemus some wine to make him drunk
and eventually caused sleep upon his eyelids. This was cunning because making this giant drunk
will make him vulnerable to believe into anything Odysseus says which would lead to his second
step. Then when Polyphemus woke up, Odysseus told him that his name was Noman and he
accepted it. This is very cunning, but you will see how in the fourth step. Before, any of this
happened, Polyphemus had left the cave with the door closed and Odysseus found a huge olive
stick in the cave. Then he and his crew carved it to become an enormous "pencil." The tip was
put into fire by Odysseus and his crew put in dung before Polyphemus came back. This was
cunning because it would be used to poke Polyphemus which would be a huge part in the plan.
So, when Polyphemus went back to sleep, Odysseus and his crew took the huge pencil from the
fire and punctured the cyclops's only eye. This made him roar and caused his friends to come
into the cave to find out what happened. When they asked who caused the damage, Polyphemus
told them that "No-man" did it. Therefore, the other Cyclops couldn't do anything and they left
the cave. Now, this is very cunning because Odysseus tricked Polyphemus into thinking that

Noman was a name when it was used as a phrase to keep his crew safe. Now, you would think
everything is over, but it wasn't. Odysseus and his men were still in the cave when their goal was
to get out. Hence, in the morning Polyphemus let his sheep out of the cave, but Odysseus and his
men held onto the sheeps' belly which allowed them to get out of the cave as well. This was a
very dangerous risk for Odysseus and his men, but their cunningness was key to their escape.
That is why Odysseus encounter with Polyphemus shows how cunningness can get you want.
Next, we will talk about Odysseus' trial with Scylla and Charybdis. At that present time,
Odysseus was still voyaging home with his crew. They had just left Circe's island and had faced
the irresistible Sirens and now they had to deal with two monsters. Scylla was a six-headed
monster that ate six men from every ship that passed her, while Charybdis was a raging
whirlpool. Circe instructed Odysseus to take his men and pass Scylla and Charybdis, but the deal
was to avoid Charybdis and that would force them to face Scylla who would eat six of their men.
Well, Odysseus wanted to pass Scylla and Charybdis, but he had to go through two steps which
showed his cunningness. First, when he could see the two hazards, he decided not to tell his
comrades because they would stop rowing and head the other way which would not let them go
home to Ithaca. This is cunning because it helps him be able to pass Scylla and Charybdis. Then
after he and his men pass Charybdis, they faced Scylla who took who six of his men. The thing is
that Odysseus remained quiet throughout the whole thing because he didn't want anything else
happening to his crew. This is cunning because he if he told them to get out of the way of Scylla,
the repercussions would be getting swallowed by Charybdis. In the end, Odysseus and his crew
were able to survive and get to their next destination which was what Odysseus wanted and
shows how cunningness can get you what you want.
Thirdly, we will talk about the fake identity of Odysseus with his swineherd, Eumaeus,
which shows how he used cunningness to get what he wanted. At that time, Odysseus had landed
in Ithaca and was ready to take revenge on the suitors for what they did to his house. He first met
Eumaeus, but was disguised by the goddess, Athena to make sure that the swineherd couldn't
suspect that he was Odysseus. Then Odysseus proclaimed that he was the son of Castor and he
made a huge voyage, but was tricked into slavery before he made it to Ithaca after Zeus struck
his ship. This is cunning because Odysseus protects his plan by tricking Eumaeus to thinking he
is a stranger while his real purpose is to recruit a group of loyal people to help him fight the
suitors. In addition, it is also helping Odysseus in his loyalty test. He needs loyal servants to help
him in fighting the suitors, so in tricking the swineherd, he has opened a door to see if Eumaeus
has been faithful or he has lost hope and now has joined the suitors.
One of the final ways cunningness was shown, was by Penelope's reunion with Odysseus.
Penelope has been waiting for 20 years to see her husband and by the time Odysseus was in the
halls of his house she was about ready to marry another man. While she was facing that,
Odysseus accompanied with his son, Telemachus, Philoetius, and Eumaeus, took down all the
suitors, that were partying in his halls. Once the slaughter was over, Odysseus asked for
Penelope to come and meet him. Now the thing Penelope wanted was to find the true identity of
Odysseus, so she used a cunning trick to make sure this guy was truly Odysseus. Once they met,
Penelope told Odysseus that her maid, Eurycleia, was moving the bed that Odysseus had made.

Now this was cunning, because the bed she was talking about was their marriage bed. It was
made out of an olive tree and it symbolized the longevity of Penelope and Odysseus'
relationship. In addition, they are the only ones who know about this bed, so it made their
marriage a secret because no man could be Penelope's husband unless he knew about this special
bed. Thus, once Odysseus heard about this he was angered because no one should be touching
their bed, and he retold the story about it to Penelope. As soon as, Penelope heard this, she knew
that he was truly her husband and they were reunited. Penelopes reunion with Odysseus is one
of the last examples of cunningness in The Odyssey.
In conclusion, The Odyssey is a great example of cunningness. Now you have overcomed
this mysterious "Cave of Cunningness." This should have been an easy as pie because now you
know that cunningness is the key to get you out of any cave you face. You now know a secret
that will help you in life when any situation comes in your way. Give thanks to The Odyssey
because if it wasn't for the theme of this book, you would have probably been eaten by the
hideous monster that lived in the cave. The Odyssey displays cunningness by Odysseus' fake
identity with Eumaeus, his trial with Scylla and Charybdis, his encounter with the Cyclops, and
Penelope's reunion with Odysseus. Before you are on your way, let me leave you with this: The
power of cunningness exceeds the power of physical strength.