Odysseus and Individuality

My latest at the group blog Notes On Liberty

Notes On Liberty

The Iliad is the story of Achilles moving from rage with an ally to sympathy with an enemy. Many other characters appear and the extremism of Achilles’ character, which leads him to remove himself from battle and therefore the narrative, lends itself to allowing other characters to present other possibilities of human personality.

The Trojan characters particularly Hector provide on obvious source of alternatives, but so do the other Greek hero warriors, and one of those who emerges most distinctly is Odysseus. Though Odysseus is a fierce remorseless warrior, inclined towards killing the enemy, particularly when the enemy can be seen as socially inferior, he is also characterised by his intellectual resources. It is is highly indicative that one of the major appearances of Odysseus in The Iliad is on a spying trip into the Trojan camp. This early appreciation of the role of intelligence of in warfare is part…

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