It is surprising that Odysseus, 'a master of stratagems,' can also be reckless and impulsive?
Throughout the Epic, The Odyssey, Odysseus is determined to be a survivor and return to Ithaca with a status appropriate to his own sense of excellence. Odysseus is not going to make any suicidal heroic stands on the battle field and refuses to compromise a very narrow sense of integrity. On the contrary, he is ready to use any stratagem to get home. Odysseus lies, accepts insults, disguises himself, represses his emotions and even conceals his true identity in order to get through his journey. Odysseus is impulsive and reckless. The Epic, is only the story it is due to Odysseus being a character of impulse and recklessness. He creates opportunities for events and challenges and also the opportunity to return home as a heroic icon.
Odysseus was surely a 'master of stratagems.' Cunning, strong, skillful, courageous and patient.
The King of Ithaca, leader of his people. He was both these things before he departed for Troy. Although he was a great king, admirable, and resourceful, at times Odysseus was also reckless and often acted impulsively. The roles of being a hero and a leader were always implied. In a search for glory and glamour Odysseus sought out danger, mocked death and ways prepared to accept an honorable death. He also risked the lives of his men. This was most evident in the Cyclopes saga, where Odysseus persisted in entering and remaining in the cave despite the pleas of his men to take what they could before the giant returned.
He chose to be too greedy, because of his actions six of his men died. Odysseus could not resist the temptation of boasting to Polyohemus who had blinded the Cyclops, again despite the...