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The Odyssey

The Odyssey

by Homer

Lies and Deceit Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #16

(Polyphemos, in Odysseus's tale:) '"But tell me, so I may know: where did you put your well-made ship when you came? Nearby or far off?" 'So he spoke, trying me out, but I knew too much and was not deceived, but answered him in turn, and my words were crafty: "Poseidon, Shaker of the Earth, has shattered my vessel. He drove it against the rocks on the outer coast of your country, cracked on a cliff, it is gone, the wind on the sea took it […]." (9.279-285)

Polyphemos is trying to trick Odysseus, but the man of lies is one (or two, or three) steps ahead of him. You can't play a player, especially when that player is world-renowned for his game.

Quote #17

(Odysseus, in his tale:) ‘“Nobody is my name. My father and mother call me Nobody, as do all the others who are my companions.”’ (9.366-367)

Odysseus’s trick is the original "Who’s on First?"

Quote #18

(Odysseus:) "[…] but I was planning so that things would come out the best way, and trying to find some release from death, for my companions and myself too, combining all my resource and treacheries, as with life at stake, for the great evil was very close to us." (9.420-432)

Odysseus and his men are in a bad place in Polyphemos's cave, but he's still going to get them (or most of them) out of it, with the classic "hiding-under-the-ram's-belly" trick. Man, that's a good one.

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