The epic poem, The Odyssey is written by Homer. My ninth grade english class was forced to read chapter nine of this epic poem and write an essay about it. This is how I think the Greeks’ values are shown by Odysseus, the main character in The Odyssey. 

Stories and their themes often represent the values and culture of the people who wrote them. A prime example is the ancient Greeks who have written many literary works that are still being studied today. One of the literary works that they have written is The Odyssey by Homer.  The Odyssey is about Odysseus, a Greek hero, who has yet to return home after the Trojan war. The Odyssey is a series of books telling of his journey home.  Through Odysseus’ journey of returning home, particularly in Book 9 of The Odyssey, the author demonstrated that the Greeks valued cunningness, humility and the Gods. 

The author first highlights the Greeks’ value of cunningness through Odysseus and his encounter with the Cyclops. After Odysseus stabs the Cyclops’ eye, in order to escape from the island, he tells Polyphemus that his name is Noman to trick the other Cyclops. “Noman is my name. They call me Noman- my mother, my father and all my friends too...If no man is hurting you, then your sickness comes from Zeus and can’t be helped.(136)” Odysseus is able to escape from the island because of his cunning act. He made sure that the other cyclops were not coming to help Polyphemus by calling himself “Noman” and playing with words in a clever way. Although the Cyclops was a difficult opponent to defeat, he was able to escape, not by using his strength or by numbers, but by using his cunningness. 

The author also highlights the Greek’s value of humility through Odysseus’ pride that led him to do things that were unnecessary, ultimately resulting in adverse consequences. 
After Odysseus succeeds in leaving the Cyclops island, he gets taunted by the Cyclops and, because Odysseus wanted Polyphemus to know that he had victory over him,  Odysseus tells Polyphemus his real name. “Cyclops, if anyone, any mortal man, asks you how you got your eye put out, tell him that Odysseus the marauder did it, Son of Laertes, whose home is on Ithaca” (139). Although Odysseus was victorious in defeating Polyphemus, he was not able to leave easily because he was not humble about his victory. After Odysseus tells Polyphemus his real name, Polyphemus asks his father, Poseidon, the god of the sea, to have sabotage Odysseus’ journey home.
The author also highlights the Greek’s value of the Gods through the recurring mention of Gods in Odysseus’ words which he uses to benefit him when talking to the Cyclops. “We are your suppliants, and Zeus avenges strangers with suppliants, Zeus, God of strangers, who walks at their side,”(132) Odysseus shows that he honors Greek Gods because he thinks that if he does that, the Cyclops will help him in favor of the Gods. Odysseus knows that the Cyclops are religious and thought that it will make him look like a better person if he showed that Zeus, the Greek God, was on his side. Odysseus told the Cyclops that Zeus will praise him for helping him. This shows that the Greeks valued the Gods. 
Through Odysseus’ act in book nine of The Odyssey by Homer, the Greeks valued cunningness, humility and the Gods. Odysseus was a well known hero in Ancient Greece, and the culture, values and morals of what the Greeks valued in was shown in Odysseus’ actions. When Odysseus did something that was against what the Greeks valued, he was punished for the Greeks to show that he was wrong. The values of what the people believe around the world in different cultures are often shown in their literature.