Odysseus is a tricky hero, part noble, upstanding and brave, part slippery, trickery, too-clever-by-half. He is a compelling orator, and it is hard to tell if his apparent shuffling shyness is a feint to lull his audience, or win their sympathy.
This is from Logue’s muscular rendition of a few books of the Iliad, a slim volume jam-packed with dazzling quotations and metaphors – for an illustrated selection see the bestellar review.
Before Odysseus spoke he seemed to be,
Well … shy – shuffling his feet, eyes down – the usual things.
However, once it passed his teeth, his voice possessed
Two powers: to charm, to change –
Though if it were the change that made the charm
Or charm the change, no one was sure.’
Source: Christopher Logue, War Music: An account of Books 1-4 and 16-19 of Homer’s Iliad, London: Faber and Faber, 2001, p. 91
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