We are always referred to as Odysseus’ “twelve best men” (Homer, Book ix), and it’s true that we prided ourselves on that. In the encounter with Polyphemus, many of the twelve of us were killed, eaten specifically. I’m one of the lucky ones. Ha, that’s a laugh. You don’t even know my name. Do you know why? Odysseus was a glory hound. It was always about him, him, him. Never about his crew, not about Danny, who was one of the first to get chomped up, masticated by the Cyclops. Danny had a family! But we never hear about them, because it’s all about Odysseus. Oh yes, he was so clever, figuring out a way to defeat Polyphemus, but he never said that if it were not for the rest of us, he wouldn’t have come up with the plan in the first place!
Sitting in that dark dank cave, we brainstormed about the best way to handle the situation, but that wouldn’t have made as good of a story, would it? In order for Odysseus to be the hero, he had to come up with the plan to save us all and lead us all to glory. What about the rest of our stories though? My name is Phil. I was there. I saw what happened, and I was a part of it. I was with Odysseus throughout the entire journey, but no word of me, other than I was just one of the “best” (Homer, Book ix). Well, if you want the real story of Odysseus, I’d be happy to share it with you. He was a man just like the rest of us, and yes, he got thrown into extraordinary circumstances, but he was able to get through them with the help of his companions. So, buy me a round of ale, sit down for a spell, and I’ll tell you all about the real Odysseus.
- Homer. “The Internet Classics Archive. The Odyssey by Homer. MIT, n.d. Web. 16 Sept. 2013. http://classics.mit.edu/