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He pretends to be insane by sowing his field with salt instead of seed, (sowing a field with salt ruins the land-it takes many years for rain to make it fertile once more) hoping the messenger will not make him fulfill his vow (to take back Helen).

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Q: What does Odysseus pretend he is to get out of his vow?
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What do Odysseus and his men find when they reach the cave of one cyclops?

Odysseus and his men pretend to be part of the flock of sheep, tying themselves to the undersides of the sheep.

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Two instances: 1. When Odysseus is on the island of Calypso, Hermes comes as a messenger to persuade Calypso let Odysseus go. 2. Hermes gives Odysseus advice on how to avoid danger from Circe and how to get his men back from her. He gives Odysseus a magical plant to protect Circe from her charms, tells Odysseus to pretend to want to kill Circe after she tries to cast her spell, and warns Odysseus not to sleep with Circe before she has promised to do no harm to him.

Why did Odysseus pretend to be insane?

Odysseus faked insanity (hitching together an ox and a donkey and sowing a field with salt) so as not to "drafted" for the Trojan War. His ruse was discovered, however, when Palamedes, another Greek chieftain, siezed Telemachus, Odysseus infant son, and placed him in the path of the plow. Obviously, Odysseus stopped, and was forced to accompany the fleet sailing for Troy.

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