Other Important Themes
Revenge serves as a strong motivator throughout the narrative. Poseidon's anger towards Odysseus stems from his son Polyphemus' desire to avenge the loss of his eye. Helios forces Zeus to destroy Odysseus' crew in retaliation for the slaughter of his cattle.
Odysseus and Telemachus exact revenge on the suitors for their crimes. If not for the intervention of Athena, the suitors' parents would have waged a war of revenge against Odysseus.
Intelligence over Strength
Odysseus defeats stronger opponents by outwitting them. While his crew panics, Odysseus devises a plan to defeat the cyclops: he gets the giant drunk, lies about his name, realizes he still needs the cyclops to move the stone from the door, pokes out the giant's eye, straps himself to a sheep, and rides to freedom.
He uses intelligence to defeat the suitors who outnumber him greatly by going about in disguise, removing all weapons, and finding loyal servants to help. Athena, the goddess of wisdom assists Odysseus and Telemachus as they seek revenge. Penelope use her wits as well by stalling the suitors by pretending to weave a tapestry.
The Danger of Temptations
Giving in to temptations produces bad results throughout Odysseus' journey: eating the lotus removes the desire to return home; giving in to the temptress Circe delays Odysseus for a year; and the temptation to eat Helios' cattle dooms the crew.