Is Odysseus a real war hero? Did he actually like his crew or did he have them as bait so he could get himself home? The book The Odyssey by Homer and translated by Robert Fitzgerald, is an epic that is truly epic. The main character Odysseus and his crew are on their journey back from Troy after they have become war heroes. They have to face many dangerous creatures and gods to get home.
Odysseus’s Traits Throughout the Odyssey, the main character Odysseus goes on an epic adventure with his focus being to get home to his wife Penelope, and his son Telemachus. He faces many obstacles dealing with characters such as the Cyclopes, Poseidon, Aeolus, Athena, Helios, Calypso, Zeus, Hermes, Scylla, and Circe. Odysseus’s men are some of the most valuable people to him throughout the Odyssey. He always puts himself in front of danger for them to protect them even though they all died from an unexpected turn of events soon before he returns home. When Odysseus comes home he greets his twenty year old son and straightens things out on his homeland, Ithaca.
Odysseus’ men object, “sheep after sheep they butchered…. while fugitives went inland running to call to the arms the main force of Cicones” (Homer lines 48-51). Odysseus’s men disobey him and end up having a surprise attack. The crew believes that the gods will forgive their actions if they conduct rituals and sacrifices. The men make a proposal to “..cut out the noblest of these cattle, for sacrifice to the gods who own the sky, and once at home, in the old country Ithaca….
By showing how Louis Zamperini suffers as a prisoner of war and his struggles after returning home, readers are able to see how faith can completely transform someone. Through countless trials of abuse and humiliation, Louie finds himself understanding the cruel extent of human suffering and how difficult it can be to escape from that suffering. “From the moment that Watanabe locked eyes with Louie Zamperini, an officer, a famous Olympian, and a man for whom defiance was second nature, no man obsessed him more” (Hillenbrand 244). This odd infatuation with Louie would soon cause hell on Earth for Louie, leaving him open to furious beatings and constant fear. Watanabe, or the Bird, would push Louie to extreme limits, depriving him physically and slowly shattering his mentality.
Throughout Book 22, Achilles tries again and again to chase down and kill Hector, and is finally able to do so. Before he actually kills Hector, he tells him “I wish my stomach would let me cut off you flesh in strips and eat it raw for what you’ve done to me” (Iliad, Book 22, 384-86). Shortly after Achilles allows the Greeks to stand around and continually stab the corpse of Hector. However, not even this brutality satisfied Achilles. Eventually, he ended up completely disgracing Hector’s dead body in front of all of Troy, tying him up to a chariot and dragging him around, being “defiled in his own native land” (Iliad, Book 22, 449).
In The Inferno, Dante is the hero of the story. Dante is the man exiled from his home as a result of his political struggles and beliefs with the choice between evil and good. Dante’s heroism is in the form of humanity as he faces the challenge which all human beings struggle with. Dante’s courage is tested as he journeys through the rings of hell. According to Dante, “therefore look carefully; you’ll see such things/as would deprive my speech of all belief” (Alighieri, Dante.
Odysseus then departs on a long journey in an attempt to get back to Ithaca. Throughout The Odyssey, Odysseus faces many challenges that change and bring out his true identity of a cunning and prideful hero from a weak and lonely man. Odysseus’ change in identity can be established through his weakness and struggles in attempting to break away from the lonely island of Kalypso, to his cunning strength during the battle of Troy and passing the alluring and deadly Seirenes, and lastly to his pridefulness as he reveals himself to the great kyklops, Polyphemus, and defeats the suitors back home in Ithaca. Homer uses Odysseus’ stories and actions to portray his lily-liver personality when first introduced to the reader. First, Odysseus’ weak and lonely nature portrayed on the island of Kalypso, reveals that he does not live up to the legends that represent his true strength and heroic actions.
The Odyssey is often cited as an epitome of the hero’s journey and the monomyth. The hero of the story, Odysseus is on a 10 year battle homeward from the Trojan War to see his wife and son again. With the help divine intervention, Odysseus is able to return home and save his wife from the evil suitors who have continuously tried to win her. One could easily argued that Odysseus is an exemplar of the hero, but there is another story: Odysseus is the opposite of a hero and is not worthy to be called such. He is the villain where the gods are the hero.
“The many men, so beautiful did lie / And they all dead did lie / And a thousand thousand slimy things / Lived on; and so did I” (236-239). This isolates the Mariner from all life on the ship and for the continuance of his life, he must live with the consequences of his actions. This leads to his penance and the third example of alienation from the rest of the world. The Mariner is able to live under one condition. This condition is the lesson he is enlightened of throughout his journey to break the curse.
He suffered immensely during his voyage back home. The main reason Odysseus couldn't go home was that he infuriated Lord Poseidon. “Poseidon is stiff and cold with anger because Odysseus blinded his son, the Cyclops Polyphemus, the strongest of all Cyclops… The Earthshaker has been after Odysseus ever since, not killing him, but keeping him away from his native land” Odysseus desperately longed for home after fighting the war at Troy. Nevertheless, his desire could not be fulfilled because he maddened a god. As a consequence, Odysseus was kept away from Ithaca.