John Ruskin once said, “The first test of truly great man is his humility”. In The Odyssey, an epic poem by Homer, the central character Odysseus learns humility through his failures and growth in obedience making him a hero. Odysseus reaches a heroic status through the lessons learned on his journey, which ultimately taught him the value of obedience and the dangers of arrogance.
An epic hero is someone who is characterized commonly on their nobility and bravery. However ,there are more attributes epic heros can posses. For example Odysseus, the protagonist in Homer's retelling of “The Odyssey”, shows many forms of excessive arrogance and pomposity.
Odysseus does this because he is prideful and haughty and wants Polyphemus to know who Odysseus was and that Odysseus defeated him. However, by doing so, he alerts Polyphemus of their location, and the cyclops hurls a massive boulder at the men, causing, “a giant wave that washed the ship stern foremost back to shore” (III: 484-485). This shows that Odysseus’ pride and honor which causes him to boast to others about his victories and their losses, is very dangerous to him and his crew. Instead of taking the easy way out, Odysseus decides to show off to the cyclops, who nearly washed them back to shore and kills them because of Odysseus’ foolish arrogance.
The Odyssey by Homer is an exemplary story that teaches life lessons to those going on a journey for themselves. It illustrates how the challenges and obstacles one may face can help someone become a better leader. The Odyssey highlights one man, Odysseus, a man filled with excessive pride, experiencing the wrath of the god Poseidon. He expects to arrive at his home, Ithaca, safely to reunite with his wife, Penelope, but unfortunately faces many temptations and setbacks. Due to the challenges he faces, it prevents him from arriving home as early as he thought he would. Although Odysseus in The Odyssey by Homer does not learn life lessons easily and constantly puts himself and others in danger, the challenges that come his way helps him
In the epic story the Odyssey by Homer, Odysseus is returning from the Trojan war, and on his way home he finds many obstacles ahead of him. Odysseus is the ruler of Ithaca and he is trying to return home to his land. Many creatures try and stop him from achieving his goal of returning home, but he and his crew have to push through and get home. Odysseus portrays bravery and courage leading his crew through these tough challenges. Odysseus heroically leads his crew and himself through dangerous obstacles, but also foolishly endangers them during the journey home.
Imagine being apart from your family for over ten years, fighting for your life in a war, and in the many battles and problems you will face on your way home from war. Would you be able to fight a cyclops, pass a dangerous whirlpool and have to face the fact that your crew betrayed you? In the novel The Odyssey written by Homer, Odysseus must do all of these things and more. He has been away from his wife, son and many other family members for over ten years now, fighting for his life on his journey home after fighting in the Trojan war. But, after angering Poseidon by blinding his one eyed cyclops son, Odysseus must go through brutal situations to get home thanks to the fuming god. The theme, the search for justice, is very prevalent in this text because of the fight between Odysseus and the suitors, the reunion of Odysseus and his wife Penelope and when Odysseus visits his father Laertes and Athena must restore peace because of the fight that breaks out there.
He wants to take revenge on those who had disrespected him and his wife. He disliked the way that they had acted while he was gone, and believed that the only solution was death of them all. Odysseus is angered and desires to “[kill] till the score is paid. (1468)” This reveals Odysseus’s nature and how he values vengeance. It also shows that he is very aggressive at times, and is willing to wipe out many men in an act of revenge. Odysseus’s plan of death can even reveal his quick temper and rash thinking. He immediately thinks of a plan that would kill every suitor instead of forgiving
Odysseus is very self-conscious about the way people perceive him. He wants people near and far to know his name and he wants the fame and recognition he believes he deserves. Along the way home Odysseus performs daring feats and lets his ego get in the way of his mind, and makes bold decisions which gets dozens of his men slaughtered. Odysseus and Everett are exceedingly similar. They both are leaders who put their personal aspirations ahead of the men who are serving right alongside them. Both characters lack mental strength to make the choice to keep the group safe which constantly puts them in sticky situations either resulting in death or close encounters with the police. In The Odyssey while Odysseus and his men are beached on the Island of The Kyklops Polymetheus, Odysseus puts his own desires before the needs of the group. “my men came pressing around me pleading take the cheeses, and make a run for it. Yet I refused. I wished to see the caveman, what he had to offer-.” (Book IX. ll, 242-250). Odysseus makes the decision to stay and explore what the island has to offer for himself, and this turns out to be a horrible leadership decision on Odysseus’s part because it results in the loss of several of his men. Odysseus allowed his ego and his pride to get in the way of his clear mind to make a careful decision. Like Everett in O Brother
The courage and wisdom of Odysseus help him to prolong his life and survive throughout his whole journey back to his homelands. For example, Odysseus gouges the Cyclops eye while the giant is asleep, even though the Cyclopes has murdered multiple of his men moments before. Odysseus displays his courage when he states,”So we seized our stake with its fiery tip and bored it round and round in the giant's eye” (B9 L.433-34). Odysseus throughout the novel stands up for himself and his crew for the right thing. He displays his leadership when he doesn't let others influence his opinions. Some people may think that Odysseus shows off his courage and wisdom to others
At various times throughout the story, mainly through the trials, Odysseus made many decisions and forced his crew to go through many potentially lethal situations without preparing his own crew, or situations that were just a waste of time. This then leads to not only all of his crew being killed but the creation of many bad relationships. The first example of Odysseus mistreating his crew is when he and his crew went through the trails, “No more. Come, / let me tell you about the voyage fraught with hardship / Zeus inflicted on me, homeward bound from Troy...” 9.42-44. During these trials, many burdens were put on Odysseus’ crew, which led to all of his crew eventually all being killed before returning to Ithaca. The 2nd instance where Odysseus made a wrong choice that affected his crew is when he didn’t even really trust his crew. So he stayed up for days straight and
The epic poem, The Iliad written by Homer shows the conflicts and events that occurred between the Greeks and Trojans during the Trojan War. Among both sides there are warriors who follow a distinct code, known as the heroic code. This Heroic code helps portray the characteristics of the warriors and their perspective on war. This distinct code is composed of many elements such as arete, acceptance of fate, honour, excellence in war, leadership, courage and power. These traits are shown within the main warriors, Hector and Achilles throughout the epic war poem and helps to guide their decisions. However, in contrast, not all the characters are shown with heroic features, for example, Paris. Paris is a foil to both Achilles and Hector. He exhibits less heroic features to himself. The heroic code helps characterize the warriors and highlights their heroic features.
The concept of hero has been interpreted in many ways throughout the ages. Hero have gone from knights slaying dragons and rescuing the princess, to heroes who save the world with their supernatural-like powers, to a modern day hero who is someone who has noble qualities and is regarded as a role model. In the epic, The Odyssey, by Robert Fagles, the heroic Odysseus is a well known in Greek mythology. However, although Odysseus is the most respected, honorable hero of Greek mythology he is not a modern hero. A modern day hero is someone who puts their life on the line to save the lives of other innocent people. In The Odyssey, Odysseus’ characteristics do not fit in the definition of a modern hero, he illustrates a naive and a arrogant epic hero.
In the Iliad, Achilles is responding to Odysseus’s speech attempting to convince him to return to the war. Achilles’ main argument against returning is his incalculable rage against Agamemnon for “the prize of honor / The warlord Agamemnon gave me / And in his insulting arrogance took back” which is not only an insult to Achilles’ status, but also to his honor as a warrior (Il. 9.378-379). In addition to focusing on the main argument of Achilles’ speech, it is worth noting the contradictions present within his speech as well. In the first few lines of Achilles speech, he states, “I hate it like I hate hell / The man who says one thing and thinks another” (Il. 9.317-318). The accuracy of this statement comes into question twice within the confines of a few pages. First, Achilles changes his plans for departing with his ships, not once, but twice. At the end of his first speech, Achilles asserts that “Tomorrow / he [Phoenix] sails with me on our voyage home,” but in his next speech in response to Phoenix, he reassures his old friend by saying “At daybreak / We will decide whether to set sail
The plot of the Iliad takes place in the middle of the war between the Greeks and the Trojans that lasted for ten years. This conflict according to Homer and ancient Greek mythology occurred because the Trojan prince Paris abducted Helen, the wife of Menelaus, brother to king Agamemnon. In this paper, I will be examining the consequences of war, as outlined by Homer. I will be analyzing a battle scene to answer the question of why do the men in Homer’s “The Iliad” continue to fight when all hope of winning perishes? especially as they face the consequences and horrific tragedies of war. What is it that they continue to fight for, even at the expense of their lives? What is considered to be so valuable that they are willing to die? And is it worth the risk? These men fight for Kleos, which is an eternal glory. They fight for their glory to live on and their names remembered even long after they are dead. They earn this glory through being renowned for their bravery and courage, as well as their strength and victory in war. To attain Kleos is valued highly to the ancient Greeks and worth the consequences of war, even death.