Heroism, tends to be difficult to define and remarkably ambiguous in literary works. In the Odyssey, however, Homer clearly defines a hero as a humble, determined, and loyal individual; thus, according to Homer, it is not enough to claim to be a hero, but it is also important to exhibit those qualities that Homer values as heroism. Odysseus, despite claiming heroism, upholds these traits inconsistently, as seen in his taunting of Polyphemus. In contrast, Telemachus, Odysseus’ overlooked son, dramatically grows up over the course of the epic and ultimately reveals his truly heroic qualities by the end of the poem. Thus, because Odysseus claims to be a hero, but fails to remain humble, determined, and loyal throughout the epic, he is not a hero.
Odysseus possess the character strengths of loyalty and compassion because he cares deeply for his comrades. For example, Odysseus proves his loyalty to his dead comrade Elpenor when he travels back to the island of Aeaea, “We cut logs in haste and out on the islands jutting headland his funeral rights in sorrow, streaming tears” (12.10-12). Odysseus feels a deep sense of loyalty towards his comrades as shown when he immediately returns to bury his friend. He exhibits compassion and loyalty towards his trusted friends throughout the book; he always puts the safety and well-being of his men first. Furthermore, Odysseus portrays his compassion and loyalty when after gaining Circe’s trust, he demands, “If you really want me to eat and drink, set
In Homer’s The Odyssey, Odysseus is an effective leader in chapter twelve. A leader who has too much pride is now showing too much humbleness for what’s important by following all the things he has told to do to save his crew and himself. He does what he is told to do to save his crew and keep them safe. “ But now, fearing death , all eyes fixed on Charybdis now Scylla snatched six men from our hollow ship, the toughest, strongest hands I had, and glancing backwards over the decks, searching or my crew I could see their hands and feet already hoisted, failing, high, higher, over my head, look wailing down at me, comrades riven in agony.
After Circe holds Odysseus’ crew in captivity, Eurylochus suggests to Odysseus that they can evade “the day of evil” if they leave immediately; however, feeling obligated, Odysseus replies to him, “Eurylochus, by all means stay here by the black ship’s hull [...] but I, bound by necessity, will go” (Bk X:251-301). In facing this choice to leave, Odysseus instead chooses to help his allies rather than abandoning them, demonstrating his concern for his friends. This choice is a sign of a great decision made by Odysseus, highlighting the honor that he has as a leader; it is through this concern that Odysseus displays honor. Later in the poem, Odysseus encounters and confronts the suitors who have intruded his home.
While reading The Odyssey, the reader notices that unfortunate events caused by suspicion and judgement are fueled by a lack of trust. Trust is a big part of Odysseus’ relationship with his crew. As the leader, he is responsible for every one of them and must lead them well. Odysseus must be trusted by his men, or else they will not leave their lives in his hands by obeying his every order. Twice in the book, Odysseus’ men go against his orders and lead themselves to devastation.
In the novel The Odyssey, written by Homer, Odysseus is portrayed as a bad leader because of his selfish decisions and bad character. Odysseus makes a selfish decision when he leads his crew to stay in Polyphemus’s cave thinking he would offer gifts and Odysseus would “accept (his) help, or any gifts/” he had to “give” (9.726-727). This is a selfish act because he is putting his crew in danger for something that would only benefit himself. In the end, many of his people died and no one benefited. Once again, Odysseus displayed selfish acts when Circe told him “ he will be the only survivor of their long journey” (Homer 764).
As a leader Odysseus should be careful to do exactly what will benefit his crew the most. The lack of communication throughout the whole journey home will eventually lead to mistrust and betrayal of Odysseus by his crew. Following Scylla and Charybdis they reach the island of the god of the sun, and because of the crew’s spite for Odysseus they don’t follow his directions not to harm the cattle of the Sun. Just in the events of the journey back to Ithaca alone the reader can see how Odysseus’ inability to be a strong leader leads to the dismantling of a good relationship between him and his crew, which leads to a much more difficult trip. Odysseus’ inability to be a great leader for the group leads to a lot of conflict among the crew members.
Can dishonesty be valuable if it was used to achieve desirable outcomes? Is lying considered justified if it was involved in a dangerous situation? It is not always bad to lie. As children, we were continuously taught to be honest. We have grown to be implanted with the fact that lying is unacceptable but admissible. In Homer’s epic poem, The Odyssey, some might argue that Odysseus’s dishonesty and deceit cause loss of trust and negative consequences. However, Odysseus’s dishonesty and deceit do not always have bad intentions, it can be seen when Odysseus and his men escaped out of Polyphemus’s cave to get out of trouble and when Odysseus received help from his men to get closer to their objective.
Odysseus’s use of the words “no peace” and “wear away” imply a tone of annoyance at a perfectly reasonable request; Odysseus’s men want to go home, but Odysseus is displaying reluctance to leave Kirke’s island. The entire crew wastes an entire year on the island, living out an easy life, but are away from their families; Odysseus is in charge of the men, so they can not leave without his orders. If Odysseus is truly a hero, he would put the needs of other people ahead of his own, but he doesn’t. Odysseus is not necessarily selfish, but is not responsible enough to consider the right decision for the men, as leader. Another aspect that may not be noticed at first, but lies within the psychological mindset of the crew; they haven’t seen their families in an incredible amount of time, and therefore must be in an noticeably frantic to return home.
What is the definition of a good person? The view of a good person changes as time goes on. However, the Odyssey is still the foundation of human morality. The Odyssey, created by Homer, is an ancient telling of a man named Odysseus and his journey home from the Trojan War. The morals found in the Odyssey show readers the benefit of being able to view situations from multiple points of view. Also, the text shows the beneficial outcome of resisting from temptations that distract people from completing their goal. As well, how learning from mistakes can prevent their repetition. The Odyssey, a text of antiquity, serves its purpose as a moral guidebook for contemporary behavior.
None of Odysseus’s men were really loyal to him because of their lack of obedience and honesty. In this episode the men learn that their disobedience causes them their lives when Helios the sun god realizes his scared cattle had been killed. Helios furious goes to Zeus and begs him to punish Odysseus’s men, or he will take the sun and go “down to the House of Death and blaze the sun among the dead” (Odyssey 12. 412). Zeus with no choice left but to punish Odysseus’s men whips up a storm and strikes his thunder bolt to destroy Odysseus’s ship soon after they leave the island. No one survives but Odysseus.
When Odysseus commands his men to go back to sea to voyage, he is a good leader because he is telling his men what to do. He is being a leader by protecting his men from the Ciccone 's army by leaving before reinforcements come. For example, when Odysseus and his men are heading to the sirens Odysseus states “you are to tie me up, tight as a splint” (Homer 1005). Odysseus is an admirable leader when he orders his men to tie him up and do not untie him because he is sacrificing himself for the good of his men. He is a leader when he does this because he lets his men not suffer the sirens while he has to.
During these situations, Odysseus gains leadership and tactical skills from fighting in the war in Troy, which costs him 10 years of his life and another 10 years of sailing out on the sea from Poseidon 's curse. Odysseus is therefore a heroic and efficient leader because he plans his moves ahead of time and is vigilant at all times to ensure his safety. Yet, though Odysseus possesses these heroic leadership qualities, his arrogance sometimes leads to his downfall and inability to lead. While Odysseus is a little arrogant, he can also be a great leader because he is able to trust his second in command, Eurylochus, and give him more power while he is away. When Odysseus is away from Circe’s island, Odysseus has a change of heart and suddenly wants to go back to Circe’s island to retrieve his crew.
Odysseus shows leadership by taking charge and bringing his men back to the ship. He uses intelligence to know that he should not tell his men about Scylla and Charybdis. Lastly, Odysseus reveals bravery when he goes into the Underworld. As Napoleon I once said, “True heroism consists in being superior to the ills of life, in whatever shape they may challenge us to combat.” This quote means that to be true hero one must be able to stand tall and fight through any obstacle they are faced