Examples Of Odysseus Being A Hero

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Julia Schultz
Ms. Nokes
Honors English 9
7 February 2023
Odysseus the Flawed Hero
The term hero is significantly misused in The Odyssey by Homer. Odysseus, king of Ithaca, is an example of a hero who does not deserve the title. Nonetheless, Odysseus shares many qualities of being a hero: he led his crew to victory in the grueling ten-year-long Trojan war due to his strategic thinking, and bravely made it home alive from the ten-year-long journey back. Odysseus is brave, cunning, and has great leadership skills: all of these traits are characteristics you would expect in a hero. Although one might possess these qualities, being a hero means nothing if you cannot portray one crucial aspect: being a good person. Odysseus lacks this pivotal attribute. …show more content…

Odysseus makes sure to emphasize how loyal and worthy he is to Penelope by turning down Calypso’s tempting wishes. However, this small act of loyalty covers up his betrayal. Odysseus fails to mention to Penelope that “he’d sleep with her in the arching cave” (5.171). Although sleeping with Calypso was against Odysseus’ will, he is unwilling to tell Penelope about a moment he could not control. He knows this incident could damage his image as a great leader and hero. Sleeping with Calypso was not Odysseus’ fault, but by being egotistical and focusing only on his reputation rather than loyalty to his wife by being honest, he once again demonstrates his poor moral character. In addition to sleeping with Calypso, he shows another time when he was not in control and was weak. This type of weakness happens to portray great loyalty. It is shown that upon Calypso’s island, he “sat on a headland, weeping there as always, / gazing out over the barren sea through blinding tears”(5.93-5). He was desperate to get home to Penelope: or so it seems. Because of the Trojan war, Odysseus thrives in high-stress and intense environments. Since he is no longer in a war setting, he needs to find a substitute for the amount of excitement and adrenaline he is used to. Getting off Calypso’s island, making unnecessary and dangerous detours, and sleeping with multiple women serve as a replacement. Even though Odysseus cries for Penelope, …show more content…

These derisive comments make Polyphemus retaliate by throwing huge boulders at their boat. Odysseus’ crew “begged” (9.556) Odysseus to stop antagonizing the cyclops but he does not care. Instead of thinking through his actions, he tells Polyphemus who he is and where he lives which causes future tribulations, such as the god of the sea, Poseidon, having a grudge against Odysseus. Poseidon makes Odysseus’ journey back home much more rugged due to his own reckless actions. Odysseus’ fast thinking does help the crew on some occasions. Odysseus quickly saves some of his crew by rescuing them from the lotus flowers and also led them to victory using a wooden horse for a surprise attack during the war. Although Odysseus led his crew to victory and saves some of his crew, his actions create problems for them that never needed to exist. Odysseus only saves three people from the lotus flowers: “I sent / a detail ahead, two picked men and a third, a runner[...]” (9.99-100). Later, he causes the majority of them to be killed by the Laestrygonians. Odysseus explains, “Our squadron sank” (10.145) due to his actions. Odysseus also led his crew to victory in the war, but many men die on the journey home. Odysseus’ impetuous interactions should have taught him to be more circumspect and go into everything with a plan, but they do not. After the Cyclops, Odysseus and his crew arrive at the Laestrygonian land where Odysseus once again

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