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. …show more content…
First, because Odysseus’ “master strokes” allow his crew to escape from Polyphemus and he “command[s] a dozen vessels,” Odysseus claims responsibility for his crew’s successful escape, and thus, Odysseus claims to be the hero in this section (216). Next, Odysseus’ hubris and disloyalty in this scene highlight the flaws in Homer’s depiction of Odysseus as a hero. First, despite his crew “begging” Odysseus to stop taunting Polyphemus' he does not revealing his disloyalty to his crew and pride. However, in spite of his actions, Homer describes Odysseus as “headstrong”—a positive and complimentary word for selfish actions. Also, to dramatize the situation and emphasize the morality of the crew, Homer says "[the crew] put their backs in the oars, escape grim death." This passage shows how, while Homer considers Odysseus heroic, Odysseus may not follow expectations because of his pride and willingness to endanger his men. In this passage, Odysseus continually taunts Polyphemus' against his crew's wishes, and thus risks their lives. However, throughout the reading, Odysseus' claims to have great affection for his crew and wishes to protect them; thus, Odysseus' actions in this scene highlight an inconsistency in Odysseus' character and heroic nature. Because of this inconsistency and Odysseus’ prideful and …show more content…
Prior to the speech Menelaus has no urgency and respect for Telemachus'; he says “I'll escort you myself, harness the horses, guide you through the the towns,” which together imply that Telemachus should not travel by himself because he is still a boy (384). Directly after and because of “that” speech, however, Menelaus says “he told his wife and serving-women to lay out a meal at once,” and subsequently wishes Telemachus safe travels home (384). This contrast shows the effectiveness of Telemachus speech and, because the speech convinces Menelaus’ that Telemachus is capable of traveling by himself, reveals Telemachus’ maturity. Telemachus willingness to single handedly push himself to manhood, in times of personal and familial crisis, stresses his determination. Notably, all the compliments of Telemachus in this scene were from Menelaus and not Homer, once again revealing Homer’s
In Book 9 of The Odyssey, Odysseus demonstrates many qualities of an epic hero. His courage is showcased when he gets stuck in a cave with the cyclopes and manages to think of an escape route using the sheep. His quick thinking and bravery are exemplary and serve as a reminder of why he is an epic hero. Odysseus demonstrates his courage and strength of character in the first epic hero quality we see him portray. This is evidenced by his willingness to lock himself in with the cyclopes despite the danger.
Strength in The Odyssey Hiding underneath the harrowing adventures throughout the epic poem The Odyssey by Homer and translated by Robert Fagles, Homer sought for the reader to take away the moral of brains over brawn from his poem. The Odyssey follows Odysseus during his journey back from fighting in the Trojan War to his homeland in Ithaca, Greece. Odysseus and the reader learn many moral teachings as a result of his numerous brave adventures and promiscuous mistakes that take place along the way of his journey. A prime example of Homer’s message to the reader happens during the instance where the Cyclops, Polyphemus, traps Odysseus in his cave. Odysseus survives his ordeal by using his intelligence to outsmart the Cyclops, Polyphemus.
Soorya Haravu Ms. Philipp English I Honors 10 April 2023 A Fire Behind the Silver Mirror The highlights of one’s career often outshine the darker experiences that really define his or her capability. Some of the most incapable leaders will hide their vast incompetencies under a spark of wisdom or strength that most think defines their career.
The decisions and actions Odysseus makes throughout his Odyssey, not only call upon the person he is but shape the person he becomes, with many of the challenges honing his character. Homer uncovers the traits that most befittingly define Odysseus as honor, courage and guile. The traits that are glorified in The Odyssey, connect to recent times because they are comparable to those we think of when defining a hero or an impeccable human being. Odysseus’ use of his honor, courage and guile showcase how these traits allowed him to excel in his time and also are key traits all should have for the challenges we must face in
The Odyssey Essay What is the first thing that comes to mind when hear the word Hero someone brave, nice, kind, honest, smart, and someone who puts their life on the line for others. Well in the Odyssey Odysseus is not all of these things only a few, Odysseus is a cruel, greedy, and murderous man who only cares for himself. In the Odyssey By Homer a king named Odysseus went to war with Troy which started this whole adventure he made a plan to defeat the Trojans by making the Trojan horse and sneaking himself along with his men inside Troy to wait till nightfall and sneak out of the horse to take over Troy while everyone is asleep. He tried to sail his way home but got lost and it took him 20 years to get back because of various misadventures like get caught by a cyclops, getting stuck on an island of lotus-eaters, going by the sirens, going through Scylla and Charybdis, Eating the sun gods cattle, getting stuck on an island with a time distorting goddess along with other misadventures which
First of all, Odysseus can be exceedingly prideful. As a matter of fact, the majority of the unfortunate events in “The Odyssey” can be traced back to this hamartia. For example, if Odysseus hadn’t blinded Polyphemus, he wouldn’t have been cursed by Poseidon. According to Mahatma Gandhi, “An eye for
In the section “In the One-Eyed Giant’s Cave” from Homer’s The Odyssey, Odysseus is portrayed as a hero through his character traits and behaviors. When Odysseus and his men attack the city of Ismarus, the Cicones’ strong hold, Odysseus made sure to fairly distribute the spoils among his men. Odysseus’s behavior shows that he is a great leader, a characteristic of a hero. While Odysseus and his crew are in the Cyclops’ cave, Polyphemus, the cyclops, notices them. Polyphemus asks who they are with a monstrous tone, “‘Strangers!'
TS1 (Thesis): In The Odyssey, Homer depicts Odysseus’ real foe as the theme of temptation with displays of hubris and lustrous goddesses, which portrays the importance of being vigilant to not submit to temptation. ST1: Homer depicts that Odysseus is determined to get home, but Odysseus succumbs to temptation when he leads his crew into the cyclops lair, eats the cyclops’ food, and demands for a gift, resulting in a protracted journey home. 1: Homer displays Odysseus as recklessly brave when he requests, “we’re at your knees, in hopes of… a guest-gift”(9.300) from the cyclops. 2: It is apparent that Odysseus has given into the temptation to be arrogant when he declares for the cyclops to give them, “a guest-gift,” after Odysseus and his men have broken into the cyclops lair, showing even further Odysseus’ isn’t vigilant to
Odysseus, a man who was known for his adventures, but do we really understand the attributes needed for an epic hero? The King of Ithaca had a very concealed past where it is hardly ever noted that his men were mistreated by their captain and all of Odysseus’ mistakes affected those around him. Odysseus, on several occasions did his men wrong and along his journeys, he became very willful and big headed. In The Odyssey by Homer, Odysseus has several misfortunes such as losing all of his men and being stranded and not returning home for 20 years, but evidently all of these problems were caused by the mens lack of trust in Odysseus and Odysseus being too stubborn and full of pride. The crew had a very important job in the quests that Odysseus
While Odysseus and his crew are slowly moving away from Cyclopes Island, Odysseus tells Polyphemus that he is “Odysseus, Laertes’ son,” whose home “lies on Ithaca” (Homer 459 and 460). Because of his arrogant decision to tell Polyphemus the truth of his origins, he essentially dooms him and his crew. Polyphemus, who is Poseidon's son, asks of his father to punish Odysseus for his arrogance, whom grants his prayer. In cessation, Odysseus’ haughty decision to tell Polyphemus his whereabouts leads to his utter
This shows how selfish he is in order to protect his own life. If he told them about Throughout his journey, Homer has shown Odysseus’s character traits in a various way, heroic and unheroic. Odysseus can be loyal and intelligent, but he can also be stubborn. The
When they get back to the boat and Odysseus yells out to the Cyclopes his name. Which means a harder journey for Odysseus and his men because Polyphemus is Poseidon's son. In this book Odysseus shows his pride when he yells from the boat and almist gets him and his men killed. In the movie Odysseus pride is most shown when he blames her situation solely on his men.
Just as Achilles is confronted in the Iliad with the problem of balancing his honor with his pride, Odysseus repeatedly faces situations in which self-restraint and humility must check bravado and glory-seeking. In his early adventures, he fails these tests, as when he taunts Polyphemus, inflaming Poseidon. As the epic progresses, Odysseus becomes increasingly capable of judging when it is wise to reveal himself and when it is appropriate to rejoice in his
There are few fictional characters who so accurately depict the ancient archetype of a hero as Odysseus. In Homer’s The Odyssey, translated by Robert Fitzgerald, Odysseus is departing from the Trojan city of Troy in order to reach his home country of Ithaca. Throughout the course of his journey, Odysseus is faces multiple challenges testing his leadership, vigor, and wit in order to prove himself to be a true hero. He accomplishes this by bringing about multiple heroic feats and upholding the impuissant and helpless.