He often abandons his god-given duty, therefore making him impious. After encountering troubles on his odyssey, he strays away from a dutiful, pious mindset and considers the men who died at Troy “Triply lucky” (I.134). He even goes so far as to say, “Why could I not go down… and lose my life on Ilium’s battlefield? (I.137-9). Later, while tarrying in Carthage, he succumbs to Dido’s will and aids in the construction of her city.
He fights to the best of his abilities against many monsters such as Polyphemus, Circe, and the sea monster Scylla. There has been many claims that Odysseus isn’t hero because he lets his crew die. Just because his crew didn’t survive, it certainly does not mean he isn’t a hero. He tries his very best and even test his limits in order to get him and his crew back home. An example of this is in Homer’s ‘The Odyssey” where Odysseus tries to persuade his crew to bypass Thrinacia, the island of the sun god Helios, but they were too stubborn and insisted on landing.
Odysseus believes that his words are final and his actions are always right and just, but he often lets his ego take over his rational thinking, causing harm to his crew and tampering with the gods’s plans. His team could have returned home safely for it is the wish of Athena and the other heavenly gods who sit next to her in Mount Olympus, but Odysseus takes it to himself to anger and blind Polyphemus, the monstrous son of Poseidon, loved by his father but hated by the people, thus sabotaging their entire plan. After being blinded by the heroine, Polyphemus throws giant pieces of rocks at Odysseus's ship, almost destroying them all at once. But instead of retreating for safety, Odysseus continues to taunt Polyphemus and “[calls] out to the cyclopes again, with [his] men hanging all over [him] begging him not to”(Book 9, 491-492). His sense of pride and arrogance makes him neglect the pleas of his men even in these dire situations.
Even after he was able to free himself and his crew from the cyclops’ captivity, Odysseus exposes himself to Polyphemus and further jeopardizing his men, “ '"Cyclops, if any mortal man ever asks you who it was that inflicted upon your eye this shameful blinding, tell him that you were blinded by Odysseus, sacker of cities. Laertes is his father, and he makes his home on Ithaka" (9.500-505). Odysseus’ inability to control his hubris and be considerate about the lives of his crew validate the idea that he isn’t an admirable hero. His lack of selflessness and humility drives him to make flawed judgments. This deprives him of the title of an epic hero because his tendency to take unhealthy risks causes him to delay his trip back to his homeland of
Odysseus is tempted by the land of the Lotus-Eaters he desires all that he can benefit by raiding their home. Homer writes, “Then I sent out two picked men and a runner to learn what race of man that land sustained”(92-93). In line 94 Odysseus then learned that his decisions were made in vain, because Odysseus’ men “.. fell in soon enough, with the Lotus-Eaters,” Odysseus took his pride from defeating Troy and turned it into arrogance. This then created problem with Odysseus and his crew and their ability to get back home. One would think that Odysseus would not run into a conflict like he had already endured, but as stated in lines 458-459 Odysseus didn’t learn.
After Odysseus stabbed Polythemus in the eye, the cyclopes yelled, "'Nohbdy, Nohbdy's tricked me, Nohbdy's ruined me!' To this the rough shout they [other cyclopes] made a sage reply: 'Ah well, if nobody has played you foul there in your lonely, we are no use in pain given by great Zeus.'" (IX 444-447). Odysseus was clever not to give the cyclopes his real name because, he knew if he did the other cyclopes would recognize him and try to go after him. Instead he stated that his name was Nohbdy.
He gives the peroration before the slaughter and calls out their traits and actions that he once had early on in the Odyssey, so this speech is what shows the change within himself. He no longer arrogantly seeks glory or forsake others or the gods for his own sake, like all archetypal Homeric heroes. His heart and mind now are focused on the sake of his wife, son, and kingdom and claiming what is his by right. So he must vanquish the evil that stands in his way and wants to eliminate them and punish for their contempt of the gods and breaking the rules of Xenia as he once had done. Odysseus brings upon his wrath on the suitors, who are much like the younger Odysseus in the earlier tales, which is the easiest way to see that he has changed because he now looks down upon those who have done what he use to be proud
After composing a clever plan, Odysseus defeats the bloodthirsty monster and just as he is about to leave, his hubris gets the best of him and he begins to call out to Polyphemus mocking him, “If someone asks who did this, the name is Odysseus!” After Odysseus has finished mocking him, Cyclops cries out to his father, Poseidon to never let Odysseus get home. This results in Poseidon making Odysseus’ journey much longer. The events that transpired could have all been avoided if Odysseus wouldn’t have let his hubris get in the way. His actions were the reason his journey was prolonged because if he would have just left as he was initially planning to, he would have gotten home a lot sooner. Poseidon behaved fairly punishing Odysseus for his own actions to which he admitted
As Odysseus dreams of being home with his wife and son they are fighting off suitors who have come to pillage odysseus land and try to marry his wife penelope. With his son Telemachus unable to do anything against the mass of suitors Odysseus takes another step on his hero cycle with assistance from Athena. Athena is odysseus biggest
He showed leadership when he stopped his men from eating Lotus fruit, which was not good for them. He also shows strength when Antinous throws a chair at his back, but he was not fazed. Lastly, he shows off his strategic qualities by lying to the Cyclops about his boat being destroyed, so the Cyclops could not harm it. While heroes are made to make sacrifices and take risks, Odysseus fulfills his expectations as a great