High Impact: The Character Of Odysseus In Homer's Odyssey

Satisfactory Essays
Elliot Kim
Mrs. Ballard
English 9H
30 October 2015
High Impact
Odysseus is strong, handsome, smart, and a hero, but throughout the story, he falls into many temptations, is irresponsible, and kills ruthlessly. All these affect Odysseus’s heroic stature, or his reputation as a hero. Some may say that Odysseus’s positive attributes, such as his strength, and his negative attributes, like his tendency to fall into temptations, make up his heroic stature. However, Odysseus’s heroic stature is mainly dependent on the gods. Countless times in The Odyssey by Homer, the fate of Odysseus depends on the gods. Although Odysseus is a strong, smart man, his heroic stature depends on the gods in every situation, particularly Athena and Zeus.
* Athena plays
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His immense power is demonstrated when “he [calls] to his son Hermes and [says]… ‘Go and declare that Odysseus shall return after all his troubles”(Homer 62). Zeus’s powerful authority enables him to positively affect Odysseus’s fate, and, in the long run, guide him through his perilous journey back home. This gives Zeus the responsibility of either building or destroying Odysseus’s heroic stature, and throughout the story there are countless examples of times when Zeus is the one that finally determines Odysseus’s stature as a hero. Although Zeus positively influences Odysseus in many ways, he also diminishes his heroic stature in many situations. One time this happens is when “Zeus … [thunders] and [strikes] our [Odysseus and his crew’s] ship with his bolt”(Homer 159). Zeus’s decisive factor in the story also gives him the ability to determine Odysseus’s future in almost every situation. In other words, Odysseus’s heroic stature is greatly affected by Zeus in many situations, which tells how much power and authority Zeus has. Overall, Odysseus’s heroic stature is both positively and negatively affected by Zeus.
All in all, Athena and Zeus are the main influences of Odysseus’s heroic stature. Even though Odysseus’s strengths and weaknesses affect it, these factors are not quite as impacting as the effect of the gods. In many situations, Odysseus’s image, decision making, and, eventually,
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