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Homer's Odyssey: A Classic Hero

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Marina Gorbenko HRS 119-Classical Mythology M. Pinkerton 16 May 2016 Bonus Reading Response: Homer’s Odyssey In Homer’s Odyssey, the hero, Odysseus, is introduced as a classic hero. However, through his odyssey, the audience finds Odysseus to be much more than an everyday hero. While other heroes relied on their strength and ability in battle, Odysseus, while also having the skill of all of the other warriors, relies heavily on his cunning when faced with obstacles. Another way that he differs from the classic hero is that, once the great war is over, he does not seek more glory in new battles, but sets off on a journey to be reunited with his wife and son. However, Odysseus is still considered to be a classic hero because of his great skill in battle, his leadership qualities, and his immense pride in his abilities.…show more content…
The most memorable example of this is Odysseus’s interactions with the cyclops, Polyphemus. A classic hero would find some way to overcome Polyphemus and run back to the ship, running the risk of Polyphemus alerting the other cyclopes. Odysseus, however, foresees the danger posed by Polyphemus and cleverly tells the cyclops that he is called “Noman” (Book 9, line 33). Later, when Polyphemus calls for help, he tells the other cyclopes that “Noman is killing me by some kind of trick” (Book 9, line 76). Polyphemus’s unwitting play on words causes his friends to laugh at him instead of helping him, allowing Odysseus and his men enough time to reach the ship and safely leave. In this instance, Odysseus did not behave like a classic hero, but did manage to save himself and most of his men. However, Odysseus’s cleverness is not the only trait that sets him apart from the classic
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