Homer's The Odysseus: An Epic Hero

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A man with illustrious courage and ability, admired for his brave actions and noble qualities. A man who’s larger than life, witty, determined, and valued. In The Odyssey by Homer, Odysseus is this person. He spends ten years facing horrendous monsters and impossible situations to return home again. In literary terms, Odysseus might be an epic hero, but he doesn’t nearly possess the compassion, integrity, or modesty necessary to be a true hero. A man who is genuinely worthy to be called a hero, is not a man incapable of mercy. Even after Odysseus looked into the eyes of a priest begging for his life, he couldn't find the compassion to spare him. With the words “There’s no escape from grueling death- you die!”(21.341), Odysseus cruelly decapitated…show more content…
Odysseus, married to Penelope, says himself “...then, at last, I mounted Circe’s gorgeous bed…”(10.386). Over the course of a year, he betrayed his wife, delayed his journey, and lost all the integrity he has ever had. If it wasn’t for his comrades dragging him off the island, this affair could have been even longer. Cheating on his wife shows who Odysseus really is, and not telling her once he got home makes it even worse. He will spend the rest of his life living a lie to his supposed one and only love. In other instances, Odysseus has been just as dishonorable. In ancient greek culture, it is custom to present visitors with a gift, especially guests as influential as King Odysseus. He took advantage of this luxury, and therefore, never declines an opportunity for the riches he is given. Consequently, similarly to Odysseus’s run in with Polyphemus, his greediness and loss of integrity, causes him to put himself and others in danger. As Odysseus first arrives at the Cyclops's cave, he insists on sticking around, saying “not till I saw him, saw what gifts he’d give.”(9.258). Even after he learns of how dangerous Polyphemus has the potential to be, Odysseus still won’t relinquish. Odysseus is placing himself in harm's way, as well as his crew, when he makes this decision, . A man with integrity does not need a guest-gift to assure his importance, nor does he cause others suffering for the gain of
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