In the epic poem The Odyssey the main character Odysseus shows many qualities of an epic hero. Odysseus, the king of Ithaca, has a wife, Penelope, and his only son, Telemachus all struggle as Odysseus goes to war in Troy the day of Telemachus’ birth. Odysseus struggles and fights through obstacles that no mortal on earth has ever conquered. Odysseus demonstrates the qualities of a leader, speaker, and superhuman strength that every epic hero should have. Odysseus shows the characteristic of leadership many times throughout The Odyssey.
The Odyssey Many people deem Odysseus to be an archetype hero. But was he really? Sure, he won many wars, but did he show the characteristics that matter? No!
One example from the text that shows odysseus does not have the incredible heroic trait of humility is found in book 101 the odyssey . in lines 416 -419 , odysseus says,”cyclops if ever mortal man inquires how you were put to shame and blinded, tell him odysseus,laetres son. whose homes on ithaca “ (384). odysseus wanted the cyclops to know who to credit for bringing him. his bragging almost cost him and his men their lives.
The Lost Hero(Leader) To live for a reason, is to life for a purpose. A purpose that can alter the chance of life. A purpose can drive a person to be the best they can be, to never give up, and to strive for the best. Shouldn’t leaders represent strength, great power, invincibility?
Odysseus is the spitting image of what an ancient Greek hero would be like but in today’s society or just in general, Odysseus is not heroic. He may have super hero qualities such as extreme strength and cleverness but he doesn’t embody them the way one should. In many cases he only saves himself, he is selfish, and he isn’t humble. These reasons alone leaves me, and should leave you, to believe that Odysseus is not heroic.
Merriam-Webster defines a superhero as “a fictional character with amazing powers”. In our culture, when we talk about a superhero, we usually imagine Superman, Spiderman, or Captain America. These are extraordinary people who show incredible strength of body and mind, value honor and glory, succeed, and are well-known/well-liked. Two fictional characters I think exemplify these characteristics are Beowulf and Odysseus. Superheroes are not superheroes without strength of body and mind.
Ever since childhood, people develop an image on what a true hero should be like. A considerable hero is someone who looks after their allies and makes rational decisions in tough situations. On the contrary, in the book, The Odyssey, Odysseus shows that not all heroes make the most reasonable choices. For instance, he is willing to sacrifice his own shipments in order to get back to Ithaca. Yes, it may be one of the best options considering the position they are in, but he was the reason why the crew is in that position in the first place.
In Homer’s the Odyssey, Odysseus allows his own desire for personal glory and fame to cloud his judgement as a leader and places his men in danger. Odysseus is an epic hero, however he still makes both wise and poor decisions throughout the poem. The men who follow along on Odysseus’s journey are aware of the factor of human nature, that Odysseus may not always make the right decision. Although they know of this possibility, the men still choose to follow him. The reason for this being that most people blindly follow others because it is in human nature to trust.
Odysseus is an epic hero in The Odyssey, by Homer, in which the reader follows Odysseus in his epic hero’s journey. In the Odyssey, Odysseus like all heroes, just wants to see what’s the next adventure, what’s the next mission. However, in doing so, he gets himself in many dangerous situations and to get out of them he must use trickery. While Odysseus is known for his intelligence, trickery, impressive strength and power, but these trait are just his use of deception and disguise.
In the Odyssey, Odysseus displays a trait of being an epic hero by portraying how ethical he is. When he arrives at the palace of Alcinous in the land of the Phaeacians, Odysseus sees the queen and… “he throws himself at her feet” (summary book 7). In this moment he shows great respect and is very conscientious of the queen. Many people during this time would most likely not throw themselves at the queen’s feet, but he did because of his respect for her. Odysseus shows his great amount of ethical abilities in his personality through this action.