Importance Of Heroes In The Odyssey

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Since the beginning of time, parents have told their children stories about heroes. Heroes who fight monsters, save maidens, and return to their homes with honor. They make the hero sound so special, or brave, or kind, to inspire their children to want to be like them. Telling these types of stories is a good way to impress good morals on them. The ancient Greeks were a group of people who used a similar tactic to teach people their core values. Some of these core values were the importance of Fate, loyalty, cleverness, love for home and family, hospitality, and respect for the gods. Homer, a famous rhapsode, narrated an epic poem that showed all these values. The tale of The Odyssey is a story of Odysseus, king of Ithaca, and his journey home…show more content…
The Greeks believed that cleverness was the ability to be able to solve problems by outsmarting the enemy ore using your wit. Odysseus shows that he is clever multiple times. One of the first times he shows his cleverness is when he is in the cave of Polyphemus. Firstly, he gets the giant cyclops drunk, but does not kill him at that point because he knows that he cannot move the boulder away from the mouth of the cave. Also, he tells Polyphemus that his name is Nohbdy, so that the cyclops does not have any information about him. Lastly, he and all of his men escape the cave by strapping themselves to the bottom of sheep, so Polyphemus cannot find them (The Cyclops). All of these things that he did to make sure his crew had a safe escape shows his cleverness. He used his head and the limited resources he had, which makes him a hero. Another time he shows cleverness is when he creates a plan to get rid of the suitors, instead of just barging in to see his wife and family (“Twenty years gone, and I am back again…”). Odysseus knew that if he went back without a plan, the suitors would just kill him. He was smart enough to wait for his moment then strike. Additionally, he was clever enough to make such a good plan that he could kill all the suitors and take his life back, which is what he did. Odysseus’s repeated demonstration of cleverness helped him through his journey and made him a true…show more content…
It could be said that he is not a hero because after he defeats Polyphemus, he yells to him, “If I could take your life I would and take your time away, and hurl you down to hell! The god of earthquake could not heal you there!”(479-481). By saying this, he was challenging a god and belittling Poseidon's power, which does not aline with Greek values. Still, this does not make Odysseus less of a hero. What he said was wrong, but he was punished and he changed his ways. The gods taught him a lesson, and made it so that it took ten years to travel home to Ithaca. After Odysseus is punished, he understands what he did wrong, and learns to become a better man, therefore redeeming his hero status. He shows that he has learned his lesson in the episode “Odysseus’ Revenge,” when he says, “Now watch me hit a target that no man has hit before, if I can make this shot. Help me, Apollo,” (1410-1411). This clearly shows his new understanding of the importance of the gods. He now knows that he cannot accomplish anything without them. In addition, another argument that could be made is that Odysseus is not truly loyal to his men because he did not care enough about their safety. One example of this could be when Odysseus is yelling at Polyphemus, a crew mate said, “Godsake, Captain! Why bait the beast again? Let him alone!”(448-449). It is obvious that these men were scared for their lives, yet boasting was

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