Jason Sierra Professor Williams 5 October 2014 Word Count: 752 Odysseus: An Epic Hero The definition of a hero is a person with supernatural abilities at performing specific tasks that normal people cannot typically achieve. In the epic poem called “The Odyssey” written by a poet named Homer, there is a character named Odysseus who contains these characteristics.
The decisions and actions Odysseus makes throughout his Odyssey, not only call upon the person he is but shape the person he becomes, with many of the challenges honing his character. Homer uncovers the traits that most befittingly define Odysseus as honor, courage and guile. The traits that are glorified in The Odyssey, connect to recent times because they are comparable to those we think of when defining a hero or an impeccable human being. Odysseus’ use of his honor, courage and guile showcase how these traits allowed him to excel in his time and also are key traits all should have for the challenges we must face in
“A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.” Joseph Campbell. Odysseus has many good qualities. He has some less admirable characteristics. Some of his characteristics cause him harm.
Menelaus states, “No one took on so much, went through so much as Odysseus.” The epic poem, The Odyssey, by Homer, is the story of an ancient war hero’s 10 year struggle to return home after the Trojan War. Throughout the Odyssey, Odysseus faces the wrath of the gods, and fights battles against many mythical creatures such as Polyphemus, and the his grueling mental battle with the sirens. Across Odysseus’s journey, he shows many characteristics of a hero such as his resiliency, and his tactileness. For example, Odysseus shows his ability as a tactician through his encounters with Gods and monsters, such as his seven year time span on calypso’s island.
In modern society, heroes don’t need to be physically strong or slay monsters, we see heroes as one forms a change in society. A prime example is Malala, an activist for females’ education who risked her life to support her thoughts about the world. The characteristics needed to become a hero has interchanged from ancient society to modern society. Throughout his ten- year journey home, Odysseus has demonstrated many characteristics which can determine whether he can be considered as a hero. In the epic poem, The Odyssey, written by Homer, Odysseus is equipped with quick- thinking, intellect, and loyalty which defines himself as a hero admired by ancient Greek society.
Heroes pass down the idea of what good qualities a human should have, but some show how power can get to your head. In The Odyssey by Homer, Odysseus shows the complete opposite qualities by being merciless towards people that do any wrong to him, relentless in how his instincts come upon him, and violent towards any misfortune that happens to him. Odysseus cannot be considered a hero because he shows the opposite values of hospitality, loyalty and how much revenge is in his heart. Odysseus displays discourteousness or the opposite of hospitality to the suitors in his home because all he wants the outcome to be is violent without any understanding. While Odysseus gets angry with Polyphemus earlier in the story by saying, “...who dared to eat your own guests in your own house.” (9.479) Odysseus wants to kill every one of the suitors that is trying to marry Penelope, Odysseus 's wife.
Odysseus is a typical example of a hero. He is able to pull off miraculous things to save himself and his crew seemingly without fail. The story of his journey is well known, and a great tale of his adventures. In the two parts we have read so far, we see what he is willing to do for his crew, and his intelligence and quick thinking in difficult situations. The first challenge that waits them is the island of Cyclopes.
One way that shows Odysseus being an epic hero, is when he takes part in a more than one year journey. In the end, Odysseus participates in a twenty year epic journey. That is several more years than what is required to become an epic hero. He encounters several challenges along the way. Several times Odysseus shows contempt towards the mystical creatures that he has to fight against.
The mighty Odysseus has proved himself as a hero in The Odyssey in multiple occasions. First, to be a hero I believe that bravery and cleverness are needed to perform a heroic act. There is no need for a certain superpower or strength in my opinion to become a hero. Odysseus has shown there characteristic in his twenty year Odyssey as he searches for his way back to Ithaca. First, Odysseus’ bravery, he shows his bravery by confronting massive and terrifying creature that endangered Odysseus and his men 's’ lives.