Odysseus: An Epic Hero In Homer's The Odyssey

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In Greek society, there are many valued characteristics of the hero Odysseus which are still valued today. These traits may not be as important in today’s modern world, but there is no doubt that Odysseus is an epic hero. In Homer’s The Odyssey, Odysseus proves that he is an epic hero through divine intervention in the Call, where he blinds Polyphemus in the Challenges, and the Atonement, where he goes through a transformation. Odysseus reveals the help of the gods as he plots with Telemachus against the suitors who are plaguing his home to take back what is rightfully his in the Call. Odysseus says “...and Athena’s inspiration spurred me here, now, so we could plan the slaughter of our foes. Come, give me the full tally of these suitors …show more content…

Odysseus was very prideful in the beginning, as he had to credit himself for blinding Polyphemus. However, Odysseus’s character is developed on his difficult journey home. Heatherington says “Odysseus must deal not only with arrogant suitors and bad servants, but also with his own anger, pride, and sorrow” (Heatherington 227). This quote shows how Odysseus must deal with internal and external problems throughout his quest and on Ithaca. His transformation in character is visible when he lets himself be embarrassed in his own home as a beggar. When Odysseus asks to see if he can attempt to string the bow the suitors act immaturely, “Modest words that sent them all into hot, indignant rage, fearing that he just might string the polished bow. So Antinous rounded on him, dressed him down: ’Not a shred of sense in your head, you filthy drifter! Not content to feast at your ease with us, the island’s pride?” and are furious with Odysseus (Homer 346). The suitors all get furious with Odysseus, and Antinous personally humiliates Odysseus with the phrase “filthy drifter”. In addition, it says that Odysseus spoke with “modest words” which shows that he was being humble and not bragging about what he can do. This shows a transformation in Odysseus’s character compared to earlier in the book, where he was prideful and bragged about his accomplishments.

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