The main character Odysseus in the Odyssey written by Homer is generally thought to be a great hero; however, he shows more traits of a quite flawed character on closer inspection. Around the beginning of Odysseus’ journey home after the war, Odysseus decides to take a detour to the home of a cyclops deciding to not listen to his men’s suggestions to leave while they still could; consequently, it does not end well: “Ah, how sound that was, Yet I refused. I wished to see the caveman, what he had to offer no pretty sight it turned out, for my friend” (9.130-132). This thought by Odysseus shows that he realized his decision to go to the mysterious island wasn’t the most rational one and that his men’s pleas to leave were the better option, but he decides to be stubborn and place his curiosity before his men’s safety resulting in a non-heroic
In The Odyssey, the character Odysseus can be considered a hero because he demonstrates many characteristics that are attributable to most heroes. After the battle at Troy, Odysseus strives to sail back to his homeland (Ithaca); however, he encounters some issues along the way and Poseidon attempts to make it impossible for Odysseus to return home. At the beginning of this journey, Odysseus wants to make it back to Ithaca with all of his crew alive. This selfless goal displays Odysseus acting for the greater good because he knows that these men have families that depend on them and would like for them to come home. Along the journey home, Odysseus and his crew come across a cyclops and become trapped in the cyclops’ cave.
There are many lessons Odysseus and is men learn on their journey home in the Odyssey. Unfortunately, only Odysseus makes it home and the rest of men are dead because of their foolish actions. In the Thrinacia and The Cattle of the Sun episode of the Odyssey Odysseus’s men once again disobey him and cost them their lives. The men and Odysseus learn valuable lessons throughout their epic journey, but in the episode the most important lessons they learn are; temptation can lead to death, being obedient can save your life, and trust your instincts. If Odysseus’s men would have been more obedient to their leader Odysseus perhaps all of them would have made it back home alive.
Another example of a bad decision Odysseus made was when he made his crew stay in polyphemus’ cave, when they wanted to take the food and leave. Here is an example of someone on his crew discussing this, “Let 's make away with the cheeses, then come back-/ hurry, drive the lambs and kids from the pens/ to our swift ship, put out to sea at once!/ But I would not give way-” (9. 252-255). If Odysseus was a good leader he wouldn’t have risked anything happening to his crew, he would have just taken the food and left. As a result of this bad choice, many men in Odysseus’ crew were killed and eaten by Polyphemus.
In the epic story the Odyssey by Homer, Odysseus is returning from the Trojan war, and on his way home he finds many obstacles ahead of him. Odysseus is the ruler of Ithaca and he is trying to return home to his land. Many creatures try and stop him from achieving his goal of returning home, but he and his crew have to push through and get home. Odysseus portrays bravery and courage leading his crew through these tough challenges. Odysseus heroically leads his crew and himself through dangerous obstacles, but also foolishly endangers them during the journey home.
The saying that opposites attract is widely used, but is there a point in a relationship were those opposites become too much to bear? In the Odyssey, the main characters who are married show just this. The time they spent away, the differences that they thought would keep them together actually drove them apart. It is through the same journeys that tore them apart that the true colors of each spouse come out. Although their journeys may seem similar, Penelope proves throughout the book to be more loyal to her spouse and a better self-advocate than Odysseus.
Although Odysseus occasionally does something for the short-term benefit of his crew, he does not deserve their loyalty because he does not sincerely care about them, trust them, or listen to them. Even when Odysseus is in the middle of nowhere in a boat with his comrades and crew members for twenty years, he still manages to not care about them and think of his own life as more valuable than any of theirs. An example of this is when Odysseus sends his men into danger instead of being a leader and going first: “All I spied was a plume of smoke, drifting off the land. / So I sent some crew ahead to learn who lived there -- / men like us perhaps, who live on bread?”
At various times throughout the story, mainly through the trials, Odysseus made many decisions and forced his crew to go through many potentially lethal situations without preparing his own crew, or situations that were just a waste of time. This then leads to not only all of his crew being killed but the creation of many bad relationships. The first example of Odysseus mistreating his crew is when he and his crew went through the trails, “No more. Come, / let me tell you about the voyage fraught with hardship / Zeus inflicted on me, homeward bound from Troy...” 9.42-44.
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 is an epic hero because of his bravery and confidence during every obstacle throughout his journey In Part 1 whie Odysseus is about to come across cyclops cave, he says “I brought along and victuals in a bag, for in my bones I knew some towering brute would be upon so soon- all outward power, a wild man, ignorant of civility. “ Odysseus is showing his bravery of not being petrified of what he might come across, like the cyclops. Odysseus has no intention of harming them, but he is not sure what their intention is. This example is important because not only does it show confidence in himself, he also shows confidence in his men. In Part 2 Odysseus also shows his confidence in his men in part 2 where Eurylochus says, “Are you flesh and blood, Odysseus, to endure more than a man can?
The cave is dark and musty. The beast is gruesome: nasty, brutish and gross. He gobbles down men and sheep for breakfast, lunch and dinner. With only one eye, decaying, rotted teeth, and the stench of his rancid breath filling the confined cave, the journey Odysseus had embarked on, did not look like it had a bright future. But, this was part of the journey that he had agreed to. On a journey, the final destination is everybody's goal, but what about the journey itself? The journey matters more than the destination when you pick up knowledge from all of the experiences and challenges you encounter.