Odysseus Epic Hero Features In Homer's Odyssey

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Odysseus’ Epic Hero Features in Homer’s The Odyssey According to Dictionary.com, a hero is a person with “distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds or noble qualities.” A hero is typically someone who saves the day from unfortunate causes, and always ensures a positive ending. An epic hero is not that much different, although it does have a few features that the hero typically undergoes. Odysseus, for example, is an eminent epic hero who exhibits most of the features commonly showed in epic poems. The epic hero goes through a strenuous journey after the Trojan War to get back to Ithaca, struggling to get home for ten years. He possesses abilities beyond compare to an ordinary man, and these supernatural qualities are major…show more content…
There are multiple instances in which Odysseus must think quick on his feet in order to get out of a disaster as soon as possible. For example, when Odysseus and his crew are trapped in Polyphemus’ cave, Odysseus has to think of a solution to escape before any other people in his crew are eaten by the cyclops. Quickly, Odysseus thinks ahead and states, “‘My name is Nohbody: mother, father, and friends, / everyone calls me Nohbody’” (Homer 156). His intelligence is presented when Polyphemus is wailing in pain as the crew stabs him in the eye and he is crying out that “Nohbody” has hurt him. Due to Odysseus’ cunningness, the other cyclops believe Polyphemus is not hurt, as nobody has hurt him, and the crew makes their quick escape. Furthermore, Odysseus illustrates his superiority with his astonishing strength when Zeus capsizes their boat and Odysseus is the only one in his crew to survive. Odysseus clings to a branch and hangs above Karybdis for hours, and he explains, “Nowhere had I to stand, no way of climbing, / the root and bole being far below, and far / above my head the branches and their leaves, / massed, overshadowing Karybdis pool” (Homer 224). Clearly, this task of holding his entire body weight up with his arms for a extensive amount of time requires an uncommon strength that only an…show more content…
As a matter of fact, the women Odysseus comes in contact with keep him from continuing his way home for months to even years. For instance, Kirke houses Odysseus and his crew on her island, Aiaia, for about a year’s length, enticing them with her hospitality. Odysseus comments, “As we were men we could not help consenting. / So day by day we lingered, feasting long / on roasts and wine, until a year grew fat” (Homer 179). He acknowledges the weakness of him and his men for staying so long with Kirke because they were so satisfied with the vast amounts of foods and care. Kirke is a clear representation of one of the women who prevent Odysseus from persevering home. Another major hindrance is demonstrated when Odysseus washes up on Calypso’s island, Ogygia. He is stuck on the island for a total of seven years, having no way to escape and with his fate in the hands of the gods. When Calypso informs Odysseus that Hermes delivered the message that Odysseus can go home, he does not believe it and questions, “‘After these years, a helping hand? O goddess, / what guile is hidden here?/ ... I take no raft you grudge me out to sea’” (Homer 86). This negative response is quite ironic in the sense that for the seven years Odysseus is on the island, all he wants is to get home to Ithaca, but when presented with the chance, he does not jump on it
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