In his several journeys, he faces several hardships that delay this goal. These hardships, occurring especially during his call, challenge, and return, include, but not limited to, lack of crew members, death, a cruel witch, and loneliness. Despite these hardships, Odysseus progresses through them with his emotional and physical strengths. Throughout The Odyssey, written by Homer, Odysseus demonstrates the qualities of an epic hero, physical and emotional strengths, through his call, challenge, and return in this poem. Odysseus proves his emotional strength as an epic hero when he stays with Calypso for several years but despite this, his heart only lies with Ithaca and Penelope during this time, not with Calypso.
All through The Odyssey, the characters develop in a certain way that interchanges the outcome of the book. Odysseus is able to develop knowledge and wisdom to deal with his men during the battle and the suitors who were frustrating his wife. In addition, he came back home as a hero after the Trojan War. Telemachus developed into a mature man who could deal with any problem in his father’s absence. However, based on the story, it is evident that, Telemachus demonstrates a great change basing upon the times the characters were away from Ithaca.
In Book 3, Hector spurs Paris by taunting and insulting him, calling him a “curse to [his] father, [his] city, and all of [his] people” for his lack of courage and perseverance (3.58). This prompts Paris to present the idea of a duel against Menelaus, in which they will “fight it out for Helen and all her wealth” (3.86). Other times, this fighting spirit is regained through leaders’ compliments and encouragement. Before the war begins again after the duel between Menelaus and Paris, Agamemnon was “quick to salute [Idomeneus] and sing his praises” (4.292). He urges Idomeneus to “be that fighter you claimed to be in all the years gone by,” which spurs Idomeneus to “cut down Phaestus” (5.48).
Throughout the journey, they have not formally addressed Odysseus as his official title and in doing so, they show respect and admiration to Odysseus who pulled off yet another feat. Although Odysseus had made rash decisions that brought a fate of suffering upon these men, they praise him, suggesting that they have forgiven him―a sign of trust. Later when the men compare Odysseus to their return to Ithaca, they express their deep devotion for him. Odysseus is the famous face of Ithaca, their king, the closest thing they have of home. The thrill the crew feel when they see Odysseus is of renewed hope of sailing home.
He also encounters the suitors, who are a group of men that try to marry Penelope, when he returns to reclaim his home. During these situations, Odysseus gains leadership and tactical skills from fighting in the war in Troy, which costs him 10 years of his life and another 10 years of sailing out on the sea from Poseidon 's curse. Odysseus is therefore a heroic and efficient leader because he plans his moves ahead of time and is vigilant at all times to ensure his safety. Yet, though Odysseus possesses these heroic leadership qualities, his arrogance sometimes leads to his downfall and inability to lead. While Odysseus is a little arrogant, he can also be a great leader because he is able to trust his second in command, Eurylochus, and give him more power while he is away.
Homer, author of the ancient Greek epic poem The Odyssey, explains the story of Odysseus, king of Ithaca, and his journey back home after the fall of Troy. Odysseus is illustrated as a man with a very complex personality, to which he obtains the expected qualities of a hero; yet he also acts against the idea of heroism. Many people believe that Odysseus fits the standards and expectations of a hero, because he possesses the desired traits of one. While others would disagree and argue that Odysseus is not a hero due to his foolish and selfish actions. Although, there are two sides to every argument, it is much more reasonable and clear to view Odysseus as unheroic.
The Odyssey is a classic tale of the hero, although some heroes are not what they are depicted to be. In the first four chapters of The Odyssey, by Homer, we are introduced to Telemachus, these books appropriately introduce us to Homer's work as well as lead us into the rest of the book. We have a mental image of Odysseus as a brave warrior and a noble husband, he is described as the ideal person. The view of the readers towards Odysseus is a positive one, we hope that he will return home to his wife and son, unfortunately, when we finally meet him he comes off as arrogant and cocky. These books introduce us to Homer's work as we see with the introduction, as he introduces us to Telemachus rather than his father, Odysseus, who is the main character.
Several times Odysseus shows contempt towards the mystical creatures that he has to fight against. Throughout the twenty year journey, he shows many moments of great bravery, and heroic actions, which is why he can be considered an epic hero. Here he fits one of the many qualifications of being an epic hero. Odysseus is a fantastic example of an epic hero. Another way that Odysseus proves to be an epic hero, is that he was tempted quite often throughout his
Another example is when his home and family are being taken over by the suitors, uninvited, and he kills them, a right and just punishment. “‘how this man is honored. He makes friends wherever we go. ... …Quick, let us see how much gold and silver is in the sack. They opened the sack, and the winds flew howling and raised a storm that carried us far away from our own country.”(p.88) To conclude this essay, Odysseus is a hero for what he does, whether it is saving his men, fighting, or just trying to get home.
But this is not to say that Odysseus exhibits no signs of growth. Just as Achilles is confronted in the Iliad with the problem of balancing his honor with his pride, Odysseus repeatedly faces situations in which self-restraint and humility must check bravado and glory-seeking. In his early adventures, he fails these tests, as when he taunts Polyphemus, inflaming Poseidon. As the epic progresses, Odysseus becomes increasingly capable of judging when it is wise to reveal himself and when it is appropriate to rejoice in his