Essay on Denied the Title of a True Hero

Essay on Denied the Title of a True Hero

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In the epic poem, The Odyssey by Homer, Odysseus goes on a harrowing journey to return home to Ithaka. Many people believe that throughout the Odyssey, Odysseus goes through a journey to become a hero. Odysseus does go through the stations of the hero’s journey, but he also does not have all the characteristics that would define someone as a true hero. Due to disrespect to the people affiliated with him, poor leadership, and cruelty, Odysseus does not earn the title of a true hero.
Odysseus exhibits different forms of disrespect by being unfaithful, untrusting, and being neglectful to his peers. Odysseus is unfaithful in numerous episodes of The Odyssey. He beds with Kirke and betrays his marriage vows with Penelope, who is alone home in Ithaka waiting for him to come home. Hermes, the messenger god, says to Odysseus, “She will cower and yield her bed- a pleasure you must not decline.” (X, 334-335) Odysseus also betrays Penelope again, with another goddess, Kalypso. People may defend that he was a captive on her island, but Homer states: “Though he fought shy of her and her desire, he lay with her each night.” (V, 162-163) Therefore he was unfaithful not just once, but numerous times. Odysseus also displays disrespect when he questions the people he should trust. He inquires the god’s advice when they are trying to help him on his journey. “O damned confusion! Can this be a ruse to trick me from the boat for some god’s pleasure? No I’ll not swim; with my own eyes I saw how far the land lies that she called my shelter.” (V, 369-372) Leukothea, a Nereid, saw Odysseus suffering and gave him instructions to help him. Instead of embracing her advice, Odysseus disregards it, thinking it be a ploy from Poseidon. Odysseus, as well as ...


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... in it. “With our brand we bored that great eye socket while blood ran out around the red hot bar. Eyelid and lash were seared; the pierced ball hissed broiling, and the roots popped.” (IX,420-423) He could of found a different means of defeating Polyphemos, but instead injured him.
Due to Odysseus’s disrespect, his poor leadership, and his cruelty, he is not a hero. A hero should be someone that is respectful towards all he meets, he should also be a strong leader and should do what is best for his crew. Likewise, he should never cruel, but compassionate and understanding. Though Odysseus may be considered a hero by some, the negative incidents that occurred in The Odyssey strongly overpower the good occurrences. A hero should be someone an individual could look up to, but Odysseus has had far too many blunders during his hero’s journey to truly be called a hero.

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