Essay on Epic Hero in Homer's The Odyssey

Essay on Epic Hero in Homer's The Odyssey

Length: 958 words (2.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Good Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Epic Hero in Homer's The Odyssey

With its larger-than-life plot twists, The Odyssey is a classic representation of an epic in literature. With that understood, it is no surprise that the main character of the story helps to define an epic hero. A character must express certain virtues to be considered such. Strength, courage, and nobility are almost prerequisites. Cleverness is an added bonus. Odysseus possesses many characteristics and virtues that make him a true representation of an epic hero.
Strength is one characteristic that Odysseus exhibits. One scene that displays this is when Odysseus, disguised as a poor man, bends his old bow. "He bent the bow with little difficulty. With his right hand he grasped the string and let it twang beautifully. During all this, the suitors were amazed." 194. In contrast, the suitors cannot, try as they might. In particular, "Leiodes was the first to try. He was a fairly decent sort who did not approve of the suitors' arrogance. He took the bow and tried it. He couldn't stretch it. His hands grew sore from the unsuccessful attempt. 189." It enrages them that some pauper has the audacity to be superior in any way. Little do they know that this "pauper" doesn't only have physical strength, but strength of character, as well. Odysseus is able to control his temper, for the most part, and not let his anger betray his true identity to the suitors.
Strength and courage seem to go hand in hand. Alone the two are weak, but together they are nearly invincible. Even before the book takes place, Odysseus exhibits courage in being a war hero. Only the brave succeed so well in battle. In every trial that comes to pass, he shows courage to some extent. When Poseidon wrecks his ship, Odysseus cli...


... middle of paper ...


... an entire mansion's worth of armor. Odysseus, however, did. Even through his slaughter of the suitors, Odysseus is ever thinking. He commands the musician to play a wedding song to disguise the true action behind the walls. His plans generally worked themselves out. These displays of cleverness set him aside from the more common men. Cleverness is a trait that he is revered for. It proves to be lifesaving more than once.
Odysseus may not display all of the traits associated with epic heroes. However, he still shows a good deal of them. Strength, courage, and nobility are the materials that make up the cookie-cutter of epic heroes. Not all are quite as crafty as him, but that is what sets him apart and makes him his own person. A character doesn't need an unusual birth or foster parents to be considered epic. Odysseus sets a high bar for others classified with him.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

herody Odysseus as Epic Hero of Homer's Odyssey Essay

- Odysseus as Epic Hero of Homer's Odyssey        Homer's epic poem The Odyssey is about Odysseus' ten-year journey home from the Trojan War and what Odysseus has to do when he returns.  The journey itself is quite a story.  Odysseus and his men come in contact with many obstacles that they must overcome and there are more hurdles to jump when Odysseus reaches his destination.  Odysseus is an epic hero who, besides showing superhuman characteristics in strength, bravery and cleverness, also proves himself through his emotions, leadership, and the corrections in his faults....   [tags: Odyssey essays]

Good Essays
952 words (2.7 pages)

Odysseus was the Hero in the Epic, The Odyssey, by Homer Essay

- Odysseus is the hero in the Epic “The Odyssey” by Homer. He embodies many characteristics of a typical Epic hero, but he still strays from the norm in some ways, which makes him unique. He values Ithaca, his home, so much that he spends years getting back, struggling the whole way, and doing what it takes to protect his home. Throughout the whole story, Odysseus is trying to get home. Odysseus’s purpose is to get his men and himself back to Ithaca. On the way, he and his crew face many challenges meant to prevent them from getting home, such as harsh sailing conditions provided by Poseidon, a god who is mad at Odysseus for blinding his son, the Cyclops....   [tags: protector, wisdom, intelligence]

Good Essays
814 words (2.3 pages)

The Odyssey By Homer, An Epic Tale Of A Hero Essay example

- The Odyssey by Homer, an epic tale of a hero’s journey as he suffers for years to return home to his kingdom his wife and his child. The Odyssey tells of Odysseus’ long and perilous journey following the end of the Trojan War, in which he goes through many trials that cause him indescribable pain, misery, and sorrow. The trials however, were by his own doing, he was the catalyst of his own misfortune. Odysseus was a man of many strengths, but his shortcomings were the cause of his struggles. Shortcomings such as his hubris, his inability to trust others, and his curiosity brought about his calamity....   [tags: Odyssey, Trojan War, Odysseus, Poseidon]

Good Essays
1294 words (3.7 pages)

What Makes an Epic Hero in Homer´s The Odyssey Essay

- A Greek epic hero is the main character of an epic poem that is typically strong and uses his or her strength to battle monsters throughout a long lasting journey. “The Odyssey” written by Homer is an epic poem about a captain who leads a group of soldiers back to their homeland of Ithaca. Odysseus is considered an epic hero because he travels to various lands, fights monsters, and the Gods interfere with the human world to make his journey more difficult. One of the traits that make Odysseus an epic hero is that he travels to many far-off lands....   [tags: travels, fights, journey, human]

Good Essays
650 words (1.9 pages)

Odysseus, an Epic Hero in Homer´s The Odyssey Essays

- In the epic poem, They Odyssey written by Homer, Odysseus tells the story of how he gets home after being away for twenty years. Odysseus possesses superhuman strength and the ability to withstand harsh conditions. Odysseus experiences excessive frustration throughout his trip back to Ithaca and it becomes imperative for him to learn just how to maintain the frustration and keep it inside. On Odysseus’ journey home, he comes up with clever plans to get through every situation or problem thrown at him....   [tags: Frustration, Journey, Poem]

Good Essays
598 words (1.7 pages)

Essay on Brave, Strong, Smart, Or Lucky?

- Epic Heros: Brave, Strong, Smart, or Lucky. By definition, bravery is courageous behavior or character. Most stories, including epic poems, are based around the idea of bravery. Many people hold a common misconception about bravery. They believe that bravery is the same as being without fear. But being brave and being fearless are two different things. Many people skydive, do public speaking, ask questions, or enter relationships not because they are unafraid but because they are willing to overcome this fear....   [tags: Odyssey, Homer, Epic poetry, Hero]

Good Essays
1229 words (3.5 pages)

Odysseus Is A True Epic Hero Essay

- In Homer’s The Odyssey, the character of Odysseus is renowned as a noble epic hero. However, is Odysseus’ reputation truly justified by his intellect and cunning. Is he truly one “who for all craft am noted among men, and my renown reaches to heaven” (80). Or is he, as a mortal man, also susceptible to the temptation of pride and boastfulness. Nevertheless, while Odysseus shows instances of rashness and naivety during his journey, such as lingering in the cyclops’ cave and revealing his name to Polyphemus, he evidently matures as a character and epic hero throughout the journey, such as when he disguises himself when he returns to Ithaca and when he devises a plan to defeat the suitors....   [tags: Odyssey, Homer, Trojan War, Odysseus]

Good Essays
854 words (2.4 pages)

Essay on Homer's Epic Poem, The Odyssey

- ... This contrasts with Achilles' lack of sophrosune because Achilles is very rash in the decisions he makes in Troy as shown, in Book 1 when "down on the ground he dashed the scepter" (1.287) after his quarrel with Agamemnon. By doing this, he gives up all the power he once had, making him an outcast. Furthermore, additional proof of Odysseus' ability to think through situations is demonstrated in Book 6 when Nausicaa and her maids wake Odysseus up and he, naked, steps out of the bushes and contemplates about whether he should "fling his arms around her knees, plead for help, or stand back, plead with a winning word" (6.156)....   [tags: intellectual hero, martial hero, intelligence]

Good Essays
1058 words (3 pages)

Odysseus : An Epic Hero Essay

- In the Odyssey Homer tells of the difficulties Odysseus encounters Jon his journey back to Ithaca. The term Odysseus can be used in many different context but holds similar meanings. It can be argued that Odysseus character is a true definition of an epic hero who encounters many dilemmas and challenges along his journey trying to get back to his homeland. A hero is someone who is admired for his or her great accomplishments or someone who is affected by outstanding events. According to the articles the term Odysseus was portrayed as a hero just like the poem by Homer the Odyssey....   [tags: Odyssey, Odysseus, Homer, Ithaca]

Good Essays
1165 words (3.3 pages)

Odysseus : An Epic Hero Essay

- An epic hero can be defined as a brave and noble character in an epic poem. This character is admired for their great achievements. This definition is an exact fit for the main character in The Odyssey written by the blind poet, Homer. Odysseus left Troy after ten years of fighting in the Trojan War. With a victory under his belt, he headed back to his homeland of Ithaca. This journey took another ten years. Throughout this 20 year journey, Odysseus survived and conquered. Odysseus showed that he was a hero though many things; such as, being brave and cunning, having guides, servants and lastly being a mortal that is called upon to make a journey....   [tags: Odyssey, Greek mythology, Trojan War, Homer]

Good Essays
1001 words (2.9 pages)