Free Essays: The Charater of Odysseus of Homer's Odyssey

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The Charater of Odysseus of Homer's Odyssey

The most admired classical hero is most certainly Odysseus, the

mythological Grecian subject of Homer's epic tale, The Odyssey. This

legendary figure displays excessive amounts of brains and muscle, seeming

almost superhuman at times. He embodies the ideals Homeric Greeks aspired

to: manly valor, loyalty, piety, and intelligence. The popularity of

Odysseus transcends time. To this day he remains greatly admired as both a

hero and an ordinary man who must deal with great adventures and retrieving

the life he once had. For twenty years Odysseus overcame each obstacle the

gods handed to him. He was always respectful to the gods, acknowledging

their control of fate and realizing that he needed help if he was to ever

get back to Ithaca and his beloved family. He showed keen observation,

instinct, and caution. He is great at disguises, capable of concealing his

feelings, and a fast, inventive liar: heroic qualities that got him through

his adversities. Odysseus is also very human, and the reader can see these

many qualities as well. He is often moved to tears. He makes mistakes,

gets himself into tricky situations, and loses his temper. We see him play

not only a hero but also a husband, father, and son. He takes on the very

human roles of athlete, warrior, sailor, storyteller, carpenter, beggar,

and lover. He vividly displays human qualities like brutality and boldness,

while being sensitive and shy at the same time. It is these human

qualities that people can relate to. While he is no doubt a hero, Odysseus

is also viewed as a modern man, the pragmatic survivor. He must struggle,

suffer, and deal with the inescapable fate handed down to him from the

great beings atop Mt. Olympus. The average human can relate to Odysseus'

human qualities, while admiring him for the heroic traits they can only

hope to attain, making him so popular. Odysseus has the skills, strength,

and intelligence to qualify him as a hero, yet he still possess the

emotional constraints of a human, which together enable him to survive the

chaotic disorder of his adventure. His journey was rich with people and

places and totally unpredictable, just as life is for everybody. From

ancient Greeks to today's reader, it is easy to commiserate with Odysseus

while at the same time idolize him for dealing with life as it came at him.
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