Odysseus: A Hero

1330 Words6 Pages
Odysseus: A Hero

Heroism was not an invention of the Greeks. Yet, through the first hundreds

years of their civilization, the Greek literature has already given birth to

highly polished and complex long epics that revolved around heroes. These

literature works gave many possibilities of definition of heroism. The Greeks

illustrated heroism to obey the rules laid down by the gods and goddesses, and

those who obey the rules would gain honor and fame. The Greeks regarded

intelligence as one of the highest gifts that all heroes must posses. The

Greeks required that all heroes must have courage. Odysseus, one of the heroes

of the epic "Odyssey" standout. He was constantly expected to be a true hero,

always obey the rules laid down by the immortals, posses wisdom and courage.

The Greeks believed that all heroes must always obey the Guest/Host relationship

rule-- which all guests must treat the hosts with courtesy, and the host must

treat the guests properly-- laid down by the gods and goddesses. Those who did

not obey the rule would be punished severely. Odysseus throughout the epic,

demonstrated that he obeyed the Guest/Host relationship rule. Odysseus always

following the Guest/Host relationship rule, a characteristic that all heroes

must have according to the Greeks' tradition . All heroes must followed the

rule because if they did not, they would be punished by the immortals, and would

not be recognized as heroes. When Odysseus reach the land of the Cyclops race.

Odysseus decided to pick his best men, goods offered as gifts, and headed toward

a Cyclops's cave. When his men saw cheese, pens, and lamb on lying on the racks,

they pleading to Odysseus, "Why not take these cheeses, get them stowed, come

back, throw all the pens, and make a run for it? We'll drive thekids and lambs

aboard. We say put out again on good salt water!" Odysseus dismissed the

suggestion, "I wished to see the cave man, and what he had to offer." Odysseus

dismissed the suggestion of his men, and choose to wait to greet the Cyclops

with the gifts as in the custom of the Guest/Host relationship rule. Those

actions and sayings showed that Odysseus was always following Guest/Host

relationship rule, an example for his men to look up to. Odysseus's actions

spoke for his character. He posses the characteristic that meets the criteria

of always obeying the rules...

... middle of paper ...


Throughout the epic, Odysseus was a hero. He had indeed pre-eminent qualities

and much that were beyond the capacity of normal men. It was when problems

come that these heroic traits emerged. When his men asked Odysseus to steal the

goods from the Cyclops, which break the rule of Guest/Host relationship, he

refused. He showed that he always obey the rules laid down by the immortals.

When his men were turned into swine by the goddess Circe, he made Circe swore to

reversed her action in trade for him to make love to her. He showed cunning.

When Circe told him about Scylla and her unforgiving power, he asked how to

fight Scylla to help his men avoid horrible deaths. He showed courage. We know

him less from what he thought, which was seldom revealed, than by what he says

and did, and his actions follow naturally from his characteristics. If the

cunning of Odysseus is mentioned more than his courage , it was his courage that

gets him into the scrapes from which his cunning had to deliver him. Odysseus

had the all the qualities that the Greek tradition required of all heroes, which

were obey the rules of gods, posses intelligence, and displayed courage. He

was a hero.

More about Odysseus: A Hero

Open Document