The main character of the Odyssey, Odysseus the King of Ithaca is given a complex personality to an extent where it is hard to identify whether he is a true hero or not. True heroism is only achieved when a person achieves certain qualities that portray heroism. Odysseus is not a hero based on the standards of merciful, selfless, and gentle because of his actions of sacrificing his men, killing the suitors and being ruthless throughout the Odyssey. Along with many others qualities these three are helpful and necessary in a hero. A hero must be willing to do service for others and put the needs of others safety and protection before his own. Odysseus does not even come close to matching these qualities because he is a person, who only serves of himself, and he sacrifices his allies to achieve his goals and often he takes action ruthlessly.
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.
A hero accepts who he is as an individual, but strives to change himself for the better. In the epic poem, The Odyssey, by Homer, the main character Odysseus is a valiant king who embarks on a life-changing voyage. While traveling from Troy back to his home in Ithaka, King Odysseus overcomes daunting obstacles, and in doing so discovers his place in the world. Odysseus is truly a heroic figure because he demonstrates courage, improves his character, and wins the support of the gods.
Odysseus portrays himself as anything but a hero throughout Homer’s The Odyssey. Odysseus goes through his life believing he is the best. He has no regard for anyone’s feelings but his own, and he believes nothing and no one can harm him, not even the gods. Odysseus feels he is always the leader and no one can tell him otherwise. Odysseus should not be considered a hero because he portrays himself as a selfish man that failed his crew, and is controlled by his hubris.
Through temptation and torture, Odysseus never forgets that he must put others’ needs before his own desires. Like a hero, Odysseus has to sacrifice the options that benefit him in order to benefit his others. Specifically, Odysseus accepted the fact that he laid with Kirke in order to free his men from her spell. Though it went against all of his ethics and unfaithful to Penelope, Odysseus’s main objective was to return home with all of his crew alive. He illustrates his true loyalty to Penelope when he declines Kalypso’s offer of immortality. Odysseus immediately responded and refused Kalypso’s offer: “My lady goddess…come (Book V, 223-233).” Many individuals would not decline immortality, but he did not ponder over the thought of living for eternity. Odysseus made this decision based on his ethics and because of true love. Odysseus also makes ethical decisions to save people’s lives. For instance, ...
There are numerous heroes throughout “The Odyssey,” but none of them are as significant as Odysseus. “The Odyssey” is a narrative poem written by Homer (around 800 and 600 BCE) to show the numerous adventures and experiences Odysseus goes through. Throughout the Odyssey, Odysseus a prominent Greek epic hero is on a quest to return back to his home in Ithaca; to his wife Penelope, and his son Telemachus. Just like real life, not all heroes are picture-perfect; they all have imperfections. In this case, Odysseus is sometimes insolent, and discourteous; but he is still considered an epic hero because of the many heroic qualities he endures. Odysseus proves himself to be an outstanding hero in various ways such as showing loyalty, intelligence, bravery, strength, and courage which are all some of the most momentous qualities found in a hero. If a true hero can prove they are a true hero, makes them a true hero.
The epic poem The Odyssey, written by Homer, centers around the main protagonist Odysseus and his long journey back home. Odysseus, the king of Ithaca, returns home after defeating the Trojans in a ten year war. On his way back, he angers Poseidon, god of the sea, by blinding his son, Polyphemus the Cyclops. Due to Odysseus’ actions, Poseidon refuses to let Odysseus reach home, and Odysseus and his crew are forced to go through a series of obstacles throughout the epic. Through this adversity, Odysseus must show his heroic attributions in order to survive. Homer portrays Odysseus as a hero by giving him characteristics such as: craftiness, loyalty, and bravery.
“Men hold me / formidable for guile in peace and war (Homer 488).” The quote in the beginning of Book 9 perfectly sums up Odysseus because he does indeed fulfill what he states. Odysseus is a hero that would be known for his effectiveness in war and, generally, his great ability to overcome other troubles. He cleverly maneuvers his crew eventually back to their homeland surmounting many perils that any other person could not. He never loses hope and he never lets it get in his way. In the epic poem The Odyssey by Homer, Odysseus is a hero because Odysseus is loyal to his crew, he is a clever and intelligent man, and he is a courageous soldier and leader on the voyage back to Ithaca.
Odysseus is a brave man trying to do what is best for his crew, “ he fought only to save his life, to bring his shipmates home.” (Homer, lines 8/9). Odysseus does what he can to protect his men even when he knows they are not going to survive. These characteristics represent what the Greeks actually valued in their society. Odysseus goes on a quest to fight for his people, then gets stuck on a long journey home. “Every hero undergoes a quest” (Julie Harris, pg. 2). When on this journey, Odysseus comes across many obstacles that cause him to show his hero like characteristics. Odysseus starts as an ordinary guy, but with the given circumstances he must change. “What experiences create a need for a hero to respond.” ( Julie, Harris Pg.4). Odysseus’ life is normal until his journey home, where he is forced to become a leader and take care of his men. The hero also comes into contact with some temptresses on his way home such as
Epic heroes shape the history of Greek mythology. They resonate through history for their ability to survive, their prowess in battle, and the favor with the gods. But when one delves deeper, most of the “heroes” appear as egotistic, ostentatious men. However, one man stands out from the rest. One man is more than a hero. Odysseus, king of Ithaca, echoes through Greek myths as a man above all others. Homer’s The Odyssey, an epic of one man’s journey home from the Trojan war, describes Odysseus as a man who loves his family and country, a man with patience and compassion, and one who also possesses frailties that one can recognize as human.