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Odysseus Honesty

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Arthur Ashe, a renowned tennis player who contributed his later life to research for AIDS, once said, “True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost.” By stating this, Ashe expresses that a true hero does not look to win against people but will help them along the way. The Odyssey, an epic centered around a so called “hero,” from the Trojan War, narrates the struggles and difficult decisions the main character Odysseus makes in order to get back to his son Telemachus and wife Penelope. Although Odysseus shows many gallant qualities, like being courageous, strong, and brave, he shouldn’t be considered a hero because he doesn’t meet…show more content…
Honesty is an important quality of a hero because it keeps people informed and well aware of who they should trust. Honesty in a hero assures people that the hero is reliable. Tayyab Babar declares, in his article 10 Traits of Successful Heroic Leaders, “Heroic leaders are always honest with everyone around them; they tell the truth and possess little tolerance for telling people what they want to hear” (Babar). When Babar says, “heroic leaders are always honest,” he is explaining that no matter the situation, a hero has to be honest. When Babar uses the phrase, “possess little tolerance for telling people what they want to hear,” he shows how even if it it hard to say the truth, it is the job of the hero to tell everyone. This applies to Odysseus when he chooses not to reveal to his crewmates that none of them will make it back home alive. No matter how hard it is to announce someone something as serious as their fate, a hero must complete the task. After facing the Laestrygonians, a group of cannibals who eat men, Odysseus returns to Circe, a witch, asking for a prophecy. When Odysseus relays what she said back to the crew, he leaves out the main part of the prophecy; that he will be the sole survivor. Odysseus says, “Dear friends, more than one man, or two, should know those things Circe foresaw for us and shared with me, so let me tell her forecast then we die…show more content…
They might say that he wanted them to live their life to the fullest without knowing the perils ahead of them. They could argue that Odysseus does not disclose to them the full length of Circe’s prophecy because he wants the last few moments of their life to be joyful and carefree. Although this may be true, Odysseus shows just how misleading he can be time and time again. Just after being trapped on Polyphemus 's’ island, Odysseus finds himself with Aeolus, the Wind God. Aeolus kindly gives Odysseus a pouch of winds to help him and his crew to get home. Homer writes, “During the voyage, the suspicious and curious sailors open the bag (thinking it contains treasure), and the evil winds roar up into hurricanes to plague the luckless Odysseus again,” (Homer 10.1007-1008). When Homer writes, “suspicious and curious,” he is trying to convey that again Odysseus does not alert his fellow crewmates. Odysseus is vague and deceptive about what is in the sack, insinuating that there is hidden treasure that he doesn’t want to share. Furthermore, if Odysseus had warned his men and had been truthful, they would not have taken an extra three years just to get home. He also could have avoided losing numerous of his men to Circe, who turned them into pigs, and Scylla and Charybdis, who brought down the few men that were still living. His dishonesty makes him less of a hero and causes a great deal of harm
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