preview

Odysseus The Hero

Powerful Essays
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 is a hero because he acts courageously while facing the many challenges he encounters. Odysseus’s shows great bravery when he engages in physical challenges. Odysseus daringly fights against the suitors, while significantly outnumbered: “For I must tell you this is no affair / of ten or even twice ten men, but scores, throngs of them” (XVI, 291 – 293). Even though Odysseus is facing hundreds of men, his bravery keeps him confident that he can win the battle. Odysseus must use his physical strength when Poseidon punishes him with turbulent waves: “Odysseus’s knees grew slack, his heart / sickened, and he said within himself / Rag of man that I am, is this the end of me?” (V, 307 – 309). Odysseus is exhausted from the torrential sea, yet refuses to give up because of enormous courage and his unwillingness to surrender. Odysseus must also cope with emotional challenges throughout his journey. His emotions are tested when he ventures to the underworld, Hades, and must confront his greatest fear, death: “From every side they came and sought the pit / with rustling cries; and I grew sick with fear. / But presently I gave command to my officers” (XI, 45 -47). Although Odysseus is deeply fearful when he comes face to face with the dead, his mental f...

... middle of paper ...

...imes, the gods provide necessary tools. And most importantly, the Gods support Odysseus by helping him when he is stuck in a difficult situation.

In conclusion, Odysseus deserves the title of a hero because he shows bravery, displays a change in character, and has the Gods supporting him throughout his journey home. Odysseus has the courage to overcome physical, emotional, and intellectual challenges. While Odysseus he is on the hero’s journey, he vastly improves his character. He changes from arrogant to humble, and learns leadership qualities, and most importantly, his place in the world. Odysseus has the revelation that the gods are above him, and are in control. Because he realizes the supremacy of the gods, his reward is assistance from the gods themselves. Odysseus is not a perfect man, and is flawed, just like every other human. However, heroes are not gods.
Get Access