Odysseus: an Epic Hero

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Picture this: a hero of great legends who travels to the underworld and back to get directions to his home from a blind prophet. It sounds like quite an impossible journey, but that is exactly what makes Odysseus all the more fascinating. The Odyssey, an epic poem orally transmitted by Homer, a Greek poet who wrote The Iliad, had to contain some variety of attributes that Greeks valued in a person. That one embodiment of what the Greeks found intriguing in a character is Odysseus. Odysseus is known as what is called an epic hero. An epic hero is a protagonist of a story that represents the most important attributes of a civilization. Odysseus, being based in ancient Greece, is the embodiment of intelligence, loyalty, and strength. To begin, one feature that makes Odysseus and epic hero is his intelligence. In order for him to have survived through his journey, he has to have a massive amount of intellect. To have survived a Cyclops is an accomplishment of its own. His ability to think on his feet and to plan situations and ability to make a right decision in horrid environments has helped him survive throughout his disastrous journey. When he is trapped by the Cyclops, Polyphemus, he has to carve, smooth, and sharpen a gigantic spear-shaped-pole out of a large tree that he and his strongest men would then use it on the Cyclops to blind it. In order to follow through with his plan, Odysseus has to sedate him. He gives Polyphemus an extremely strong wine, in which Polyphemus asks him his name. Odysseus replies: “My name is Nohbdy; mother, father, friends, everyone call me Nohbdy”(9.274-9.275) When the Cyclops passes out, Odysseus and four of his strongest men stab Polyphemus in his eye with the sharpened pole that he and his men ... ... middle of paper ... ... measure up to Odysseus’ strength and string the bow. Later on, when Odysseus is given a chance to string the bow, he does it so effortlessly that the epic poem compares it to harpist stringing his instrument with a sweet new string. This clearly shows his strength in comparison to the other warriors of Ithaca. In conclusion, Odysseus’ intelligence, loyalty, and strength are all key aspects which make Odysseus an epic hero. Besides having those characteristics, he has passed impossible tasks and could be compared to many American superheroes such as Batman. Both have relatively the same characteristics: strength, loyalty, intelligence, courage, and pride, but what makes them an epic hero is not entirely what they have been through. It is actually their ability to portray what their civilization finds most heroic in a person that makes them an epic hero.

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