The Great Hero Odysseus

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Fictional heroes in literature are characters that embark on grueling, mind-altering journeys even though they receive no personal gain from these missions. Heroes overcome difficult challenges and resist temptations while also learning important life lessons and acquiring an enlightened perspective. The epic poem The Odyssey by Homer chronicles the great hero Odysseus’s return trip to Ithaka. His long and demanding voyage to his homeland leaves Odysseus a changed man. However, many argue whether Odysseus truly earns the title of “hero.” There is evidence for both sides of this argument. Because of his cleverness, his undying bravery and his ability to learn from past mistakes, Odysseus proves himself a hero. Odysseus’s clever and cunning skills allow him to make it back to Ithaka after a demanding expedition. He creates well thought-out plans to destroy obstacles in his path. When Odysseus and his men are trapped in the dwelling of Polyphemos, the Kyklops, he devises a plan to escape, knowing full well that utilizing his brains over the giant’s brawn will be the only way to make it out alive. Here Odysseus not only shows he is clever but also displays selflessness by put his men before himself. After returning home, Odysseus still have one more challenge to conquer: the suitors. With his son, Telemakhos, Odysseus is able to kill the suitors despite the uneven numbers. This is due to his carefully strategy that required sharp wits and enormous patience. Odysseus also proves he is not easily fooled by not immediately revealing his true identity to strangers. He knows that it is wise to keep his identity a secret. The beggar Odysseus is a great example of this deception. Odysseus returns to Ithaka a beggar so that the... ... middle of paper ... ... Hades, Odysseus gets right to work on properly burying Elpenor’s body. Previously, he had disregarded his fallen comrade’s body and left it there to rot. After realizing he was wrong, he does his best to rectify the situation. Towards the end of the poem, Odysseus makes plans to make his huge sacrifice to Poseidon for he did much to anger the great sea god in the past. Through fatal mistakes, Odysseus is able to learn important lessons and change his ways. Learning from past mistakes, displaying superior courage and having unmatched wits are the reasons Odysseus can be considered a hero. He endures difficult challenges and temptations to return to his kingdom, where chaos has overtaken. Along the way, he understands the true power of the gods and gains humility. Like a true hero, Odysseus is able to change for the better and sacrifices himself for others.

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