Why Odysseus Is a Hero

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In Homer’s The Odyssey, the main character, Odysseus, is stranded at sea after the Trojan War. He must overcome many obstacles in order to reach his home, Ithaca. Throughout the book, we see the many admirable qualities that Odysseus possesses that makes him such an influential literary character: among them being cleverness and loyalty. However, every hero also has his weaknesses, and Odysseus’s main weakness is his pride. We can learn how to live our life from a hero’s good traits and bad traits Odysseus is known for not just using his strength; he uses his intelligence as well throughout his journey. He is clever enough to know how to use his enemy’s strength to his advantage. For example, when he is trapped in the Cyclops Polyphemus’s cave by a giant boulder, he knows that the boulder is too heavy for him and his men to move. If he kills Polyphemus, he has no way of getting out of the cave. Instead, Odysseus blinds the Cyclops and waits for him to move the boulder so he can escape. Another example of his wit is that Odysseus plans and thinks through what he is going to do before he acts. When he washes up on Scheria and sees that the princess Nausicaa is his only hope of rescue, he thinks through how he should approach her: “Should he throw his arms round her knees, and crave mercy of the lovely girl? or should he stand where he was, and ask her politely to give him some clothes and to show him the way to the city? When he thought over the matter, it seemed best to stand where he was and to speak politely and quietly, in case he might give offence to the girl by embracing her knees”(Homer 76). Odysseus realizes the best way to approach a stranger is not to throw himself all over them and approach them rashly, but to compl... ... middle of paper ... ...e son of Laertes, whose address is in Ithaca!” (110). Consequently, Polyphemus asks Poseidon that “may [Odysseus] never reach his home! But if it is his due portion to see his friends and come again to his tall house and his native land, may be come there late and in misery, in another man’s ship, may be lose all his companions, and may be find another tribulation at home!” (111). Odysseus also tries to build up his reputation throughout the book, such as when he passes the Sirens. He plugs the crew’s ears with wax, but ties himself up so he can be the only man to hear the siren’s song and survive. In conclusion, Odysseus was an incredible hero, not only for his brawn, but also his brains and his loyalty. Odysseus has been such an significant character in literature because readers can admire him for his many good qualities, and learn a lesson from his faults.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how odysseus is stranded at sea after the trojan war and must overcome many obstacles in order to reach his home, ithaca. every hero has his weaknesses.
  • Analyzes how odysseus uses his strength and intelligence throughout his journey. he knows how to use his enemy's strength to his advantage.
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