Not Always the Hero Essay

Not Always the Hero Essay

Length: 2022 words (5.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Heroes are found everywhere. They are seen in movies, on television, in books, and in reality. A hero can be anyone from a friend to a fictional character. To be considered a hero, one must make selfless sacrifices, develop and learn, overcome challenges and temptations, and ultimately present their known world with a gift of any kind. Homer’s The Odyssey paints a picture of the supposed savior Odysseus. The irony of Odysseus’ situation is that he really is not the marvelous hero that many who read The Odyssey see him to be. When imagining a great hero, the words of cruel, unfaithful, selfish, or careless never come to mind, but the son of Laertes sets examples for each attribute. Odysseus makes many poor decisions that cause his dislikable traits to highly outweigh his few better ones. Several of his more prominent characteristics are exhibited on numerous accounts. Odysseus cannot possibly earn the title of being a hero because he harbors hubris, he displays a lack of faith, and his self-centeredness causes unfortunate events.
Odysseus’ has hubris and excessive pride in himself, the gods he believes in, and his accomplishments, which hold him back and do not allow him to reach hero potential. The pride that Odysseus has in his name is visible throughout his entire tale he is telling to the Phaiakians and King Alkinoos. Starting the story of his journey, Odysseus already begins to display his hubris when he explains to his hosts who he is and where he hails from. After stating that he is the son of King Laertes of Ithaka, Odysseus shares that, “Men hold me formidable for guile in peace and war: this fame has gone abroad to the sky’s rim” (IX, 21-23). He believes that he is so well known that the Phaiakians should know him from t...


... middle of paper ...


... (XI, 225-227). Odysseus’ self-centeredness caused emotional and physical harm to those he cares about, preventing his ability to become a hero.
In Homer’s The Odyssey, the main figure Odysseus has excessive pride, a lack of faith, and selfish intentions, which prevent him from earning the title of hero. These mannerisms are just several examples of his multiple derogatory traits. They completely overpower the few positive attributes Odysseus possesses. The numerous negative behaviors that he displays are not those of a hero. Being chivalrous, determined, growing, or courageous in any way can make a hero. Helping others is an essential and main part of being a true hero. Even the smallest selfless act can make one a hero in another’s eyes. Heroes are discovered in every way possible, from pop culture to social interaction to the pages of a poem – just not this one.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about The Hero 's Journey As A Hero

- People questioned if Beowulf acts of heroism can really be called heroic. He may have done it just to gain fame, or made it sound unrealistic so that people would see him as a god. A hero is someone who is isn’t afraid to dance with death if it means doing what is right, or protecting someone. Beowulf has shown to have this characteristic by his tales of adventures. For example “I drove five great giants into chains, chased All of that race from the earth. In the darkness of the night hunting monsters Out of the ocean, and killing them one By one” (154-158)....   [tags: Beowulf, Hero, Grendel, Grendel's mother]

Powerful Essays
1667 words (4.8 pages)

The Hero 's Journey Or The Monomyth Essay

- The Hero’s Journey Or The Monomyth In every culture, there are stories that get past down from generation to generation (Campbell 1). Tales of knights who slay dragons and princesses who kissed frogs are a part of every culture. All over the world, stories share comment characteristic. Joseph Campbell introduces a theory based on this idea called the monomyth, the idea that stories all share the same narrative pattern, in the book The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Overall, this theory shows the same narrative pattern in stories throughout the world, which symbolically reveals all humans must tackle difficulties and overcome them many times throughout life (5)....   [tags: Monomyth, Hero, The Hero with a Thousand Faces]

Powerful Essays
1403 words (4 pages)

Essay on The Changing Concept of Hero

- When the hero was first struggling to be defined, there were many different observations and opinions readily available to be thrown into the melting pot of the definition. Because there was no television, the heroes in the beginnings of British Literature were spoken of and read about then passed down through generations. Reading these stories in this day and age is interesting to look at because we can trace the difference in the heroes throughout Beowlf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and The Faerie Queene and therefore literally throughout time....   [tags: Definition of Hero]

Powerful Essays
1000 words (2.9 pages)

The As A Tragic Hero Essay

- Aristotle, the Greek philosopher, characterizes plays or stories where the main character is a tragic hero, who confronts his downfall due to fate, his mistake or any other social reason as tragedies. In the novel “One foot in Eden” novel, set in the 1950s in Jocassee, a town in South Carolina, Rash tells the story of a local military veteran who suddenly disappears and the people who are involved in the case. Rather than follow the basic fiction formula of moving the plot in a straight line, Rash repeatedly switches the narration to give the story more depth....   [tags: Tragic hero, Tragedy, Mother, Hamartia]

Powerful Essays
1404 words (4 pages)

Essay on The Hero in A Farewell to Arms, by Ernest Hemingway

- Ernest Hemingway defined a hero as, “A man who lives correctly, following the ideals of honor, courage and endurance in a world that is sometimes chaotic, often stressful, and always painful.” It is blatantly apparent that Henry, the protagonist of A Farewell to Arms, did not exemplify any of these traits at all in the beginning of the novel. However, as the book progressed, Henry gradually learned how to be a “Hemingway Hero”, and he eventually progressed to the point where he completely embodied all that is expected of such....   [tags: Hemingway Hero]

Powerful Essays
1003 words (2.9 pages)

Essay on What is a Hero?

- Heroes What is a hero. How has the definition of heroism evolved in today’s society. When one thinks of a hero, does he think of batman or superman or does he think of the military men and women, or police officers and firefighters. The definition of hero, according to Merriam Webster, is a person who is admired for brave or great acts or fine qualities. People have different perceptions of who their heroes are. Who is to say which perception is right or wrong. Each person has his own personal idea of what a hero is....   [tags: Heroism, Evolved, Tday;s Society, Hero]

Powerful Essays
1525 words (4.4 pages)

Essay on Odysseus, A Hero

- ... My point is, it was ultimately Odysseus's skill in this area that kept him alive and allowed him to be successful. Besides being exceedingly clever, Odysseus was also very dedicated, both to his quest and his companions. Even in the bleakest of situations, Odysseus did not give up. For example, when the crew landed on the Island of the Sun, Odysseus, who knows that his crew is prophesied to perish there, warns his shipmates that their stores of food are on their ship and that they musn't eat the catle of the sun god, Helios, or they will all pay dearly for it....   [tags: literary analysis, true hero, Homer, Odyssey]

Powerful Essays
1125 words (3.2 pages)

Essay on What is a Hero?

- What is a Hero.      In today's modern times we hear the word hero all of the time. The news media throws the term around as if it is an everyday word. What exactly is a hero. Who, or what, can be classified as heroic. The correct definition of the word hero is: One invested with heroic qualities in the opinions of others. That is a fine definition for books and intellectual minds. To the average person, however, a hero is much more.      To better understand what a heroic quality is it may be easier to describe what a hero is not....   [tags: Hero Heroes Definition Essays Papers]

Free Essays
777 words (2.2 pages)

A True Hero Essay

- A True Hero As I read David Halberstam’s ideas in his essay, “Who We Are” (2004), I started thinking about our nation’s leaders and heroes. September 11th came to my mind and the many firefighters and rescue workers who heroically risked their lives to save complete strangers. Then, I remembered that the media dubbed Jessica Lynch a hero when she came back to the United States. Not only Jessica, but also many other American soldiers fighting abroad are called heroes. I started wondering if their bravery actually makes them true heroes or not....   [tags: Definition Hero Heroes Essays Role Model]

Powerful Essays
3557 words (10.2 pages)

My Hero Essay example

- My Hero What is a hero. In my view a hero is someone that you admire. You may admirer them for their achievements, outlooks in life or maybe just because they are famous. In this case I admire my hero for his courage and his determination all through his personal life and his career. This story begins in Bellshill near Glasgow 24th September 1962 where a Glaswegian boy was born. His parents Alexander and May called their miracle Alistair Murdoch McCoist. If only his parents had known the difference this baby boy would make to Scottish football in years to come....   [tags: Hero Heroes Personal Essays]

Powerful Essays
1441 words (4.1 pages)