Odysseus Is Not The Hero Essay

Odysseus Is Not The Hero Essay

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There is a hero in every story, the Odyssey is no different, Odysseus is the portrayed hero in this epic but Odysseus is not the hero. The characteristics that make a hero are courage, humility and selflessness and Odysseus doesn’t meet all the criteria. Although Odysseus was incredibly courageous and cunning that isn’t enough to classify him as the hero of the story. He wasn’t selfless, he may have longed to go home to his family and homeland, but these thoughts were contradicted by his actions. Odysseus was lacking in humility, he was a king after all, and he was not ashamed to let everyone know of his endeavors. Odysseus was the modern-day definition of a tool, he was extremely boastful and he cheated on his faithful wife, only to kill every man that tried to court her in his absence. The real hero of this story is hard to uncover because it’s a development of the character throughout the story, unlike Odysseus who is already a developed character with a name for himself.
Courage is the only heroic trait that Odysseus has and that is only when he is still with his crew, after that it appears he just gives up. When Odysseus and his crew first left Troy they faced many obstacles and he stepped up and thought up a way to get them out of trouble. The first place they came upon in their journey home was the land of the Lotus-Eaters, where only two men and a herald were sent to scope things out and report back, but when they ate the Lotus flower they no longer had the desire to report back and Odysseus himself brought them back to the ship. Then they came upon the Cyclops’ island where once again Odysseus was courageous and able to save what was left of his men. On the island of Calypso, the beautiful goddess, we see Odysseus longi...


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...eep. But make it right, friends, for you have the power.” and expecting the king of Aeolia to compensate him again for his own mistake.
All in all Odysseus does not meet the requirements to be the hero of the Odyssey. A better suited hero would be his son Telemachus, who selflessly went in search for news of his father leaving behind his dwindling wealth in the hands of pigs, just so he and his mother would finally know the truth. Telemachus was also humble, he didn’t boast of the fortune he would inherit nor did think of himself as more important than others. Telemachus’ hero status was a development throughout the story and in the end he showed more courage than his own father in the battle against the suitors. He stood by his father’s side against over 100 suitors and, unlike his father, his knees didn’t shake out of fear when the suitors got armor and weapons.

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