Odysseus the Epic by Homer Essay

Odysseus the Epic by Homer Essay

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Ever since the beginning of time men and women have told countless stories of adventure, discovery, and conquest. These stories often divulge the grand adventures of epic heroes. An epic hero is someone with abundant importance whose actions involve perilous journeys and marvelous warrior skills in war or battle (Abram). In Homer’s Odyssey, Odysseus, the king of the great island of Ithaca, is called to fight alongside the Greeks in the Trojan War. The Greeks defeated the Trojans with the help of clever Odysseus’ Trojan horse. Odysseus qualifies as an epic hero because, like all epic heroes, Odysseus undertakes a long, dangerous journey, demonstrates his extraordinary speaking skills by speaking to countless friends and enemies with confidence, and by encountering divine or supernatural forces and foes.
All epic heroes take on a very long and dangerous journey, including a trip to the Underworld (Allingham). Odysseus also undertakes an extensive and treacherous journey from Troy back to his home on the island of Ithaca. After defeating the Trojans and plundering Troy during the Trojan War, Odysseus and his men begin their journey back to Ithaca. While telling his story, Odysseus explains to Alcinous about his “years / of rough adventure, weathered under Zeus” (Homer 38-39). Although the journey is fated by Zeus, Odysseus is able to make it home after ten years. Throughout this long journey, Odysseus faces dangerous challenges. During his travels, Odysseus is given a bag of storm winds captured by Aeolus, King of Winds. While Odysseus is not paying attention, his men open the bag of winds, releasing them, hurling their ship completely off course. As a result of this, the journey back to Ithaca is much lengthier and certainly more ...


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...es human like qualities and emotions. He shows strength and determination, but he also demonstrates sadness and love. Demonstrating these qualities does not make him any less of an epic hero, but rather helps prove that he is also a human at heart.



Works Cited
Abram, M.H. A Glossary of Literary Terms. Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning, 2014. Print.
Allingham, Phillip. “Notes on Heroic Poetry: The Primary and Secondary Epic.” The Victorian Web. The Victorian Web, 2005. Web. 25 Feb. 2014.
Frank, Bernhard. “Homer’s Odyssey.” The Explicator. 58.4 (2000): 179. Literature Resource Center. Web. 27 Feb. 2014.
Homer. The Odyssey. Trans. Robert Fitzgerald. Prentice Hall Literature: Language and Literacy. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, 2010. 1044-1114. Print.
Stillman, Peter. “How to Identify a Hero.” Introduction to Myth. Portsmouth, NH: Boynton/Cook, 1985. Print.

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