Most people believe that Odysseus is a hero in the Iliad due to his victories against the Trojans and for taking over the city of Troy. Through the teachings it is portrayed that way, but he is shown as a hero through other events in the book. Odysseus is not the only hero shown in this epic. Achilles is another main character that shows heroic actions as well. The difference between the two is that Odysseus uses his genius mind and unique thoughts to win battles and get out of traitorous situations, while Achilles uses strength and power. Although Achilles displays great acts of heroism, Odysseus reveals more heroism in the way he handles situations, his selflessness, and his ability to overcome all problematic obstacles that he encounters on his journey home.
During the Trojan War, Achilles and Odysseus work together to defeat the Trojans. After the death of Patroclus, Achilles tries to rush straight into war, but Odysseus convinces him to get revenge through strategy. Odysseus says, “Any army must fight on a full stomach” (Coleman-Norton, pg. 75). By reminding Achilles that the army must eat before fighting, Odysseus shows he thinks ahead before entering the war.
During another event, Odysseus devised the idea of making a giant wooden horse and hiding his men inside to give as a gift of surrender to the Trojans. In fact, he came up with the plan to have one of their own men state they must take it or the gods would be angry with them. Being a military hero, Odysseus ranks below Achilles, but he is a much greater figure that who can keep going and win without despair, even with the disfavor of the gods (The English Journal, pg.115).
After the Trojans brought the horse in, the men destroyed the city th...
... middle of paper ...
... the wisest of all the counselors (Coleman-Norman, pg.75).
Despite the fact that Achilles displays numerous acts of heroism, Odysseus shows more through his troubles and obstacles that he encounters on his journey back home. Odysseus uses his shrewd thinking, calmness, and bravery to get him through, while Achilles uses brawns and power. He lets pride and anger get in the way of what is best for the military power he is in charge of. Achilles decides he would rather kill Hector and die than leave Patroclus unavenged (Finkelberg, pg.1). This shows his bravery, but pride that gets in the way of his military success. Odysseus is the voice that is rational and smart when helping Achilles. He is regarded as a greater hero than Achilles because he is the overall untypical hero (Finkelberg, pg. 3) that utilizes his plans to win the war and return Helen back to the Greeks.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- 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.... [tags: Character Analysis]
1234 words (3.5 pages)
- Throughout history the themes of literature has stayed relatively the same; the situations have been updated to appeal to a modern audience. One common trait in great movies and literature is the presence of a heroic figure. Odysseus can be classified as a hero, because he departed from his home Ithaca the day his son Telemachus was born and leaving his wife Penelope to fight in the Trogon war. Odysseus starts out his journey with six hundred crewmen and twelve ships. Through a series of unfortunate events Odysseus looses all his ships and crewmen.... [tags: Odyssey, Odysseus, Penelope, Hero]
979 words (2.8 pages)
- Odysseus’ Character Development Homer’s literature served as a moral messenger to the people of ancient Greece. The Odyssey by Homer demonstrates the character development of Odysseus, the epic hero, and his journey of self-discovery. Odysseus was a great, wise, noble, and well respected war hero to his people. Odysseus had one tragic flaw that was demonstrated by his actions throughout the book. The author Homer continued to strip Odysseus of his arrogance throughout the story, by throwing challenges his way, making him pay for his mistakes, and allowing him to continue to overcome obstacles.... [tags: Odyssey, Odysseus, Homer, Hero]
1200 words (3.4 pages)
- Odysseus is known as a great war hero and leader who encounters and conquers unimaginable obstacles in his quest to return to Ithaca. This is understandable, given that Homer often uses Odysseus’ point of view in recounting his tortuous ten-year journey. However, beneath the surface is another perspective that is often overlooked, namely, that of Odysseus’ men who accompany him on this journey. Odysseus often glosses over his shortcomings as a leader and accentuates or even exaggerates his successes.... [tags: odysseus, homer, cicones]
905 words (2.6 pages)
- The monumental piece of non-fiction work titled “The Hero with a Thousand Faces,” first published in 1949 by Joseph Campbell points out an apparent monomyth of the hero through superb use of example and literary analysis. In this book Campbell presents three main phases of the archetypal hero; The Departure, The Initiation, and The Return. Within these three main phases there exist numerous sub-phases that describe nearly all aspects of the hero’s journey and its’ impact upon the entire monomyth.... [tags: Joseph Campbell, Heroes, Hero with a Thousand Face]
1134 words (3.2 pages)
- In Homer’s The Odyssey, the main protagonist, Odysseus, is trying to make his way home to Ithaca, ten years later, after the end of the Trojan War. Odysseus is portrayed as a hero throughout the epic; however, the events surrounding his heroism is with considerable help from the gods and goddess. Being a hero is defined as a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities. Based on the play, there is evidence to suggest that Odysseus is not a hero as defined but that he relied on the help of the gods and goddess.... [tags: Odyssey, Odysseus, Trojan War, Greek mythology]
835 words (2.4 pages)
- The overall impression of the legendary hero, Odysseus, is one of great honor. His strength, resilience, and ambition, raises a level of respect and admiration among everyone he encounters. His trials and tribulations throughout two decades of death and adventures only amplifies his complex mind. In order to choose a single characteristic of Odysseus, one must strip back all of his strengths and flaws alike to reveal the true core of his nature. Odysseus is illuminated by his audacious essence. This supplies a level of originality and bold decision making that most others do not have the privilege of naturally having.... [tags: Odyssey, Trojan War, Trojan Horse, Odysseus]
889 words (2.5 pages)
- In the Odyssey Homer tells of the difficulties Odysseus encounters Jon his journey back to Ithaca. The term Odysseus can be used in many different context but holds similar meanings. It can be argued that Odysseus character is a true definition of an epic hero who encounters many dilemmas and challenges along his journey trying to get back to his homeland. A hero is someone who is admired for his or her great accomplishments or someone who is affected by outstanding events. According to the articles the term Odysseus was portrayed as a hero just like the poem by Homer the Odyssey.... [tags: Odyssey, Odysseus, Homer, Ithaca]
1165 words (3.3 pages)
- In Homer’s The Odyssey, the character of Odysseus is renowned as a noble epic hero. However, is Odysseus’ reputation truly justified by his intellect and cunning. Is he truly one “who for all craft am noted among men, and my renown reaches to heaven” (80). Or is he, as a mortal man, also susceptible to the temptation of pride and boastfulness. Nevertheless, while Odysseus shows instances of rashness and naivety during his journey, such as lingering in the cyclops’ cave and revealing his name to Polyphemus, he evidently matures as a character and epic hero throughout the journey, such as when he disguises himself when he returns to Ithaca and when he devises a plan to defeat the suitors.... [tags: Odyssey, Homer, Trojan War, Odysseus]
854 words (2.4 pages)
- Odysseus: A Hero Heroism was not an invention of the Greeks. Yet, through the first hundreds years of their civilization, the Greek literature has already given birth to highly polished and complex long epics that revolved around heroes. These literature works gave many possibilities of definition of heroism. The Greeks illustrated heroism to obey the rules laid down by the gods and goddesses, and those who obey the rules would gain honor and fame. The Greeks regarded intelligence as one of the highest gifts that all heroes must posses.... [tags: Greek Gods Odysseus Sophocles Essays]
1330 words (3.8 pages)