The Odyssey By Arthur Ashe Essay

The Odyssey By Arthur Ashe Essay

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Arthur Ashe, a renowned tennis player who contributed his later life to research for AIDS, once said, “True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost.” By stating this, Ashe expresses that a true hero does not look to win against people but will help them along the way. The Odyssey, an epic centered around a so called “hero,” from the Trojan War, narrates the struggles and difficult decisions the main character Odysseus makes in order to get back to his son Telemachus and wife Penelope. Although Odysseus shows many gallant qualities, like being courageous, strong, and brave, he shouldn’t be considered a hero because he doesn’t meet other heroic requirements such as being soft-spoken about himself or honest.
One heroic quality to look for in Odysseus, which he blatantly does not have, is humility; being humble. This is an important quality to seek for because it shows a hero’s true intentions- why they do what they do. Charles F. Harper mentions in the article How do we choose a hero?, “While fame, fortune, and power may come their way, attaining them is not the goal. Heroes who deserve biography, autobiography or memoir are people who may attract attention, but direct that attention beyond themselves to do something greater” (Harper). Harper conveys that even if fame and triumph comes to a hero, they should use that greatness to propel them into making another change in the world. He also states that not glory, but change, should be a hero’s goal. In Odysseus’s case, praise is all he wants. He repeatedly looks to be complimented and this is demonstrated when Odysseus appears on princess Nausicaa’s land. After ask...


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...ses, Odysseus goes against these morals, from lying, to bragging about himself openly. When Odysseus is asked to reveal his identity, he simply could have said his name and where he came from. Instead, he adds many adjectives after his name to make him seem like a God. Odysseus also constantly lies to his crew. A hero must exhibit the virtues of being impartial and humble no matter how challenging the situation. Odysseus does not tell the crew what is in store for them in two separate situations. The first time he does not tell them that malevolent winds are in the bag, it can be considered as a mistake. The second instance Odysseus doesn’t tell them that their death could have been avoidable, and that they would all cease to exist, was a choice. Odysseus’ boastful and dishonorable character bring to light the reasons Odysseus should not be considered a hero.

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