An Ancient Hero Essay

919 words - 4 pages

Everyone has his own definition of a hero. Some imagine the classic comic book character: a figure dressed in brightly colored tights and a flapping cape, always engaged in an adventure of some sort. Others think up images of big, burly men and women who save lives every day serving as firefighters, policemen, and the like. Even intellectuals and inventors, from Voltaire to Edison, are viewed as some of society’s “greats”. These descriptions may seem very different when grouped together, but in reality they have plenty in common. Each individual noted is clever, dedicated, courageous, and respected. These qualities they possess truly identify them as heroes. But where did we get this ...view middle of the document...

” By revealing that he knew exactly what to do in this situation, with only a short amount of time to act, the main character gives readers a reason to view him as a hero.
Odysseus’ courage, or ability to face danger without fear, is another reason he is seen as a hero. Again, Odysseus is telling his story of the Cyclops. After seeing the creature for the first time, he and his men were frightened. Their emotions became much more real after they heard the anger in Polyphemos’ voice. Even though Odysseus felt the same way as his companions, he knew he must take his place as their leader. On page 111 of Book IX, he says of the moment, “While he spoke, our hearts were wholly broken within us to see the horrible monster and to hear that beastly voice. But I managed to answer him.” Odysseus was obviously the only one who had the courage to respond, making him extraordinary beside his seemingly helpless men.
Dedication is another quality all heroes possess. Odysseus shows this trait when he tells of his trip to the land of the lotus-eaters. The natives were kind and offered lotus to their visitors, which they accepted. Soon, it is clear why the lotus-eaters were so welcoming: the plant calms them. It calmed Odysseus’ men to the point where they would rather stay and eat lotus forever than return home, which they have been working so hard towards for so long. Being the great leader he is Odysseus took initiative and literally dragged the men who had tasted the plant back to the ship. He follows by saying, on page 107 of Book IX, “Then I ordered the rest to hurry up and get aboard, for I did...

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