Comparing The Hero In Homer’s The Odyssey With The Modern Hero Described In Whitman’s I Hear America Singing

682 words - 3 pages

One of the main similarities in ancient Greek epics is that there are always great heroes who overcome many difficult and daunting challenges and goes on long adventures. The issue of heroic stature and the character of the hero have a great importance on the epics itself. Classical Greek heroes are usually born to do great things, go on epic journeys and in the end they would receive a reward for their troubles.

In Homer’s the Odyssey, Odysseus has many different qualities that classify him as a hero. He is brave and courageous as shown when he murdered all the suitors who were disrespecting his property even though he was outmanned by them. Despite this, he is by no means all brawn and no brain as he shows his intelligence and cunning numerous times during the epic. A few example of this would be when he was able to blind the one-eyed Cyclops while the rest of his crew didn’t know what to do. Odysseus in many ways is similar to a flowing river, because whenever there is a problem (dam in the river), he would first try to go through it, but if he can’t he would then find a way around it. This is shown when he thinks of the plot of the wooden horse to get inside the city of Troy and ultimately destroying Troy.

In the poem “I hear America sing” taken from: Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman, there are many similarities and differences between the modern heroes described in the poem from the Hero described in the Odyssey. Right at the beginning in the second line of the poem, Whitman uses the words blithe and strong. These two words are very important because they represent the American dream of being free, happy and strong. It describes a modern hero as strong and brave which are also classic hero characteristics and because of the fact that mechanics were the ones to say it, it displays intelligence. It also suggests that the hero should be allowed to freely roam around and go on their...

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