How Odysseus Is A Hero Essay

1580 words - 6 pages

A person will typically think a hero as one who is equipped with great strength or ability. But a hero is more than just being brave or strong. In the epic poem The Odyssey by Homer, Odysseus goes through many challenges and is faced with his biggest weakness: his hubris or excessive pride. Though, Odysseus earns the title of a hero because he exhibits courage, utilizes cunning, and overcomes his hubris.
To begin with, Odysseus deserves to be called a hero because his courage is necessary for his survival. If Odysseus did not have courage, then he wouldn’t have survived the journey. Even though Odysseus is not fearless, he still has courage because he fights of the terrors. When approached with Polyphemos, the Kyklops, Odysseus was very afraid because the Kyklops was a huge man-eating monster. But Odysseus had the ability to not worry, control his men, and have the courage to fight the Kyklops using his wits. Another example is when Odysseus had the option to either go to Skylla and have only six men die or go towards Kharybdis and have either all men die or all men live. Odysseus was not very sure which one to go towards. The quote “that sight-far the worst I ever suffered” (XII, line 334) shows the reader that he was not fearless and rather frightened, but he was courageous by going with his “gut” feeling and going towards Skylla to risk six men instead all of them. Odysseus is also calm when in difficult situations, which means he doesn’t worry when things take a turn for the worst. Odysseus was calm when he was floating on the middle of the sea after the gods had destroyed his ship and his companions had died because they had eaten the cattle. It took him a lot of mental courage to stay calm and have hope that the gods would help him, and Zeus did. To add to that, Odysseus was also calm when he woke up on Ithaka and didn’t recognize where he was. Even though he thought that the Phaiakians deceived him, he realized that they hadn’t when he counted all the treasure and none of it was stolen. He didn’t lose control, only cried for a bit, and was calm when approached by a person. Finally, Odysseus also had the courage to speak up and take charge when necessary. On the way to Thrinakia, he warns the men of how he was informed not to stop there, for there would be a horrible destiny awaiting them. He knew that horrible things had happened to him and his shipmates in his past, such as Ismaros, and he didn’t want it to happen again so he took precautions. Another incident where Odysseus takes charge is when he is on Ithaka talking to Telemakhos. He speaks up and says, “This is not princely, to be swept away by wonder at your father’s presence” (XVI, 238-239). This quote demonstrates that Odysseus wasn’t going to let his son, Telemakhos, be a weakling. He spoke up and told him what was on his mind. All in all, Odysseus’s courageousness is what keeps him alive.
Furthermore, Odysseus uses his cleverness to finish his journey, making him earn the...

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