Odysseus: A True Hero Essay

868 words - 3 pages

In The Odyssey, Homer tells of the journey of Odysseus. In his journey home, Odysseus’ character flaws and strengths are revealed. Through it all, Odysseus is able to overcome his obstacles and prove his leadership abilities. This is done either by the aid of the gods or by his wit and cunning. He also goes through a personal transformation, gaining a new view of himself and learns his place to the gods. Odysseus proves himself as a hero by being a good leader, overcoming his challenges, and realizing his place in life.
Odysseus is able to lead his men through hell and back and motivate them in the gloomiest of situations, proving to be a true leader. Odysseus is very encouraging in his journey, guiding and motivating his men in their moment of need. He cheers them on as they approach Skylla and encourages them with his words; “Friends, have we never been in danger before this... steer for the headland; watch the drift, or we fetch up the smolder, and you drown us” (XII, 269-287) He also shows his compassion to his men when Eurylokhos returns after witnessing the horrifying transformation of the scout party into pigs. Odysseus tells him to “rest here then; take food and wine; stay in the black hull’s shelter” (X, 299-300), and then goes off to save them. He also rescues his men from certain death multiple times. He tells them to seal their ears with wax when they approached the Sirens and he also is forced to drag his men back to the boat when they fall under the spell of the Lotus. Odysseus also feels guilty for the men who didn’t make it. After only he and his ship mates escape the Laistrygon’s, he weeps for the ones who were lost. He is also equally mortified when the six oarsmen were whisked away “I happened to glance aft at ship and oarsman… calling my name for the last time” (XII, 320-323), and feels haunted by his inability to save them. Odysseus managed to guide his men through thick and thin and through in the most impossible of situations, proving he was an extraordinary leader.
Odysseus also used his wit and cunning to overcome impossible tasks. He was able to overcome his physical challenges. One was when he and his men were trapped by Polyphemos, where Odysseus managed to save them from certain death by tricking and blinding the Kyklops. He also was able to save his men from Kirkes by defeating her magic and laying with her. Odysseus also overcomes loneliness. On...

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