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Odysseus, An Epic Hero Essay

838 words - 3 pages

Picture this, a hero of great legends who travels to the underworld and back to get directions to his home from a blind prophet. It sounds like quite an impossible journey, but that’s exactly what makes Odysseus all the more interesting. The Odyssey, an epic poem orally transmitted by Homer, a Greek poet, had to contain some sort of attributes that Greeks valued in a person. That one embodiment of what the Greeks found intriguing in a character is Odysseus. Odysseus is known as what is called an epic hero. An epic hero is a protagonist of a story that holds the most important attributes of a civilization. Odysseus, being based in ancient Greece, is the embodiment of intelligence, loyalty, and strength.
To begin, one trait that makes Odysseus and epic hero is his intelligence. In order for him to have survived through his journey, he had to have an enormous amount of intellect. To have lived through a Cyclopes is an accomplishment of its own. His ability to think on his feet and to plan well has helped him survive throughout his disastrous journey. When he was trapped by the Cyclopes, Polyphemus, he had to carve, smooth, and sharpen a gigantic spear-shaped-pole out of a large tree, in which he and his strongest men would then use on the Cyclopes. In order to follow through his plan, Odysseus had to sedate him. He gives Polyphemus an extremely strong wine, in which Polyphemus asks him his name. Reluctantly, Odysseus replies: “My name is Nohbdy; mother, father, friends, everyone call me Nohbdy.”(1.274-1.275) when the Cyclopes passes out, Odysseus and 4 of his strongest men stab Polyphemus in his eye with the sharpened pole that he and his men prepared. Blinding him, Polyphemus howls for the other Cyclopes to come to his aid. When they arrive, they ask him what ails him. “Nohbdy, Nohbdy’s tricked me, Nohbdy’s ruined me!” (1.317) by stating this, it sounds as if he has said that nobody has hurt him. This shows that Odysseus thought this plan through all the way and was ready for if his plan were to not go the way it should.
To continue, a second trait that makes Odysseus an epic hero is his loyalty. Despite all the trouble that happens to Odysseus and his, he stays loyal to them until their end. For example, when he comes home to his wife, he is still loyal to her in heart, but sadly not in body. When Odysseus sends his men to see what riches may...

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