This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Odysseus Defines An Epic Hero Essay

1385 words - 6 pages

Odysseus Defines an Epic Hero


On a website posted by teachers at Harker Heights High, an epic hero is someone who embodies the values of a particular society. He is superhuman. An epic hero is braver, stronger, and cleverer than an ordinary person. He is on a quest for something of great value to him or his people. The villains that try to keep the hero from his quest are usually uglier, more evil, and more cunning than anyone we know in ordinary life. The epic hero is often of mixed divine and human birth and so possesses human weaknesses. And finally, the divine world often interferes with the human world in the hero's quest. In the Odyssey, by Homer and translated by Robert Fitzgerald, Odysseus embodies everything that is an epic hero, aside from being a mix of the divine and human birth. The story of The Odyssey is not just of Odysseus' journey from Troy to Ithaka, but also one of his journey from a sometimes foolish and almost immature warrior to an epic hero.
In book IX, Odysseus begins his tale of his trip from Troy to Phaiakia.

What of those years of rough adventure weathered under Zeus? The wind that carried west from Ilion brought me to Ismaros, on the far shore, a strongpoint on the coast of the Kikones. I stormed the place and killed the men who fought. Plunder we took, and we enslaved the women…(9.146)

The beginning of this tale displays the warrior who left Troy. He and his crew immediately go to battle and take control of the city. Although afterwards Odysseus recalls telling his men to stop and return to the ship, he never actually forcibly tried to make his men return, because at the time it was more about the victory of a battle then the message or values that were being fought for. Odysseus should have taken control and forced his men back, not doing so only got them driven out of the city and could have caused another battle. This episode shows Odysseus' slightly immature nature.
Odysseus and his crew's imprisonment with the Cyclops, Polyphemos, show signs of his epic hero characteristics, bravery and trickery, but at the same time signs of his immature and foolish side, his human weaknesses. Odysseus takes out the eye of the Cyclops saving the lives of himself and his remaining crew. But later, after getting free and setting sail, Odysseus taunts Polyphemos proudly stating who he is and that he was the one who took out his eye. Polyphemos then gets his father, Poseidon, god of the sea, to invoke rage in the sea causing his journey home to be set off course and prolonged once again.
Odysseus' journey to Hades, the land of the dead, shows a symbolic death for Odysseus and a later "rebirth." Here he meets with Teiresias who warns him of his later journeys and cautions him of his eventual return home to Ithaka where there is great danger and chaos for him. After this event Odysseus is more inclined to return home; He takes all of the advise and wisdom he has been given and realizes...

Find Another Essay On Odysseus Defines an Epic Hero

Odysseus, the Epic Hero Essay

1157 words - 5 pages an Ancient Greek epic hero. These four traits show that the Ancient Greeks valued people who are strong in mind and body, endure more than men can, give help to those in need, and are able to prove their worth . One of the four epic hero traits that Odysseus has, is that he has a plethora of exemplary attributes. For instance, Odysseus is able to “bored [bore] that [the] great eye socket” with an olive branch that he found in the cave, showing

Odysseus, an Epic Hero in Homer´s The Odyssey

735 words - 3 pages from his men because of his physical strength. The gods and goddesses provide Odysseus with superhuman features including endurance and strength, which is essential for Odysseus to be an epic hero. After Odysseus returned to Ithaca, he experienced frustration on a whole new level that he would have to learn to control. When Odysseus sees old Argos, “infected with ticks, half-dead from neglect,” he hides his tear because Eumaeus might see the

What events show Odysseus as an epic hero and what traits of an epic hero do they detail?

697 words - 3 pages An Epic Man Who Became an Epic HeroOdysseus, of Homer's Odyssey, is an appropriate hero and ruler of Ithaca. He does not act irrationally but contemplates his actions and their implications. Odysseus is an appropriate hero because he embodies the values of bravery, intelligence, astuteness, and competency. Odysseus is an appropriate ruler for Ithaca by virtue of his hereditary right to kingship as well as his diplomatic skills, familiarity with

Odysseus, An Epic Hero - How Odysseus fulfills all of the traits of an epic hero and how he goes through the hero's journey

782 words - 3 pages One man stands tall above the rest, the only man on the battlefield without a hint of fear in his eyes. Along with fearlessness, his determination and guile is simple to sense. These are just a few of the characteristics of an epic hero. One such hero is Odysseus, the central character of the epic poem The Odyssey by Homer. Odysseus is an epic hero who embodies many admirable traits but, not only, does he have all the characteristics of an epic

Odysseus As The Epic Hero In T

786 words - 4 pages An epic hero is the central hero of an epic, a long, narrative poem about the deeds of gods or heroes. He possesses qualities superior to those of most men, yet remains recognizably human. These heroes have a tragic flaw. This is what makes them a hero instead of a god. Gods are perfect. Odysseus is the hero in The Odyssey, an epic attributed to Homer. His tragic flaw is hubris, occasional occurrences of excessive, overbearing pride. Odysseus is

herody Odysseus as Epic Hero of Homer's Odyssey

1034 words - 4 pages Odysseus as Epic Hero of Homer's Odyssey        Homer's epic poem The Odyssey is about Odysseus' ten-year journey home from the Trojan War and what Odysseus has to do when he returns.  The journey itself is quite a story.  Odysseus and his men come in contact with many obstacles that they must overcome and there are more hurdles to jump when Odysseus reaches his destination.  Odysseus is an epic hero who, besides showing superhuman

Discusses the characteristics of the Ancient Hero, defines the specific features of the epic genre

1180 words - 5 pages explicitly detail the characteristic of excellence or a hero, but the behavior of the heroic characters can be analyzed to derive these attributes. Odysseus, Achilles and Diomedes are three of Homer's most note worthy characters in his epic poems that demonstrate the values of a hero's excellent. They personify what was expected of a classical Greek hero.One of Homer's most controversial heroes is Odysseus from the Odyssey. Odysseus, the king of Ithaca

The Long-Suffering and Self-Pitying Odysseus. The Odyssey by Homer This essay anaylyzes Odysses' character and his worth as an epic hero

1483 words - 6 pages despair at being so hated by the Gods. When we first encounter Odysseus, he is sitting alone on Calypso's island, "weeping, his eyes never dry, his sweet life flowing away / with the tears he wept for his foiled journey home" (5. 168-169). At this point, Odysseus has been a prisoner on Calypso's island for seven years, and has an understandably forlorn outlook regarding his journey home. However, Odysseus spends every night on the island acting

Heroism displayed in the epic novel of BEOWULF and Sir Gawain. This essay compares and contrasts these two characters and defines what makes a true hero

1116 words - 4 pages example of an epic hero. The hero posses's super-human strength, determination and above all, courage. These traits are not necessarily what composes a hero in today's society. Some perceive Martin Luther King as a hero, although he did not possess the physical strength of Beowulf, he did posses a mental strength, a strength that drives someone to complete his or her task no matter what obstacles are thrown in their direction. Today the heroes that

Aruther V. Odysseus , choose a mythic/epic hero from another culture equal in stature to Arthur. Compare the two figures and their portrayals

924 words - 4 pages Heroes have been around for thousands of years, and through all this time, for better or for worse, what they did and what they believed in has relatively stayed the same. The best example of this is the comparison between the ancient Greek hero of Odysseus from The Odyssey, and the medieval English hero of King Arthur from Le Morte D' Arthur. When you first look at these two heroes you see that they are from two completely different times, with

Beowulf: An Epic Hero

598 words - 2 pages spoke back then. Although, it does still contain old English phrases such as, "Behind some broad linden shield/...this mead-hall glittering/Light and life fleeing together"(172,218,148). Another characteristic of an epic poem is the long narrative story. Beowulf exemplifies this characteristic because it is over 840 lines long and tells the story of a young hero named Beowulf on a journey to destroy a monster.The character of Beowulf is extremely

Similar Essays

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

Odysseus As An Epic Hero Essay

1320 words - 5 pages The Odyssey is an example of Greek history portrayed in literature. As in all Greek literature, the epic hero Odysseus answers a call to action, suffers through great confrontation, and returns with a better understanding of life. Greek stories such as, The Odyssey set the stage for today's modern action movies with epic heroes such as Indiana Jones, Frodo from the Lord of the Rings, and Western cowboys like Roy Rogers and The Lone Ranger

Odysseus As An Epic Hero Essay

632 words - 3 pages Odysseus As An Epic HeroIn the story of the Odyssey, Odysseus was put through many ordeals through which we see his moral and physical characteristics. After evaluating such characteristics we can see that Odysseus is a great epic hero. We can see that not only is he superior to most mortal men, he also shares many of the same desires, therefore fulfilling all the technical requirements of a "hero". Odysseus has insight about his own fate and

Odysseus Is An Epic Hero Essay

806 words - 4 pages An Epic is a poem that is really long and it is written narrative. It describes that crazy adventures and action of an epic hero. An epic hero is a courageous man who has goal to save his town or his people. When he goes on a journey he is being tested on his battle skills. The odyssey written by Homer is an example of an Epic poem that was on a journey for around 20 years and he is trying to get home. On his journey home, Odysseus was faced