Odysseus: From Hubris To A Selfless, Modest Hero

1364 words - 5 pages

Opposed to that of common thought, superman is not the only type of character that fits the heroic persona. Although “superheroes” typically come to mind when one thinks of a hero, there are many other ordinary people capable of extraordinary things. A hero is a person who takes the initiative to set out on a journey of internal growth. During this symbolic journey, one truly finds himself and betters the lives of other mentally and physically. In Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey, Odysseus takes the path of heroism, resulting in the reborn spirit of a selfless, modest hero. During the process, Odysseus is faced with many challenges that he must overcome in order to earn the noble title. Odysseus proves himself to be a well-deserving hero because he is intelligent with his decisions, he displays cleverness, and he rids himself of hubris.
Odysseus is faced with many obstacles in which he must make smart decisions. Throughout The Odyssey, Odysseus is frequently faced with hard decisions that he must make to benefit himself and his crew. One of the most difficult decisions that Odysseus is forced to make is the choice between crossing the path of Skylla or Kharybdis. On one hand, if they go to the side of Skylla, then six of Odysseus’s men are bound to be captured and eaten by the monster. On the other hand, if they go to the side of Kharybdis, than it is a lottery between losing all the crew members to a deathly whirlpool, or everyone making it out alive. In this case scenario, Odysseus chooses to cross the path of Skylla because it would be a better decision for the crew to sacrifice only six members than to threaten the lives of all the crew members. As guaranteed, six crew members were captured and eaten by the creatures. This was a smart and intelligent decision on Odysseus’s part because he chose Skylla knowing that six crew members were going to die rather than risking the lives of all the crew members. In addition, Odysseus committed adultery for the good of his crew. Although adultery is an unfaithful thing that should never be done, in order to save the crew from Kalypso, Odysseus sacrificed his own marriage to benefit others. This can be accounted as an intelligent decision because Odysseus loved his wife very much, but in order to save his crew, he made the choice to sleep with Kalypso. Last but not least, Odysseus displays intelligence when he travels to Hades. When he is asked to choose between speaking with his mother or to follow the guidance from the gods, he chose to follow the gods. This is an intelligent decision because he proves his faith to the gods after discovering that they control his life. If he didn’t choose to follow the gods, there could’ve been some very bad consequences. In all, Odysseus proves himself to be a hero by making intelligent decisions when faced with tremendous obstacles.
Odysseus’s cleverness is shown when he is put in situations where he needs to think on his feet. One important...

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