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Odysseus, The Epic Hero Essay

1157 words - 5 pages

Odysseus, the protagonist in “The Odyssey”, by Homer, is like a juicy burger. Just like a burger, Odysseus’ physical qualities are the bun, and all his other traits are covered by that bun. He utilizes ideal qualities, and he perseveres despite desires to give up, he is helped by gods and mortals, and he regains his glory and power at the end. It is these traits that help him to overcome the ravaging roadblocks in his way, thus also making him 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 the extent of Odysseus’ formidable might (IX 420). In addition, Odysseus is also able to “strike and strike again” at the suitors while they “moaned [moan] at death” (XXll 345-346). This emphasizes the power and endurance that Odysseus has. Moreover, when Eurykleia tells Penelope that if she has seen Odysseus after the suitor slaughter, it would have made “your (her) heart grow hot”, because Odysseus is like “a lion splashed with mire and blood”, and it emphasizes Ancient Greek values of strength (Xlll 50-51). Another exemplary attribute that Odysseus possesses is his quick-thinking and strategic mind. This can be illustrated when Odysseus cleverly uses the Kyklopes’ rams and “slung [slings] a man under… to ride there safely” (IX 468-469). This cunning act is committed during a time of high stress, which further demonstrates the idea of Odysseus’ quick-thinking mind. In addition, it showed that Odysseus has qualities that makes him an admirable leader. Odysseus also reveals his guileful side when he masquerades the role of a beggar. This was in order to dupe the suitors into thinking it wasn’t him and slaughter them when the time is right. In summary, Odysseus’ actions and behaviors emphasize Greek values of mind and body strength.
Besides Odysseus’ impressive qualities, he per even when perseveres even when presented with impossible situations. In other words, Odysseus succeeds even despite his inclinations to give up. This is demonstrated when Odysseus explains to Kalypso that when he sets out to sea, “if any god has marked me out again for shipwreck” then his “tough heart can undergo it” (V 230-231). Odysseus’ words show that he has been through so much, he will persevere no matter the circumstances. In addition, Odysseus’ bag of wind that is supposed to take the crew to Ithaka is opened by his curious crew and “every wind roared into hurricane”(X 57). This caused the crews’ “land was [to be] lost”, and Odysseus starts asking himself if he should “go overside for a quick finish” or “stay among the living” (X 57-58). But as a result of his...

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