Odyssey Essay

1096 words - 4 pages

When discussing the topic of a hero, many different character traits come into play. A hero does not have an exact definition; it is open to interpretation. Many people contain many different opinions on what they think a hero is and what a hero's qualifications are. One qualification of a hero is that the initiate must grow into the hero status. For example, a hero needs to grow and become a better person throughout his journey. A hero does not need to be perfect though. In The Odyssey by Homer, Odysseus can be considered a hero for many different reasons, as well as considered not a hero for another array of reasons. Odysseus is a hero because he becomes a better person along his journey. However, he has many flaws, but they get corrected throughout his journey. Although Odysseus is not perfect, his faults help him grow and become a better person
To begin, Odysseus had a problem with his “hubris” (meaning “excessive pride” in Greek) in the beginning of his journey, or the pre-abyss initiate phase. On the island of the Kyclopes, Odysseus exhibits his excessive pride by telling Polyphemos that he was the one who had blinded Polyphemos. Odysseus feels he has to be accredited for blinding Polyphemos: “Odysseus, raider of cities, took your eye” (IX, 551). He reveals his identity as Odysseus to the Kyclops which angers the gods greatly. Odysseus is punished for his excessive pride and learns from his mistakes. This incident shows how Odysseus is far from flawless, and still has a long way to go to becoming a hero. He endures this mental and physical challenge, and although he does come out on top for the physical aspect of the challenge, he fails miserably in terms of the mental challenge. Odysseus let his “hubris” get to him. Later on in his journey, Odysseus develops humility for the gods and acknowledges that they are in control of his destiny. After making many mistakes throughout his journey, Odysseus realizes that the gods are in control of his life during his abyss: “My life runs on then as the gods have spun it” (X, 155). This moment happens to be his revelation and his thinking begins to change. Odysseus now respects the gods and acts humble toward them because he recognizes them as superior to him. He learned from his mistake of being too proud of himself and now has become very humble. In addition, Odysseus proves how he has progressed over his journey and has lost his “hubris” by not telling the first person on Ithaca (the shepherd who is really Pallas Athena) that he is the great tactician himself. He makes up a story about where he came from instead of telling the shepherd who he really is: “Far away in Krete... while I am left forsaken here” (327-365). Odysseus makes up a believable story of where he came from, but does not tell the shepherd who is, like he told Polyphemos. In the beginning of his journey, Odysseus had everyone to know that Odysseus was responsible for whatnot which was a pride issue. As one can see, he has really...

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