The Odyssey By Homer Essay

1415 words - 6 pages

In The Odyssey, Homer's usage of dicton conveys Oddyseus's heroic traits and how even though Odysseus is a hero, he had to still grow to be a better, wiser man. Odysseus has character traits such as smart wits, strength and perserverance to define him as a hero. Although Odysseus is nothing less of a hero, he is not a perfect man and still had some growing to do.

A particular reason that Odysseus is considered a hero because he is the man with the plan. Odysseus knows how to use his smart wits to make an ingenious plan when he was in a disastrous situation. For example in Book IX, the plan he used on the Cyclops, Polyphemus was superb. (IX;469-474)

"But I was already plotting...

what was the best way out? how could I find

escape from death for my crew, myself as well?

My wits kept weaving, weaving cunning schemes-

life at stake, monstrous death staring us in the face-

till this plan struck my mind as best."

These words suggest that Odysseus knew that if he didn't used his wits and contemplate a plan quick, him and his crew could possibly face death. Once his smart wits, brought him a good plan he knew he slicked his way out of another disastrous situation. That is why at first, Odysseus was not sure if he could "escape from death" but when his plan came to mind he said "till this plan struck my mind as best". After that, he knew he would escape and be known once again as the hero he is.

Another characteristic that qualifies Odysseus as a hero is his strength. Odysseus has more strength then any mortal man in the book. For instance, in Book XXI, Penelope proposed to all of the suitors that the man who could string the bow through all 12 axes could have her hand in marriage. She knew that only Odysseus, the muscle man, could actually string the bow through all 12 axes. Still the suitors took the opportunity at hand. First man to come up and try was Leodes. (XXI;171-185)

"his hands went slack, his soft, uncallused hands,

and he called back to the suitors, "Friends,

I can't bend it. Take it, someone- try.

Here is a bow to rob our best of life and breath,

all our best contenders! Still, better be dead

than live on here, never winning the prize

burning with expectation every day.

If there's still a suitor here who hopes,

who aches to marry Penelope, Odysseus's wife,

just let him try the bow; he'll see the truth!

He'll soon lay siege to another Argive woman

trailing her long robes, and shower her with gifts-

and then our queen can marry the who offers most,

the man marked out by faith to be her husband."

These words spoken by Leodes suggest that he knew that none of the suitors, not even him, could achieve this task. Only "the man marked by faith to be her husband" could achieve this, and the man Leodes was referring to was Odysseus because he knew that Odysseus was the only mortal man that had the strength and muscle to achieve this task. Then, the rest of the suitors tried...

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