To Be Or Not To Be A Hero

923 words - 4 pages

There are many different perspectives of what a hero is but one opinion that most people would agree on is that a hero is someone who selfless and would sacrifice their own feelings for others. In The Odyssey, the main character Odysseus does not present the qualities of a hero but instead shows how one might lack true heroism. The character traits of being self-centered and unfaithful describe Odysseus as non-heroic. Odysseus must leave home to defend his people in the war for 10 years, but isn’t able to get home until another 10 years later. Throughout his journey, Odysseus selects lousy decisions that ends up making him unheroic such as being unreliable, unsympathetic of someone else’s ...view middle of the document...

It is apparent that Odysseus expresses his inner non heroic trait due to the fact that he is lacks compassion for others and doesn’t show sympathy for any of his men.
Furthermore, Odysseus’ lack of heroism is shown through his unloyal trait. On page 652 Homer summarizes, “He has spent ten years (seven of them as Calypso’s not entirely unwilling captive).” In this example, the readers learn Odysseus is unfaithful to his wife because he stayed with Calypso and presented her with many pleasures. Although it wasn’t entirely his fault, Odysseus had the choice to leave but instead made a choice to stay Calypso for many more seasons. As mentioned on page 675, “Odysseus shares her meat and wine, and she restores his heart. After many seasons of feasting and other pleasures…” From this we can assume that Odysseus lacks devotion to his wife, Penelope. Odysseus exposes his lack of heroism by making the wrong actions and demonstrates infidelity towards Penelope. It is obvious that Odysseus is not a hero due to his treacherous acts and the fact that he’s cheated on his wife more than once.
Although some would argue that Odysseus is a hero because of his wisdom, in fact he is not a hero because of his preposterous decision making. Odysseus demonstrates this heroic trait when he says, “My name is Nohbody: mother, father, and friends, everyone calls me Nohbody” (360). This line shows the readers that Odysseus uses his manipulation skills to trick the Cyclops into thinking he was nobody. Odysseus’ wisdom allowed him and his men to dodge the fact...

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