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Odysseus, a hero?

What comes to mind when we think of a hero? Generally, we think a hero is someone with some super powers, and has the ability to save the world. The Odyssey, by Homer, a Greek mythical epic, includes Odysseus, someone who would be considered a hero, by what bravery he had shown. But as his life and the epic progresses, almost every time Odysseus faces a difficulty, he chooses to do the right thing, yet his pride and selfishness always get in the way, bringing him down and sacrificing the lives of many. Odysseus is not a hero because even though he is brave and very intelligent, he doesn’t use his intelligence wisely. He is very egocentric, and can do anything in order to achieve his selfish motive of recognition.

Even though Odysseus is brave, very intelligent, and has many heroic qualities, he does not portray the attributes of a hero. In fact, Odysseus uses his mind wisely as he tricks the oversized Cyclops, Polyphemus, into his trap to stab him in the eye, blind him so that he may escape the Cyclops’s cave among his crew. “In a smithy one sees… the way they make soft iron hale and hard -: just so that eyeball hissed around the spike” (Homer 1219). Any hero would probably be clever enough like Odysseus, to use his intelligence wisely at the right time and place. He cleverly ‘saved the day’ by using his intelligence wisely. A true hero lives with the bravery to battle those critical issues, that others wouldn’t even rise from their beds to face, and Odysseus seems to fit into that category. However, even though Odysseus primarily presented his heroic character, he later on, proves his selfish and egocentric motives behind the issues and tribulations him and his shipmates faced.

Having heroic attributes does not transform Odysseus into a true hero, as he does not use his intelligence wisely. To emphasize, Odysseus ‘saves the day’ at the Cyclops cave, but he invites catastrophe, as he gives the Cyclops, Polyphemus, the...