What is a Hero?
The Odyssey and Paradise Lost are two very different pieces of literary art. The Odyssey tells a story of a king’s epic journey to return home from war, while Paradise Lost is about Satan’s revenge on God for being kicked out of heaven. One factor that the two stories have in common, not only with each other but also with almost every story ever written, is the development of a hero. In epic literature there are qualifications each hero must go through. Each hero often has supernatural abilities, they are given a quest, tested to prove worthiness, helped by supernatural beings, often enter a supernatural world, almost gives up but always regains his rightful place.
In the Odyssey our hero is Odysseus. Odysseus is strong, noble, and very smart. Throughout the epic Odysseus is given many quests by the gods. His main quest throughout the epic was to get home to his wife and son, however during that prolonged journey Odysseus was given multiple quests like going to Hades, and getting past the Sirens. Odysseus was also tested during his journey, he was told not to touch the flocks of the sun when they reach the island of Thrinacia, and however his men do which causes more trouble for Odysseus’s journey home and him to lose his entire crew (Homer, 454). In Greek literature there are many gods and goddesses one of which, Athena, takes a liking in Odysseus and does all she can to make his journey home a success. At one point is his quest Odysseus is told to travel to the supernatural land of Hades. Once he is there he speaks to many spirits and learns of his fate. In the end Odysseus returns home, kills all the suitors who were trying to steal his throne and wife, is reunited with his wife and son, and is king once more.
In the Odyssey it is clear to see that Odysseus is the hero, he passes many tests and eventually achieves his goal with the help from the gods. However in Paradise Lost it...
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