Odysseus Is Not an Epic Hero

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  • Topic: Odyssey, Hero, Poseidon
  • Pages : 1 (403 words )
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  • Published : May 9, 2013
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Epic Hero Essay
What is the definition of an epic hero? What makes somebody worthy of people following them? Not everybody has a hero-like character. A hero is a leader who is not only physical strength, but mental strength as well. Heroes tend to transcend their problems. Odysseus, a famous Greek epic hero, does not display all the hero like qualities throughout his travels home, and abroad. In this case, Odysseus did show some a hero like character. When the Cyclops asked what happened about their ship, Odysseus replied, “My ship? Poseidon Lord, who sets the earth a-tremble, broke it up on the rocks at your land’s end” (Homer 229). Odysseus lied to the Cyclops saying that their ship was destroyed. So just in case, they could get off the island. Odysseus showed cleverness very quickly and he saved his men from dying and got them off the island. Odysseus does not behave like a hero when they are running away from Polyphemus. While trying to get away from the blinded Cyclops, Odysseus mentions, “I took the wooliest ram, the choicest of the flock, and hung myself under his kinky belly, pulled up tight, with fingers twisted deep in the sheepskin ringlets for an iron grip” (Homer 383). In this situation, Odysseus assuages the situation for himself. He is not thinking about of his men. This does not show a true hero. He is supposed to take the possession of a hero and think of his men first. Some people might say that Odysseus is a hero because he is quick and strong willed. However, he is a better role model than a hero because even though he thinks about himself in certain situations, he also thinks about his men and takes care of them. He is being selfish when he took the best sheep: “I took the wooliest ram…” (Homer 383). Odysseus is a better role model because he does not do everything right, so in many ways, he is just a regular human being. Therefore, those who believe Odysseus is a hero are wrong because on many occasions he thinks about himself. People...
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