Odysseus Is Not a Hero

Topics: Odyssey, Homer, Trojan War Pages: 2 (539 words) Published: December 19, 2012
In Homer’s Odyssey, an epic poem translated by Robert Fagles, Odysseus, who is the main character of the book, would fit the dictionary's definition of a hero if you go deeper, looking at what people feel a hero is, and he doesn't even come close. In the book, Odysseus does nothing out of the goodness of his heart.

During the war in Troy, Odysseus was definitely a hero by thinking smartly and by protecting his men, but, even if Odysseus fought in the Trojan War, he is not a hero because he is self-centered and ignorant to other people's values and needs. In book 9, Odysseus was surely not playing the role of a hero towards his crew. When they were in the land of the cyclops, Odysseus refused to simply raid the cave and leave which got Odysseus and his men are trapped in the Cyclopes cave, and all Odysseus said was, “Now came the time to toss for it: who ventured along with me? Whose hand could bear to thrust and grind that spike in Cyclops eye” (279) The only reason why Odysseus even stayed to see the Cyclops is because he wanted the bragging rights of claiming a guest-gift from him, which he didn’t get. If he had swallowed his pride and either just stolen some cheeses from the Cyclops, as his men urged him, or simply walked away without food, many lives would have been saved. Several men were devoured by the Cyclops in front of his eyes simply because of Odysseus’ pride.

In book ten, while Odysseus and his crew were on the island of Circe, Odysseus was the most unfaithful to his wife, Penelope. He went directly to the seduction of Circe, and didn't have a second thought about it, which he should’ve. If he did think about Penelope during that time, surely he could’ve thought of a different way to get a release from her spell. However, In book eleven, Odysseus fails to show the qualities of a hero yet again. When he was in the underworld, and after getting comfortable with the spirits, he became frightened and ran away. He sure doesn’t have the...
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