Odysseus: Not an Epic Hero

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Odysseus: Not an Epic Hero
The Odyssey is one of the most famous ancient Greek epic poems written by Homer. It tells an adventure and struggle of the main character, Odysseus, trying to get back home to Ithaca from Troy. In this epic, Homer portrays Odysseus as a hero. However, in my opinion, he is not a hero because he received too much help from the Gods, did not protect his men, and was selfish at times.

Heroes should be helped but there is a limit to it. Throughout the poem, that limit was crossed for Odysseus. Help of the Gods was always available for him whenever he was in a difficult situation. For example Odysseus had left Calypsos’ Island and he was in the middle of the sea when storm came and broke his raft. Help was accessible when White Goddess, Ino, offered him her immortally charmed veil that kept Odysseus safe and took him to shore (V, 348). If Ino had not been there to help Odysseus he would never have reached shore. The pattern of goddess coming to Odysseus’ rescue is seen throughout the whole poem. Because of this, I did not really saw him as heroic a he had been portrayed.

A good captain or a hero according to me is someone who puts others before himself in challenging situations. Not who shies away from them. Though Odysseus was faced with many hardships in his twenty years away from home, he just about killed his entire crew. When Odysseus and his crew had to deal with Scylla and Charybdis he practically fed half of his crew to lengthen his own life. Odysseus should have been brave and revealed the whole details of the dangers ahead when he said, “Friends, it is not right that one or two alone should know what the goddess Circe foretold” (X11, 161). Instead he kept the most important detail of the conversation to himself. At the island of the Lotus-Eaters, Odysseus men were having a great time, without a care in the world, but then Odysseus forced them to leave the island. If Odysseus had not done that his crew would be alive....
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