Odysseus: A Hero or a Flawed Hero?
The epic poem, The Odyssey written by Homer near the end of the 8th century BC, focuses on a Grecian hero named Odysseus. Although after the falling of Troy Odysseus embarks upon a long, grueling journey home, it is through his travels that Homer is able to illustrate him as a hero. A hero is known as, “a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities.” (Dictionary.com) Homer’s projection of Odysseus is essentially a fundamental way of helping one become familiar of what a hero actually is and the impact that this individual has on society and its people. Odysseus fulfills the different attributes that characterize a stereotypical hero, yet at the same time demonstrates that a hero can, indeed, be flawed. Odysseus demonstrates qualities of a hero in many ways throughout his voyage. The journey begins for Odysseus when he leaves his home of Ithaca to win the Trojan War for his native land. While Odysseus initially did all he could to avoid being involved in the madness of the war, he could no longer fake his insanity when Telemachus, his son, was placed in front of his moving plow. Odysseus knew that his courage was considered necessary to cease the Trojan War. In this instance, he plays a vital role as the king of Ithaca in leading to victory furthermore, proving him to be a hero. Through acts of bravery, Odysseus uses his wisdom and eloquence to construct a plan to defeat his enemies. His clever idea of the Trojan Horse allowed for the Greeks to invade the castle doors and in the end win the war. While taking part in the Trojan War portrays his heroism, Odysseus’ true acts of courage and nobility are emphasized by him leaving his wife and son yet simultaneously never giving up hope on returning home safely to them. As the reader we must understand that a hero, much like Odysseus, has much to lose in life yet at the same time recognize the fact that his bravery does not discourage...
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