Odysseus: a True Hero

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Odysseus: A True Hero

The daydreaming lifeguard is brought back to reality by the frantic screams of a small boy. Before his brain can even assess the situation, he feels his body flying through space. He doesn’t see the boy resurface, and he feels as if gravity isn’t pulling him down fast enough. His body glides into the water, he grabs the boy, and pulls him back out of the water, pushing on his chest until the boy stops coughing and quietly utters, “Thanks.” A lifeguard, and many other people in the world are considered heroes. But why are they heroes? Because a hero is a person who makes a positive impact on others’ lives by overcoming personal challenges, which is what many of those around us are, a hero. Even in literature, heroes are abundant. One such is Homer’s The Odyssey’s main character, Odysseus, who is heroic because of his use of his physical strength and because of his incredible courage. Odysseus is someone who could be called a real hero because he overcomes personal challenges using his physical strength. While accounting what happened after three of his men ate the flower of the Lotus Eaters, Odysseus recalls, “I drove them, all three wailing, to the ships, ties them down under their rowing benches, and called the rest: ‘All hands aboard; come, clear the beach and no one taste the Lotus, or you lose your hope of home’” (658). To drag three grown men, who were also very strong, onto a ship against their will and tie them up would have been a great physical challenge for Odysseus. The story says, “All three wailing,” meaning they were fighting against Odysseus, which makes his challenge seem all the more difficult. Odysseus’ brute strength, used in order to save his men, is illustrated at that time, and proves he is indeed a hero. Later in the story, while preparing to escape Polyphemus’ cave, Odysseus says, “I tied them silently together...then slung a man under each middle one to ride there safely...I took the woolliest ram...and hung...
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