Why Odysseus is an Epic Character
“I am Odysseus son of Laertes, known before all men for the study of crafty designs, and my fame goes up to the heavens.” Odysseus was quoted saying this in Book 9. Odysseus said this when he was greeting others. Some of the reasons he does these things is because he is an epic character. The Odyssey clearly shows Odysseus is an epic character through the conflict he faces, his long journey, and the hardships he endures. Odysseus has been shown to be an epic character through the conflict he faces. One example of this is Polyphemus, or the Cyclops he encounters in a cave. The Cyclops was not allowing his men and himself to leave, and Polyphemus was eating them. He later stabbed the Cyclops’s eye and escaped. Another example of conflict would be Poseidon. Since Polyphemus is Poseidon’s son, he isn’t happy with Odysseus for stabbing out his son’s eye, so he creates terrible storms for Odysseus to encounter. One last conflict, mentioned in Book XXII, is when Odysseus kills the suitors who have been causing him problems. They wanted to marry Odysseus’s wife, and have created injustice. Another example of how Odysseus is an epic character is his long journeys. His main voyage itself has taken Odysseus 15-20 to finish and get back home. He has also traveled to 15+ islands from Troy to Ithaca. As mentioned in Book XV, Odysseus arrived in Ithaca from Crèche. Finally, the hardships Odysseus endured made him an epic character. One of the hardships Odysseus faced was being gone for so long. This also hurt his relationship status. Another hardship would be the suitors. They ate his food and drank his beverage. Finally, in book V, Odysseus gets to leave Calypso’s island after being captive for so long. Clearly shown above are reasons why Odysseus is considered an epic character. These reasons include the conflicts he faced, his long journey, and the many...
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