Intro to Literature comp
A Great Hero?
The epic poem The Odyssey is an epic written by the Greek writer Homer. It centers on the character Odysseus who is a great leader and a king of Ithaca whose actions portrayed a great deal of intelligence, bravery, and determination throughout his many encounters during his journey. Odysseus is a good leader but had some flaws. He could have been a better leader if he was more humble and was open to accepting help, but insisted on doing things his own way which cost him men, time and energy. One of the first examples in the poem is when Odysseus lacks humility he has a chance to thank Poseidon for help and he does not which makes Poseidon angry which and extends his journey home for years. One of the first delays lands him on Circe's island, where his crew falls under the spell of the goddess. He sets out looking for them despite the fact that it was a risk that could be fatal. “There we found a women or else a goddess, working at her loom and singing sweetly so the men shouted” (Homer 61).Setting out to look for his crew means that he too, as remarkable as he was, could fall into the evil of Circe. Again he receives help from the god Hermes bus does not thank him either. “I will protect you and get out of your difficulty. Take this herb, which is one of greater virtue and keep it about you when you go to Circes house, it will be a talisman to you against every kind of mischief” (Homer 62). Odysseus's actions and way of handling difficult situations show his bravery, as well as deal with the obstacles the god put before him such as his encounter with Circe. At times, he is willing to jeopardize his own life in order to save his men from the dangers. Although the majority of his men are disloyal and have a tendency to ignore to his commands, he feels committed to save them from mortal danger despite their disloyalty. Again, when Odysseus and his men are passing the sirens, he is the only person who refuses to cover his ears with wax. “Plug your desmans ears with beeswax kneaded soft” (Homer 186).Listening to the sirens is still a very brave and risky thing to do since he warned his men about the sirens “Woe to the innocent who hears that sound (Homer 186)”. He is therefore classified as a courageous, bold person. Odysseus showed a great deal of intelligence throughout the way he handles the many obstacles on his path. He managed to trick Polyphemus and thus, is able to not only blind him, but is capable of escaping with his men. “ He stretched himself full length upon the ground among his sheep, and went to sleep. I was at first inclined to seize my sword draw it and drive it into his vitals, but I reflected that if I did we should all certainly be lost” (Homer 169).Although Polyphemus seemed dangerous to the eyes of the men, Odysseus had not allowed that to overwhelm his mind. He told Polyphemus in that his name was "Nobody." Since Odysseus had stated that, Polyphemus couldn't receive help of any sort from his fellow Cyclops friends since he had informed them that Nobody has attacked him." “Nohbdy, Nohbdy tricked me, Nohbdys ruined me” (Homer 169). Furthermore, he goes to the Land of the Dead despite his great fear. He is most probably the first and last mortal to ever visit the Land of the Dead. He did not allow his fear to get in the way of achieving his goal; which is returning home to Ithaca. Odysseus is a true leader who posses key characteristics of both intelligence and bravery beyond the average person. As a leader he displayed different traits of heroism, excellent skills and endurance. So although his crew encountered many obstacles Odysseus was the one who took ownership of each problem head on. Odysseus lead by example and showed everyone that nothing could get in the way of attaining his long awaited goal.