Is Odysseus a Hero?
Anyone can be brave, caring, intelligent, or confident. When these characteristics are combined in one person that person is called a hero. The Hero’s Journey is never an easy one. This particular journey, as detailed in Homer’s The Odyssey, is one of struggle, loss, heartache, pain, growth and triumph. It is comprised of many steps that Odysseus has to overcome and battle through in order to achieve his final goal of reaching his home and his loved ones. Odysseus overcomes these struggles. Odysseus is a good example of a hero because he is courageous, intelligent, and cunning.
Odysseus is a hero because he is cunning. When Calypso is telling Odysseus that she is letting him go she wants to know why he wants to leave her. He replies “My quiet Penelope…/ would seem a shade before your majesty/…Yet, it is true each day/ I long for home, long for the sight of home.” (5.114-118). Odysseus does not tell Calypso he misses his wife because she will be jealous and not help him get home. Instead, he pleads with her that he is homesick for his homeland. He realizes that she will be more willing to help him if he is only homesick and not missing his wife. He is very wise in concealing the truth form Calypso. If Odysseus was not a hero he would not have been able to work his way around the situation without offending Calypso.
Another good reason Odysseus is a hero is because he is intelligent. Odysseus and his men are trapped in the Cyclops’s cave Odysseus is about to kill the Cyclops with a sword. “I had touched the spot/when sudden fear stayed me: if I killed him/we perished there as well, for all we could never/ move his ponderous doorway slab aside.” (9.292-295). Odysseus wants to kill the Cyclops with a sword. He instead decides not to just as he is about to kill the Cyclops. Odysseus knows that if he kills the Cyclops he and his crew will be trapped in the cave forever because they cannot move the doorway slab. Heroes should be able to think...
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