Odysseus' Journey as an Epic Hero
In the epic poem The Odyssey, the main character Odysseus displays the epic hero. An epic hero is given certain qualities. These qualities make the person (usually male) seem larger than life, he or she embodies the values from their culture, he usually goes on a journey that consist of a series of trials, has an ego, and is able to persuade people with his conversation. This description describes Odysseus exactly, but leaves out one major detail, which are his internal battles. Odysseus is very emotional, and he never tries to hide it.
When the journey began, Odysseus was very proud and overzealous; this is why he had so many struggles. Odysseus ' journey first starts when he has to build his own raft, this takes a few days. Calypso sends him off with food and clothing. But when Poseidon realizes that Odysseus is traveling in the waters, he stirs up a storm that was meant to drown him. This makes it hard for Odysseus to realize if the gods are on his side. But regardless of knowing if the gods are on his side or not, he still prays to them. For example when his ship is overturned because of the storm he calls on the gods saying, "Hear me, unwearied child of Zeus!
O listen to me now thou so aloof while the Earth shaker wrecked and battered me
May I find love and mercy among those people." (Homer pg.118)
There after he is rescued by a cloak that was given to him from a goddess. This leaves Odysseus confused, not knowing if he has favor with the gods or not.
Odysseus has the characteristics of an epic hero, but it is ironic that Homer shows the readers that Odysseus was an emotional person, this takes away form the epic hero personality. One reason why he disguises himself, is so that everyone that he meets will not know what he is struggling with. The only time he reveals himself is when his ego gets in the way, or when he feels that the people he explains his situation to will be able to help him. For example