Odysseus: A Hero Or Hero?

Powerful Essays
Is Odysseus, the man that survived 20 years away from home and at sea, battling many monsters along the way, a hero? Is the man that displeased some gods, and killed others, a hero? According to the Greeks, he certainly is. According to the Highly Gifted Magnet, probably not. While to the Greeks he possessed all of the heroic qualities, such as cunningness, loyalty, hospitality and physical strength, to the Highly Gifted Magnet community, he meets all most all of our standards, which include intelligence, popularity, omnicompetent, and selfless. Odysseus was lost at sea, on Calypso’s island. Years before, he had left his home in Ithaca to fight in the Trojan War. 10 years later, with the help of Athena, he planned to give the Trojans a “gift,” …show more content…
While he possesses most of the needed qualities, such as intelligence, popularity and being omnicompetent, he does not possesses selflessness. He uses intelligence to outwit 2 sea monsters on his way back to Ithaca. When given the choice to lose his entire crew and himself to a whirlpool, or to lose 6 men to a 6 headed monster, he used logic to choose the lesser of the two evils. He chose to only lose 6 men, instead of everyone. He certainly has popularity, because everyone knows his name. Anyone who went to battle with him, told stories to their family about this great man named Odysseus, and everyone remembers a tale of a nearly immortal man. Popularity also comes in handy when you need a favor, such as getting home to Ithaca and finding your only son. People help him, because they have heard amazing tales of how he has the gods on his side and how incredible he is. Odysseus is omnicompetent, because he tries to do his best in everything, therefore bestowing calm over him as he focuses. For example, when King Alcinous hosts a party with sporting events, Odysseus does well in a few events, though it has been a long time since he last did. He gave it his all and even conquered many men younger and more able that he. Selflessness, Odysseus does not possess. When he saves his men many times, he did think about his men’s lives and how important they were. However, his priorities say that he saved those men because they were important, for him to get home. He wanted to go home. If he was the last person alive to go home, so be it, as long as he makes it. Those men were not the King of Ithaca. They were common. He could find more just like them. That is not being selfless. Being selfless, is to think about others, and not about the benefits or consequences you will receive from an action. That is all Odysseus thought about. Consequences, were fatal for him, and he minded very much so. He cannot be deemed a

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    Odysseus: An Epic Hero

    • 619 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Odysseus, man of exceptional wit, bravery, and intelligence, epic hero The Odyssey written by Homer, is nothing short of extraordinary. He fearlessly leads his remaining men home to Ithaca, doing everything in his power to get them back alive and well. While this is undoubtedly a noble deed, Odysseus slips up more than he does any good, therefore making it unfit to call him a hero. A hero is someone who is compassionate, selfless, and wise. He is selfish, disloyal, hypocritical and harsh; everything a hero is not. Odysseus may be an epic hero, but he is far from a true one.…

    • 619 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Odysseus Epic Hero

    • 691 Words
    • 3 Pages

    The general populous has hailed Odysseus as the epitome of the epic hero for several centuries, but to the modern reader, he comes off as anything but. While he was extremely driven by one goal, getting back home to his family, he performed some not-so heroic deeds on his quest and once he arrived back in Ithaca. Odysseus had many affairs and was disloyal to his wife, slaughtered hundreds of people in the name of righteousness, and above all, exemplifies hubris, or arrogant pride. These traits and behaviors are not acceptable for anyone, especially a person considered to be and hailed as a hero. Odysseus is not the epitome of an epic hero.…

    • 691 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Odysseus Is A Hero

    • 482 Words
    • 2 Pages

    When we think of someone who is a hero, we think of someone who is idolized for their bravery or amazing achievements; is Odysseus one of these heroes? “ The simple acts of heroism are often overlooked-that’s very clear to me not only in war but in peace” (source 2). Heroism can mean different things to different people and some people are heroes, but don’t get recognized. They can do many small acts of heroism and never become acknowledged as a hero, yet when they do something horrendous they are labeled as a villain. In Homer’s The Odyssey, Odysseus can be seen as a hero or villain based on his actions. In this case, he is a hero in this story because…

    • 482 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Odysseus As A Hero

    • 388 Words
    • 2 Pages

    Hero? What makes someone a hero? Well, the definition of a hero is : a person, typically a man, who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.…

    • 388 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Odysseus to me is a hero, but then at sometimes he isn’t. He’s a hero because he is always saving people and putting himself into danger, and making sure his men, friends, or family don’t get hurt, just like when he went to the island that threw fire, he could have easily died, all of his men wanted to come with him, but he wouldn't allow it. He didn’t want any of them getting hurt. He risked his own life because he wanted to go home and see his family again. Knowing that he might not come back alive, knowing his wife could have been moved one. But, he didn’t give up…

    • 622 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Odysseus as an Epic Hero

    • 1308 Words
    • 6 Pages

    Cited: Homer. “The Odyssey.” The Norton Anthology of World Literature: Shorter Second Edition. Ed. Peter Simon. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2009.…

    • 1308 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    I will be writing a essay of the book The Odyssey written by the person Homer. The main reason why I am written is so that you can know Odysseus is a hero because how he helps other people before he would help himself.…

    • 464 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Superheroes have become increasingly popular in recent times and most people have their favorite from Superman to Batman to the Avengers. Not all heroes have to be superheroes with superpowers. Many people can identify heroes in their everyday life as well. Heroes can be someone that helps a person, for example many people consider their parents to be heroes because of the support they provide them in life. The difference between a superhero and a hero is that heroes are normal people just trying to be there for others while superheroes are made up characters in a book or movie with extraordinary powers. Mistakes are part of everyone’s life, but the difference between a normal person and a hero is that when a hero makes a mistake they work to fix it or overcome the problem. In the book the Odyssey, there are many problems and obstacles that Odysseus has to overcome in his attempt to get home. Odysseus has many traits that make him a hero, for example he is both physically and mentally strong. His…

    • 932 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    I think Odysseus fits the title of a hero very well. Odysseus fits the description of a hero because he’s done a few things that are heroic. The first heroic thing he has done is go fight in a war with the trojans. Odysseus had come up with a plan for his men during the war. That plan was to build a big wooden horse as a gift for the trojans, the trojans accepted it and brought it inside their village. The trojans didn't know Odysseus and his men were inside the big wooden horse, Odysseus and his men eventually came out and attacked the trojans and won the war. “Harried for years on end, after he plundered the stronghold on the proud height of Troy.”(The Odyssey line 3). After Odysseus and his men left Troy they sailed near Ismarus, which is…

    • 681 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    All though his infidelity is not so heroic, Odysseus does have the qualities and strengths that make him a hero. He wins every battle and returns home to his wife and child. It may have taken him ten years to return home but he did it. Odysseus is an extremely well written character and a guide to what makes a hero. It is easy to understand why critics say he is the first “modern…

    • 479 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Odysseus is not a hero because he let down a lot of people. What a hero is a person that will give everything that they have to save another person from any harm. Such as next a reasons why Odysseus is not a hero is because he was the cause why his own mother died.…

    • 398 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Certainly, people can argue both ways and support their arguments from evidence in the reading. According to our views, Odysseus is definitely one of, if not the one, ideal hero of the ancient Greek world.…

    • 760 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Odysseus as an Epic Hero.

    • 624 Words
    • 2 Pages

    In the story of the Odyssey, Odysseus was put through many ordeals through which we see his moral and physical characteristics. After evaluating such characteristics we can see that Odysseus is a great epic hero. We can see that not only is he superior to most mortal men, he also shares many of the same desires, therefore fulfilling all the technical requirements of a "hero". Odysseus has insight about his own fate and destiny, but lives intertwined with the Olympic Gods. He also shares many of the same desires as the common man, but has more insight and strength to obtain them. Lastly, the story of Odysseus is tragic, and involves both love and death, which then shows his true strength.…

    • 624 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    I believe Odysseus to be a hero, because all his flaws are what make him human. He is not a god, so he will make mistakes. His intelligence saves him and his men’s lives, and he does not give up. He was a great leader and was willing to pay a price for knowledge. He recognized that knowledge really is power, and decides to learn everything he can on his journey home. He also acknowledges that sometimes lying, cheating, and stealing might sometimes be necessary. That is what makes him human. “He achieves both kleos and nostos in the end and doesn’t have to die for either”…

    • 571 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Odysseus: A Tragic Hero

    • 364 Words
    • 2 Pages

    All heroes have a certain attribute or character that made them stand out from the rest of the crowd or society. Some are very strong, some are very smart, some are very rich that they can afford to create gadgets to make them do unnatural things, like Batman and Iron Man. Odysseus is no different from the common heroes we hear today. The most heroic attribute of Odysseus was that he was smart. He was also courageous as well as confident.…

    • 364 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays