Odysseus as an Epic Hero

Topics: Odyssey, Greek mythology, Odysseus Pages: 3 (1222 words) Published: March 16, 2012
Odysseus as an Epic Hero
What is the difference between a regular hero and an epic hero? Odysseus from Fagle’s translation of Homer’s The Odyssey and Claybourne’s The Adventures of Ulysses qualifies as an epic hero based on his daring adventures and actions on his detour home from Troy. He earns this title by traveling to various settings, many of which he has never before set foot on, setting himself apart from other men based on his actions of superhuman courage and great valor, and having the gods intervene in his quest from time to time. Readers will learn how Odysseus comes to fame from his exploits after the time of the Trojan War. Primarily, Odysseus proves to be worthy of an epic hero status from being well-traveled.

On his journey back to Ithaca from Troy, Odysseus encounters new lands and discovers the new cultures of those areas. One of the first places he and his crew visits is the Land of the Lotus-Eaters, which is on the northern tip of Africa, a continent none of them has ever experienced before. There, Odysseus finds that the Lotus-Eaters feed his crew their food, which makes them lose any desire to return home. Although the stop does not help in getting the crew home, Odysseus learns not to rest in the Land of the Lotus- Eaters on future voyages. Also, Odysseus and his crew make a stop in Sicily, land of the Cyclopes. “‘Stay here, my brave fellows,’ said I, ‘all the rest of you, while I go with my ship and exploit these people myself: I want to see if they are uncivilized savages, or a hospitable and humane race…’” Odysseus, from Fagle’s translation of The Odyssey informs his troops that he wants to explore the land, showing that he not only travels to mysterious places, but also has a thirst to learn about the inhabitants and their culture. He later finds that the Cyclopes are dangerous monsters and has to use his wits to outsmart Polyphemus, the Cyclops who captures Odysseus and his men. In addition, this epic hero ventures to Hades in...
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