Odysseus as a Hero

Topics: Achilles, Odyssey, Odysseus Pages: 3 (968 words) Published: November 5, 2013
Chenneal Hyman
English I
April 7, 2013
Odysseus as a Hero
When I was younger, I used to watch the figures on TV: athletes, singers, and actors trying to pick which one should be my hero. Granted they were fabulous, did being on TV make them a hero? From many sources that supply countless definitions, one can say that Homer’s Odysseus can fit the true ideal of a hero because he obtains self-control in rigorous situations, cleverness that outwits all mortals, and selfless that at many points nearly risked his life.

To start off, one quality that differentiates a good leader from a great leader in the ability to attain self-control. In “Clever, Enduring Odysseus,” states what Odysseus must do to survive, “He knows this, and so he must scold that impulse, control it the way a man does a growling dog with a cuff or a kick, and subordinate it to the mind’s knowledge of context and consequence” (Thornton 3). In The Odyssey section entitled “The Cyclops,” Odysseus had the chance to kill the sleeping Cyclops that ate his men but instead he thought to himself, “My heart beat high now at the chance of action,/ and dawning the sharp sword from my hip…I had touched the spot/ when sudden fear stayed me: if I kill him/ we perish there as well” (Homer 990). In this passage, it is evident that Odysseus has self-control; he had the best chance to take it upon himself to get vengeance for his crew that was eaten by the Cyclopes, but instead he thought ahead of what will become of them if he did kill him. Most humans would have killed the Cyclopes right there and then, but Odysseus isn’t just a human; he is a hero. Moreover, another example of Odysseus portraying self-control in the Odyssey is when he comes back from his 20 year journey and is disguised as a beggar for a plan to take back his kingdom. Homer articulates, “The stool he let fly hit the man’s right shoulder/ on the packed muscle under the shoulder blade-like solid rock, for all the effect one saw./...
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