Qualities Of An Epic Hero In Homer's Odyssey

Topics: Trojan War, Odyssey, Odysseus, Greek mythology, Homer, Achilles / Pages: 4 (880 words) / Published: Jun 26th, 2016
After a glorious victory in the Battle of Troy, a Greek leader and king stumbles upon the great king and queen of the Phoenicians during his voyage back to his homeland. Thrown off course by the mythological gods and monsters of Greek mythology, Odysseus, the King of Ithaca, must endure many obstacles for twenty years prior to reaching his kingdom. In the epic poem, The Odyssey written by Homer, Odysseus’ travels start during what is known as “ The great wanderings”. Odysseus portrays the qualities of Aristotle’s epic hero throughout this portion of the epic. To emphasize this statement, think about the epic hero Gilgamesh, the king of the land between rivers, ruler of the magnificent city Uruk. Even though Gilgamesh is two-thirds god and one …show more content…
Gilgamesh’s pride leads him to his hardships. Hence, Ishtar tries to kill Gilgamesh. However, Gilgamesh’s best friend, Enkidu, helps Gilgamesh defeat the Bull of Heaven in which Ishtar sent to kill Gilgamesh, but pays the price for killing the monster with his life. Gilgamesh mourns for Enkidu and ends up going on a journey to find everlasting life. Similarly, Odysseus gets himself into hardships on his journey because of his cockiness as well. Odysseus threatens a Cyclops, descendant of the Greek god Poseidon, and says that Zeus the almighty, is protecting him and his men, so he better be respectful or Zeus will bring his wrath upon him. The Cyclops, Polyphemus, laughs at Odysseus’ pride, snatches two of his men and eats them whole. Odysseus and his men eventually escape the Cyclops, but his pride sets him and his men back after he shouts to the cyclops “ ‘Cyclops, if any mortal human being asks about the injury that blinded you / tell them Odysseus destroyed your eye / a sacker of cities / Laertes’ son / a man from Ithaca ( Johnston, book IX 525-530)”’. Odysseus tells the Cyclops his name and in return Polyphemus asks his father, Poseidon, to never let Odysseus return home, and if Odysseus does return home to kill all of his men. Thus, the …show more content…
Gilgamesh repeatedly proves his abilities by using his super strength to defeat the monsters like Humaba and the Bull of heaven, On the other hand, Odysseus' intelligence will help him get through most of the hardships he faces in his journey.. When Odysseus and his men are trapped inside the cave with the Cyclops, Odysseus plans to escape by blinding the Cyclops and waiting for the Cyclopes to open the door. While Odysseus gave the Cyclopes wine and he got drunk Odysseus told the Cyclopes that his name was Nohbdy in case the Cyclopes called for help. As stated earlier in the first paragraph Odysseus stabbed the Cyclopes in its eye and blinded him, but when the Cyclopes called for help from his companions he told them while he was drunk that Nohbdy had tricked him. In return his companions thought that he was crazy and left because he was basically saying that nobody blinded him. The Cyclopes decided to stand in front of the cave door so that none of Odysseus' men and him could escape, but the Cyclopes earlier opened his cave and let the rams inside. That night Odysseus decided to tie his men and hi self up under the Rams and escape when the Cyclopes let the rams out in the morning. This plan worked and without Odysseus nobody else probably would have thought up an idea like that. Later on Odysseus returns to the land of Ithaca, but there are suitors already in his kingdom who have tried

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