The Odyssey Essay
Prompt C: Heroism can have different meanings for different people; literature is full of characters considered “heroic.” Specifically, some characters are also “epic heroes.” In a well-developed composition, identify how Odysseus meets the criteria to be an epic hero. Explain how the heroism of the character relates to the work as a whole.
In the epic poem, The Odyssey by Homer, Odysseus is shown to be an epic hero. Epic heroes have guides to help them along their journeys, face temptations but end up doing the right things, and have specific goals and plan on doing whatever it takes to reach them. Odysseus shows all these characteristics throughout the book. His characteristics of an epic hero related to the work as a whole because it links to the outcome of the story and demonstrates that Odysseus’ actions are important throughout his journey.
Odysseus faces many temptations on his way back home to Ithaca. When Odysseus and his crew are on their way to Thrinakia, the sun god Helios’ island, they must pass the Sirens. The Sirens are dangerous creatures who lure you with their soft sweet singing. Circe had instructed Odysseus to put honey wax on the ears of his crew and if he wanted to hear the Sirens, to tie his hands and feet to the mast of the ship so that there was no way of him to steer the ship towards the Sirens. “‘Come this way, honored Odysseus, great glory of the Achaians, and stay your ship, so that you can listen here to our singing; for no one else has ever sailed past this place in his black ship until he has listened to the honey-sweet voice that issues form our lips; then goes on, well please, knowing more than ever he did; for we know everything that the Argives and Trojans did and suffered in wide Troy through the gods’ despite. Over all the generous earth we know everything that happens” (XII.190.184-191). The Sirens told Odysseus that if he came to them, he would know everything there is to know about...
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