I feel that Odysseus, like any person, can be a hero at some times and very selfish at other times. During the war in Troy, Odysseus was surely a hero, thinking smartly and protecting his men well. However, in books nine through twelve, Odysseus is definitely not playing the role of a hero among his crew. On almost any page you turn to in the book, you can find some act of selfishness coming from Odysseus. During his journey, Odysseus performs many courageous acts. At the island of the Lotus Eaters, he rescues his men from the addiction of the lotus flower. After the Cyclops captures them in his cave, Odysseus blinds the Cyclops with a sharpened log. Then Odysseus’ men sneak out of the Cyclops cave under sheepskins.
Odysseus also performs a courageous act when he steers his ship around the deadly whirlpool Charybodis and valiantly tries to defend his men from Scylla, but she strikes to fast for him causing him to lose six men. When Odysseus arrives at the island of the Sun God’s cattle, he and his crew face famine. Therefore, when Odysseus falls asleep his men slaughter some of the Sun God’s cattle. Odysseus’s extreme pride and arrogance seems to cause trouble for him on many occasions throughout the book. Epic heroes ought to be proud of their accomplishments but they should not brag or expect things from people because of it. Odysseus’s pride and arrogance show up throughout the book. However, one occasion seems to stick out best.
In book 9 of The Odyssey, Odysseus lands on an island bordering the land of Cyclops. He watches their brutish ways for days yet he still decides to pay them a visit. His men suggest taking the cheeses and animals but Odysseus refused (The Odyssey, Book 9). Odysseus fought gloriously on behalf of the Greeks in Troy and was considered a “war hero” of sorts because of it. However, he became to full of himself and did not give the Gods credit for helping him. That is why Poseidon punished him. He bravely endured Poseidon’s punishment and in the end learned that Man is nothing without the Gods. Therefore, I guess that makes him a hero, that he endured so much and learned a valuable lesson in the end.
Courtney from Study Moose
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