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Odysseus as a Hero in 'The Odyssey'

A hero is a character who is especially virtuous, usually larger than life. The character Odysseus in the text of The Odyssey is considered heroic. The act of being considered a hero goes beyond that something is required but exceed when people are in need the most. Also, a significant benefit would know that there is a personal risk involved and sacrificing yourself in the interest of others. However, heroes in our society serve a purpose by giving people hope. They will do everything, by leading and inspiring to improve the community.

Also, every story comes with a hero that can be admired and gives people a reason to love the person for what they do. Although a hero is significant, the people in the civilization need someone that can impact their lives. In the culture that these people live in, having a heroic person will command the people to do better and help define the limits of their aspirations. For those who are heroes give us hope that tomorrow will be better than the previous day and that there are still good people out there in the world to make this place a better place.

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Not all men are perfect, but they can still be heroic. In the Odyssey, Odysseus was a true hero because of how he portrays signs of determination, leadership, bravery, and authority. He sacrifices his entire life for the people who he truly loves the most and shows power by ruling and leading these men home.

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In the Odyssey, is considered a hero, you must always do the right things. Although he doesn’t do the right things, he believes in what is necessary for that situation. Odysseus is a courageous and determined man and will fight against evil people because he only had the only goal in mind and that’s to arrive home. Like something we think of as traditionally heroic he puts his entire life on the line from the threats that he faced along the way. However, he is a brave man since he left Ithaca to help the Greeks win the Trojan War and risked his life to have a better outcome. Odysseus is a godlike representative, to the people and is always faithful to his family and crew. The way he portrays this is by saving his team from numerous times that they almost died. Having the authority of a god makes people look up to you as a public figure in which they can trust you with anything. He is a very determined man since he did whatever it took to return home. Odysseus sometimes lacks self-awareness when he would kill his men or people just because it was a faster way to reach his goal. Killing his men was perhaps not the best thing to do, but he still is heroic because his loyalty is what drives him to advance on his long journey home. Odysseus has the drive and awareness to make himself loyal especially to his men. Even though he doesn’t strive for all his plans, he remains faithful to his crew and family when he sees them again. However, Odysseus doesn’t look further into the situation and dissect it before demanding that goal. If someone were to go wrong with or his crew, he would immediately decide for himself and not have another person evaluate the situation. For example, once he killed the Cyclops, it made the journey longer because Poseidon got mad at him. Poseidon extended his trip even further by making the water carry him to another island instead of his original destination. The other gods tried to stop Poseidon from doing this, but since he was in a lot of rages, he makes his journey even longer. Odysseus didn’t have to kill the Cyclops, but he felt like it was necessary. If he thought of another solution, then maybe he would have arrived home sooner.

Furthermore, he stands up for everything that he has faith in and never lets other people get in the way of what he’s about to achieve. Odysseus does things that aren’t always the best but is still considered to be heroic. No matter what outcome he faces in life, he establishes the characteristics of a hero because he is brave, determined, and loyal. However, we all know that every hero goes on a quest that they must conquer on their journey. It took a lot of showing signs of courage and intelligence to be able to fight his way to make it back home to his land of Ithaca. The number of obstacles that were faced along the journey caused him to encounter so many problems that no other person would be able to handle these predicaments. Poseidon, the god of the sea, was the main reason as to why Odysseus took so long to arrive at his home of Ithaca. Poseidon was furious when Odysseus blinded his son to survive because Polyphemus which was his son was going to eat some of his crew. So, as a result, showing Odysseus bravery and survival skills, he did the only option he could to make him and his men escape to safety. In those acts of moments, you must do anything and everything to make the right decision and survive in any circumstance.

Most importantly, another way that Odysseus portrays another trait of heroism is by being a courageous leader. He demonstrates signs of this by always finding a way to survive whether it’s in combat or whether he is sailing in the middle of the sea. One of the ways that Odysseus conveys this skill is when by being fearless in any situation that specified at any moment of time. He must have to act confident about all his actions because of the outcomes that may occur. In any position where Odysseus was going to come off as being weak, the gods might of have thought about him being too soft and not being able to make it out of the journey. But he is a powerful man and will stand up to any challenge that he may encounter. So, as a result, Odysseus talks to the gods on many occasions to show his right signs of courage and provides his confidence in being a god as well. Odysseus is a god-like figure and many people who see him look up to him as a god. So, if he doesn’t stay strong, and battle through the pain many people will give up on him since he is a leader as well.

Meng Liang states, “Odysseus is a human being, and a human being must have fear because he is not the most powerful (Liang).” In other words, she is already reporting that every human has fears and that their weaknesses can remain revolved into strengths over time. However, he overcomes many of his worries which eventually leads to his heroic characteristic to stand out even further. In many cases, he begins to cry because he misses his homeland of Ithaca but holds his tears back because Odysseus doesn’t want to seem like he is weak in front of his crew. If they see that he is in fear, of not arriving home, it will just make the entire situation a lot worst.

Although, his men look up to this man because this man is the leader of the crew and if the leader is scared then nothing will get accomplished. Also, they look to this man as a role model since they believe he can lead this crew into the promised land of getting home safely. Every hero is emotionally attached to something, for example, he misses his family, and when he thinks about them, he wants to see them desperately. His sorrow only motivates him to arrive home as soon as he can because he hasn’t seen them in over 15 years. Odysseus tears cause him to reveal his image of being a hero and for those who intend to image him as a god-like figure. Since he overcomes his fear, of weakness, it proves how he can be very determined in achieving his one specific goal. By putting yourself first and not worrying about anything, it will give people hope that it will get better as the days come and go.

According to Cambridge University Margalit Finkelberg, “Earthy and prosaic as he is, Odysseus manages to pass through all the tests that life puts before him (Finkelberg).” Finkelberg’s point is that Odysseus can overcome anything in life, that challenges him to his best capabilities. He is a warrior that fought in many battles, and he can take any beating and is still willing to keep fighting until he is defeated. Also, this makes the trait of being a hero stand out even more because Odysseus will do anything and everything to complete the task no matter what obstacles puts him through. In the journey, he had to battle and face a lot of people that got in the way of his one goal. However, being a hero means that Odysseus will put himself first instead of sending others out there. Also, with is leadership and courage he would be able to take down anything that gets in his pathway to his homeland of Ithaca. Many people who would of went on a journey like odysseys, wouldn’t make it out alive because they don’t have what it takes. Only people will need unique capabilities and empowerments can survive a journey like the one that he went on.

Furthermore, he faces many problems and accouterments along the way, and he proved to everyone that he could achieve anything because he is such a great warrior. Also, he has a god-like figure which helps him overcome any challenges along the way. Odysseus is a brilliant man, and if his men didn’t have him, they wouldn’t be alive. Since they had to stop on many different islands along the way, Odysseus made peace with all the leaders to have food to survive the night. After they were taken care of with excellent hospitality, he will overrule them and bring all the supplies he needed to arrive back home. However, this wasn’t the best option, but in a situation that he was in, any decision is a good one. Having the survival skills that this man had will get you anywhere no matter what the circumstances are. He made the best choice to arrive back home to Ithaca in which he hadn’t been in over 15 years. Many people wouldn’t think of doing this because it is typically not the best idea. But Odysseus is a powerful man and won’t take on anything without a battle.

A hero goes beyond that something is required but exceed when people are in need the most. Odysseus shows signs of heroism in many different cases along with his very long journey in The Odyssey. Even though Odysseus at times doesn’t always do the right things, he still shows the qualities of being a leader, having strength and courage, and a knowledgeable man. He portrays each of these traits along with his journey which depicts his real personality. Being a hero doesn’t mean you have to be the strongest, but also the widest and generous amongst everybody. Not all men are perfect, but they can still be heroic. Therefore, Odysseus is a true hero and would do anything to help somebody for the greater good.

Works Cited

  1. Liang, Meng. “The Making of Odysseus the Hero in Homer’s Odyssey.” International Journal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature [Online], 6.7 (2017): 42-48. Web. 12 Dec. 2018
  2. Finkelberg, M. “ODYSSEUS AND THE GENUS HERO HOMER.” Greece & Rome 42.1 (1995): 1-14. Web.

Cite this page

Odysseus as a Hero in 'The Odyssey'. (2020, Oct 01). Retrieved from

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