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The Ancient Greeks’ view of a hero is classified as “A man or woman, often of divine ancestry, who is endowed with great courage and strength, celebrated for his or her bold exploits, and favored by the gods”. In The Odyssey, Odysseus is oftentimes considered to have different combinations of both foolish and heroic traits and qualities. Although some may argue that Odysseus acts foolish at times, it is obvious that Odysseus is mostly a heroic character throughout The Odyssey due to his bravery, intelligence, and determination.
Odysseus displays bravery in many forms throughout his journey home. For example, Odysseus saved his men when they were trapped by the Cyclops; “The men took hold of the stake and thrust the sharp point into his eye; and I leaned hard on it from above and turned it round and round.” The stunt he pulled had a lot of risks involved and going through with blinding the cyclops to help him and his men escape makes him very brave.
“I ordered the men to set me free, nodding my head and working my brows; but they simply went on pulling with a good swing.” Odysseus decided he wanted to hear the Sirens’ song even though it could mean danger. His men assisted him in staying safe and could have easily unbound him. In summary, due to Odysseus’ actions, it is obvious he is a very brave leader.
Odysseus shows his cunning ways many times throughout his journey back to Ithaca. Such as the time he knew the men needed the lotus flushed from their systems.
“Odysseus brings them back to the ship by main force… and stows them under the benches’” Then he “Orders the rest of the men to hurry up and get aboard’” So they will not be affected by the lotus. Odysseus knows if his entire crew had eaten the lotus, he would have lost control of them and thus lost all hope of returning home. Odysseus also displays his cunning when he meets with Circe, the evil goddess who seduces men then turns them into animals. When she fails at the seduction of Odysseus, they become lovers and he makes her ” swear a solemn oath that she will never attempt any evil thing against him’”. This shows he is using his brain skillfully by making sure no harm comes his way. Through his actions in tricking other people in order to get what he wants, It is apparent he is a cunning leader.
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