Why Odysseus Is A Hero: History Of Feats

Categories: Odysseus

How do people become heroes? Are they born as a hero or do their experiences shape them into one? I believe people are shaped into heroes through their experiences. “The Odyssey” is an epic about the king of Ithaca, Odysseus. Odysseus is forced from his homeland to participate in the Trojan War, and the rest of the epic is about his way back home. Throughout the epic, Odysseus is met with many parts of the Hero’s Journey. His Hero’s Journey has shaped him into the epic hero that he currently is.

The three parts of the Hero’s Journey that have been most impactful in shaping Odysseus into an epic hero are Mentor, Enemies, and Tests. It is important to find an answer to the question why Odysseus is a hero.

Firstly, Circe is Odysseus’ mentor/helper. Circe has said “Must you have battle in your heart forever? The bloody toil of combat? Old contender, will you not yield to the immortal gods?”.

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She has given Odysseus valuable information and insight. Odysseus used to always fight his foes head-on. It never mattered how powerful they were, Odysseus always fought back. Circe’s words changed Odysseus. He didn’t try to fight Scylla but instead tried to quickly avoid her. Odysseus finally lets go of his pride for the safety of his remaining men and himself. This shows that Odysseus is changing into a hero.

Secondly, Odysseus encounters many enemies in “The Odyssey,” and he changes the way he encounters them over time to save his men.

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In Book 9, Odysseus blinds Polyphemus before stealing his livestock, and in Book 12, Odysseus chooses to avoid Scylla instead of fighting her. Odysseus goes from trickery and battle to pacifism, which is sometimes the better option. Odysseus’ choices also affect how many casualties there will be. Many of his men died during Book 9, because of Polyphemus, while only 6 of his men died during Book 12 to Scylla. Odysseus chose the option that would limit the deaths while saving the most people. He is becoming a hero because he’s thinking about his men first.

Thirdly, throughout his journey, Odysseus has been tested by the gods countless times. The gods have cursed his voyage with death and longevity and have destroyed his boat. All of his men have died and he is left with no boat. Despite all of this, he keeps on going, every defeat makes him stronger. Odysseus knows it will be long before he is back home in Ithaca, but he won’t stop. These tests show Odysseus’ determination, and determination is one of the characteristics of an epic hero.

In conclusion, Mentor, Enemies, and Tests, show how the Hero’s Journey has shaped Odysseus into an epic hero. Odysseus learning that he doesn’t always have to be violent to solve a problem, the challenge of saving his men despite unfavorable odds, and the tests of returning home have all shaped him into an epic hero. Odysseus will still grow as a person, but his experiences have already made him a hero.

Updated: Feb 28, 2024
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Why Odysseus Is A Hero: History Of Feats. (2024, Feb 28). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/why-odysseus-is-a-hero-history-of-feats-essay

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