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Odysseus And Heroic Characteri Essay, Research Paper
The Heroic Characteristics of Odysseus
As an early 1800 s English poet Robert Browning regards a hero as One
who never turned his back but marched breast forward/ Never doubted clouds
would break/ Never dreamed, though right were worsted, wrong would triumph/
Held we fall to rise, are baffled to fight better, Sleep to wake. This quote
suggests that a hero is one who faces many hardships and reveals the many
heroic characteristics. This quote suggests that a hero is one who is admired for
qualities or achievements and regarded as an ideal or model. Epic heroes in
many cases are guarded and aided by gods, but posses common qualities and
admirable characteristics. Odysseus, the main character of the Odyssey by
Homer, fits the mold of an epic hero because he is courageous, persistent, and
Odysseus courage exemplifies that characteristics of an epic hero. One
thing that shows his courageousness was his escape from Polyphemus. He was
courageous to stab out Polyphemus s eyes using a burning pole. Odysseus
states: “I took my twelve best fighters and went ahead.” This example involving
the Cyclops shows that Odysseus is not the type of leader that sits on safe land
while he sends his men in to kill, but a brave leader who enjoys nothing more
than being engaged in battle with his men. Furthermore, Odysseus had the
heart of a fighter, he would battle whenever necessary, no matter whom his
opponent was, in this case the giant Cyclops: “. . . drawing the sharp sword from
my hip I went to stab him.” He was fearless enough to take such risks.
Odysseus biggest showcase of courage was when he fought off all the Suitors
that greatly outnumbered him. Despite the fact that he had divine intervention, it
still took a dauntless man to fight a score of unwelcome suitors. Hence,
Odysseus carries out the role of a courageous hero.
Odysseus is truly an epic hero, for he is courageous as well as persistent
at times where his men are ready to give up and accept their fate. An example of
his perseverance was during Scylla and Charybdis when Odysseus’ men were
tired and didn’t want to proceed. Odysseus said: “Friends, have we never been
in danger before this? More fearsome, is it now, then when we faced Cyclops?
This quote shows that in time of danger Odysseus is willing to put his life in
jeopardy and does not give up. There are also times when all the men are afraid,
but here Odysseus shows he’s in not letting anything get in his way and speaks
up when nobody wants to: “We all felt pressure in our hearts, but I spoke up in
reply. . .” This quote shows Odysseus stamina, and his willingness to return to
Ithaca is felt by the reader. When Zeus had lay fly a bolt against the ship and
had destroyed it, Odysseus managed to float on a timber in hopes to return to
Ithaca. witnessing the death of hid beloved shipmates and floating in an the vast
seas for quite a few nights is a terrifying experience. However, this experience
did not stop Odysseus journey. During his trip back to Ithaca Odysseus was
romantically involved with Circe and Clypso. Since Odysseus is tenacious he
manages to end both affairs and head back to his hometown. In spite of this
Odysseus determination to return to his hometown causes him to end both of
his affairs. Consequently, like many other heros Odysseus uses his
perseverance to face the obstacles throughout his journey to Ithaca.
This persistent and courageous epic hero is also extremely wise.
Odysseus outwits nearly everyone he meets. O my friends, it s Nobody s
treachery, no violence, that is doing me to death. . . states Polyphemus. When
Odysseus stabs out Polyphemus eye, he uses the false name of Nobody to
escape attack from the other Cyclopes. This is extremely smart and it is amazing
that Odysseus is able to come up with such great plans. Another example of his
wisdom was his failure to inform his crew about Charybdis and Scylla. If he
would have informed them of the destruction power of these forces, his crew
would have never followed his orders to proceed. It was judicious of Odysseus
just to stay quiet about it. After his fellow shipmates had killed the sacred goat
Odysseus gave warnings to help them and tried to protect them from the wrath of
the gods: “Old shipmates, our stores are in the ship’s hold, food and drink; the
cattle here are not for our provision, or we pay dearly for it.” This thoughtful ruler
did not want his shipmates to cause any trouble with the gods and decided to
take charge himself. Using his sensibility, he was able to protect his men and his
life. The suitors were planning to kill Odysseus son, Telemachus. It was
sensible that Odysseus did not inform any human being about his return to
Ithaca, for if they were planning to kill his son they would have certainly killed
him. Therefore, as a great hero does, Odysseus uses his wisdom to achieve his
Odysseus has the many characteristics of an epic hero including
boldness, endurance, and enlightenment. Odysseus is not only physically
strong, but he also seems to be strong emotionally as well. It takes an
emotionally strong person to deal with being attacked by one eyed monsters,
huge storms, a giant sea dragon, and scores of angry men. At the same time
while overcoming these perils, Odysseus manages to posses the qualities of an
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