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Qualities Of An Epic Hero Odysseus Essay

Epic Hero in Homer's The Odyssey Essay

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Epic Hero in Homer's The Odyssey

With its larger-than-life plot twists, The Odyssey is a classic representation of an epic in literature. With that understood, it is no surprise that the main character of the story helps to define an epic hero. A character must express certain virtues to be considered such. Strength, courage, and nobility are almost prerequisites. Cleverness is an added bonus. Odysseus possesses many characteristics and virtues that make him a true representation of an epic hero. Strength is one characteristic that Odysseus exhibits. One scene that displays this is when Odysseus, disguised as a poor man, bends his old bow. "He bent the bow with little difficulty. With his right hand he grasped the string and let it…show more content…

Odysseus spoke to his men before they left to face the deceased prophet, Tiresias. "When the men had assembled, I addressed them. "You're probably thinking that we're off for our dear native land. Circe, though, has shown us another way –we must first go to the land of the dead to consult the soul of Tiresias, the blind prophet." Poor fellows, they began to weep." 63. Odysseus never wept himself, and felt pity for the others. Oftentimes Odysseus is set with other men who are not half so courageous, such as his crew, to make him stand out. This constant interaction with more "inferior" beings thrusts Odysseus into the otherworldly epic light. Nobility is yet another characteristic of Odysseus, though it is due more to birth than personal development. His fortune is so great that men come from near and far to court his wife, Penelope, in his absence. Odysseus's nobility is a trait that earns him much of his respect throughout the lands. This is revealed while he is disguised as a pauper in his own house, and thus treated like dirt. In unjustly consuming Odysseus's wealth, the suitors illuminate themselves in a negative light, while Odysseus becomes a victim. As the swineherd said, "They are certain the master is dead and are consuming all his wealth, not just one or two beasts a day!" 104. His wealth is the center of the conflict surrounding the suitors, and therefore a central part of the plot. Perhaps Odysseus's most important and evident trait is

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Odysseus, An Epic Hero How Odysseus Fulfills All Of The Traits Of An Epic Hero And How He Goes Through The Hero's Journey

One man stands tall above the rest, the only man on the battlefield without a hint of fear in his eyes. Along with fearlessness, his determination and guile is simple to sense. These are just a few of the characteristics of an epic hero. One such hero is Odysseus, the central character of the epic poem The Odyssey by Homer. Odysseus is an epic hero who embodies many admirable traits but, not only, does he have all the characteristics of an epic hero. He also goes through the process of the hero's journey.

Odysseus, like all epic heroes, is a figure of great, sometimes larger than life stature. Among Odysseus's many titles, his title of King of Ithaca is most imposing. For this reason, all of his soldiers look up to him. Also, when he arrives back on Ithaca, though the suitors had an advantage, there was no doubt that they feared him. Even before The Odyssey, Odysseus proves to be an epic hero by earning fame as the master tactician of the Trojan War. By conceiving the plan of creating a wooden horse to ambush the Trojans, Odysseus's fame as a strategist spread like wild fire. People throughout history remembers Odysseus as one of the greatest generals of the time. Where ever Odysseus journeys, his title as "Son of Laertes and the gods of old, Odysseus, master of landways and seaways" precedes him (1009-1010). The title of "master of landways and seaways" is hard earned by Odysseus. Gods and men alike know him by this title and upon hearing the title they treat Odysseus with respect. Odysseus is an imposing figure, who built his reputation through valiant deeds and courage.

Another trait of an epic hero that Odysseus fulfills is that he is a wily and courageous leader. One of the greatest examples of Odysseus's intellectual prowess is when he tells Polyphemus "[his] name is Nohbdy: mother, father, and friends, everyone calls [him] Nohbdy" (315-316). Odysseus cleverly fools the Cyclopes with his fictitious name. Polyphemus is left clueless about Odysseus's...

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