The Odyssey By Homer Essay

1173 words - 5 pages

Heroes put others before themselves, they do heroic actions for the right reasons. Typically, Greek heroes are usually considered to be kings or great warriors. The qualities Greeks look for in a hero would inhabit in being brave, strong, powerful, and smart. In Homer's Epic Poem, The Odyssey, Odysseus, Raider of Cities, was known as the greatest hero in Greece. Although Odysseus was strong, brave, and highly respected; he isn’t the ideal modern day hero. To be a hero in modern society, we look for a majority of the same values that the Ancient Greeks do, but not all of them. Today, to be heroes you don't have to be a president or be in a hierarchy. While Odysseus was a brave king and leader, some of his traits weren't as heroic as others. Odysseus came off sometimes as arrogant, unfaithful, secretive and short-tempered. After reading the book, and getting to know about Odysseus, he should not be considered a hero.

At times, Odysseus shows some glimpses of being arrogant. On one of his many journeys, Odysseus and his crew come in contact with the cyclops, Polyphemus; a one-eyed cannibal. As the cyclops is doing everything in his power to eat Odysseus and his crew; Odysseus comes up with a clever alternative plan. After Odysseus blinds the cyclops and escapes his lair, he can’t resist taunting him. “ I say, Cyclops! if ever any one asks you who put out your ugly eye, tell him your blinder was Odysseus, the conqueror of

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Troy, the son of Laertes, whose address is in Ithaca.,”(Rouse 110) . In this passage, Odysseus is exposing himself to Polyphemus. Polyphemus then curses Odysseus and his crew on the way to their journey home by asking his father Poseidon to sabotage Odysseus’ journey home either by death or suffer many losses and his life in Ithaca would be destitute. Some might say that Odysseus was a brave leader when he drove the stake into the cyclops’ eye. Although this is true, when Odysseus shouted his identity to the cyclops; he probably didn’t think about the consequences it would cause for him and his crew. In addition, Odysseus was the only survivor out of all men. Not saying he didn’t fight for his survival; but I believe he could’ve fought more for his companions.

In addition to Odysseus’ arrogance, he is also self-centered. Throughout his journey, Odysseus landed on Circe’s Island. Circe is a witch who lives in a palace. After Odysseus’ crew released the bag of winds, they were blown back to the Island of Aeolus. When Odysseus begs for help from Aeolus and he refuses to help him; Odysseus and his crew sail to Aeaea to collect food and water. As they sailed up to Circe’s Island, Odysseus sent his corps to fetch food; Eurolychus, one of Odysseus’ many companions comes back in a panic explaining to Odysseus that his men were captured and put under a spell. Odysseus tries to save his men by making an agreement with Circe; their compromise was that if the men were changed from pigs back to humans, Odysseus...

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