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How Odysseus Proves to Be a Hero in The Odyssey

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Words: 1112 |

Pages: 2|

6 min read

Published: Apr 29, 2022

Words: 1112|Pages: 2|6 min read

Published: Apr 29, 2022

Prompt Examples for "The Odysseus" Essay

  • Epic Heroic Qualities: Analyze the epic hero qualities exhibited by Odysseus in "The Odyssey," discussing traits such as courage, intelligence, leadership, and resilience.
  • Heroic Journey: Examine Odysseus's hero's journey throughout the epic, and discuss the challenges he faces, his growth as a character, and the lessons he learns along the way.
  • Moral and Ethical Heroism: Discuss how Odysseus demonstrates moral and ethical heroism by adhering to values and principles, and analyze the ethical dilemmas he encounters and his choices in resolving them.
  • Heroic Deeds and Accomplishments: Explore the heroic deeds and accomplishments of Odysseus, including his triumphs over monsters, his clever strategies, and his ultimate return to Ithaca.
  • Legacy and Impact: Analyze the lasting legacy and impact of Odysseus as a hero, both within the narrative of "The Odyssey" and in the broader context of Greek mythology and literature.

"The Odysseus" Essay Example

In The Odyssey by Homer, Odysseus faces a great deal of hardship as he tries to get home to Ithaca and his family. His desire to get back to his homeland gives him the ability to overcome the many obstacles thrown at him throughout his difficult journey. Along the way, Odysseus demonstrates the qualities of a hero when he encounters trouble and obtains help from the gods, which leads to him overcoming his trials.

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Odysseus experiences many challenges on his way home, but he meets each one in a heroic manner. One of the major obstacles he faces is when he is held captive on an island by the beautiful nymph, Calypso. Calypso is in love with Odysseus, and although there are many reasons he could justify staying on the island, he desperately wants to get home to his wife and son. His desperation is described when Homer writes that Odysseus’ “tears were never dried; his sweet life ebbed away in longings for his home … but in the daytime, sitting on the rocks and sands, with tears and groans and griefs racking his heart, he watched the barren sea and poured forth tears”. Odysseus is in mourning because he yearns to be back in Ithaca with his family. Although Calypso is beautiful, immortal, and offers Odysseus almost everything he could hope for, she is no replacement for his wife and son. She cannot fill the deep emptiness he feels in his heart. When Calypso agrees that Odysseus can leave the island, she warns him about the troubles he will encounter throughout his journey. The Nymph says, “Farewell, then, even so! But if at heart you knew how many woes you must endure before you reach that native land, you would remain with me, become the guardian of my home, and be immortal, despite your wish to see your wife”. Odysseus understands the dire warning he receives from Calypso and is willing to face whatever trials come his way. Odysseus knows his journey will be marked by great suffering and possibly even death, but he is willing to risk everything in an effort to get back home. The possibility of seeing his wife and son again is more important to him than anything. Odysseus shows he is a hero when he endures entrapment on Calypso’s island, and in spite of the dangers that lie ahead, he risks his life and embarks on his long journey home.

Odysseus needs assistance and protection from the gods in order to survive the many difficulties he faces throughout his journey. After he leaves Calypso’s island and has been at sea for eighteen days, Poseidon whips up a terrible storm, and Odysseus is nearly killed. Thankfully, Ino, the goddess who used to be a mortal, intervenes and rescues Odysseus. Ino offers help to Odysseus, saying, “Destroy you shall he not, however furious he be…Here, spread this veil underneath your breast. It is immortal; have no fear of suffering or death”. Odysseus finds favor with Ino, and without her help, death by drowning is almost certain. Ino reassures Odysseus by telling him that Poseidon will not succeed in killing him, no matter how determined he might be. Another trial Odysseus faces during his journey is at the house of Circe. Circe is a goddess with magic powers and she uses them for her own selfish purposes. Odysseus receives help from Hermes, the messenger god, when he warns, “Here, take this potent herb and go to Circe’s house; this shall protect your life against the evil day…she will prepare for you a potion and cast drugs into your food; but even so, she cannot harm you, because the potent herb which I shall give you will not permit it”. Hermes tells Odysseus that Circe will drug his food in order to do him harm. She turns some of his men into pigs, and Hermes says she may do the same thing to him. The only way Odysseus can avoid her charms is by taking an herb from Hermes that will protect him. Once again, he receives help from the gods in difficult situations. Odysseus is a hero because he finds favor with the gods and they offer him assistance, ensuring his survival during his journey home.

Odysseus is a hero because he achieves success in the face of difficulties. On the island of the Lotus Eaters, some of Odysseus’ men eat the intoxicating fruit of the Lotus, which causes them to forget about going home. Odysseus will not accept their forgetfulness, and he takes action, saying “These men I brought back weeping to the ships by very force, and dragging them under the benches of our hollow ships I bound them fast and bade my other rusty men hasten and embark on the swift ships, that none of them might eat the lotus and forget his going home”. Odysseus is determined to get home and will not allow the actions of his crew to stop him. He grabs his men and forces them onto the ship. He then binds them and quickly sets sail before anyone else eats the fruit and forgets about getting home. Odysseus will not allow anyone to hinder his ability to get home to his family. Odysseus and his men face another great challenge when they must defeat and escape from the giant Cyclops in order to continue their journey home. When the Cyclops is asleep, Odysseus heats the sharpened end of a wooden staff in the fire, and pushes it into the eye of the Cyclops, providing a way to escape the cave. Odysseus explains the gravity of the situation when he says, “Friends, hitherto we have not been untried in danger. Here is no greater danger than when the Cyclops penned us with brutal might in the deep cave. Yet out of that, through the energy of mine, through will and wisdom, we escaped”. Odysseus says that although he and his men have faced a lot of danger, nothing has been as dangerous as their experience with the Cyclops. Odysseus reminds his men that it is his courage, determination, and intelligence that ensure their survival and allows them to escape the Cyclops. Odysseus heroically overcomes temptation on the island of the Lotus Eaters and successfully defeats the Cyclops because he is determined to get home.

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Odysseus overcomes adversity during his long journey home to Ithaca. He proves he is a hero because he withstands trouble and receives help from the gods, which leads him to overcome each and every trial he encounters. Like Odysseus, every human being will face problems. If those problems are confronted head-on with strength and determination, there is nothing that cannot be overcome.

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Cite this Essay

How Odysseus Proves to be a Hero in The Odyssey. (2022, April 29). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 20, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/how-odysseus-proves-he-is-a-hero/
“How Odysseus Proves to be a Hero in The Odyssey.” GradesFixer, 29 Apr. 2022, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/how-odysseus-proves-he-is-a-hero/
How Odysseus Proves to be a Hero in The Odyssey. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/how-odysseus-proves-he-is-a-hero/> [Accessed 20 May 2024].
How Odysseus Proves to be a Hero in The Odyssey [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2022 Apr 29 [cited 2024 May 20]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/how-odysseus-proves-he-is-a-hero/
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