Why Is Odysseus An Epic Hero?

Updated 14 February, 2023
Odysseus, the protagonist of Homer's epic poem "The Odyssey," is considered an epic hero due to his bravery, intelligence, cunning, and honor. He embodies the values highly valued in ancient Greek society and overcomes numerous challenges on his journey home. Throughout his journey, Odysseus transforms and gains self-knowledge and wisdom, symbolizing the hero's journey. These qualities, combined with his relatable and admirable personality, make Odysseus a timeless hero who continues to captivate audiences.
Detailed answer:

Odysseus, the central figure in Homer's epic poem "The Odyssey," is widely considered an epic hero for his bravery, intelligence, cunning, and honor. These traits are highly valued in ancient Greek society and are crucial for a hero to possess in order to be successful.
One of the defining characteristics of Odysseus is his bravery. Throughout his journey home, he faces numerous challenges and dangerous situations, including fighting mythical creatures and facing the wrath of the gods. He never shies away from danger, even when he knows the odds are against him. He also displays his bravery by putting the safety of his men before his own, showing that he is a true leader.
Another aspect of Odysseus that sets him apart as an epic hero is his intelligence. He is able to think critically and solve complex problems, which helps him overcome the many obstacles in his path. For example, he uses his wit and cunning to defeat the cyclops Polyphemus and escape from the island of the sorceress Circe. He also shows his intelligence in his ability to navigate his ship and find his way home, despite the many distractions and detours along the way.
In addition to his bravery and intelligence, Odysseus is also known for his honor. He is a man of his word and values the importance of keeping one's promises. He demonstrates this by staying true to his mission to return home to his wife and son, even when faced with tempting offers from beautiful women and potential allies along the way. He also shows his honor by being fair and just, even to his enemies, and by being respectful to the gods.
Odysseus' journey home also symbolizes the hero's journey, as he transforms and grows as a person. He gains self-knowledge and wisdom through his experiences, learning valuable lessons about life and the importance of loyalty, perseverance, and humility. By the end of his journey, he has become a more complete and well-rounded individual, which is one of the reasons why he continues to be admired as an epic hero.
In conclusion, Odysseus is considered an epic hero for his combination of human and heroic qualities. He embodies the values of bravery, intelligence, cunning, and honor that were valued in ancient Greek society, and his journey home symbolizes the hero's journey, showing how he transforms and grows as a person. These qualities, along with his relatable and admirable personality, make him a timeless hero who continues to captivate audiences today.

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