Isabella Green Ms. MastermanHonors World Literature 9January 22, 2018Tale of the Greek HeroOdysseus exemplifies adventure, courage, and the values of the Greeks, but does that make him a hero? An epic hero is not only a personification of a culture but the best of that culture. The Odyssey is a narrative poem told by Homer. The Odyssey takes place after the fall of Troy in the Iliad. In this epic poem the character of Odysseus fits the part of an epic hero as demonstrated by his difficult trials, superior strength, and advanced cleverness. Odysseus has to complete several difficult trials.
For example, Odysseus had to leave the land of the lotus-eaters despite his crew’s thoughts about it being a calm and peaceful place. Odysseus needed to remain strong and not falter under the challenges “But I brought them back, back to the hollow ships, and streaming tears – I forced them…”(214). Not only does this show his physical strength but also shows the difficulties he faced as the leader. Odysseus acted for the betterment of his crew even though it brought him pain. Not only has Odysseus gone through pain but he has also matted out his fair share. Odysseus is very strong and powerful; this is especially prevalent in battle with his enemies. Odysseus defeated the cyclops “So we seized our stake with its fiery tip and bored it round and round in the giant’s eye”(223).
It must have taken a deal of strength to yield a stake into the eye of such an enormous creature as the cyclops. Odysseus again faced a trial and used his considerable force to protect himself and his crew. Physical strength is wasted if not matched with mental strength and intelligence. That is why it is fortunate that Odysseus possesses a great deal of these qualities. It has already been shown that Odysseus used his impressive physical abilities, but he also required mental strength to lead his crew on such a long and arduous journey.
He used his intelligence to his advantage ” I poured him another fiery bowl-three bowls I brimmed…the fool…”(222).
Odysseus shows he is using alcohol to reduce the reasoning of the cyclops a great deal and take advantage of him, therefore, increasing his own mental and physical capacities in comparison. In Homer’s epic poem, The Odyssey, the character Odysseus fits the archetype of an epic hero as demonstrated by his difficult trials, advanced cleverness, and superior strength. All of which are vital factors frequently seen in the story. Odysseus needed his wit, power, and endurance to push through as an epic hero.
Odysseus fully represents the ideal characteristics of his civilization. His strength, ingenuity, and perseverance through trials make Odysseus an epic hero.