Not Always the Hero Essay

2006 Words 9 Pages
Heroes are found everywhere. They are seen in movies, on television, in books, and in reality. A hero can be anyone from a friend to a fictional character. To be considered a hero, one must make selfless sacrifices, develop and learn, overcome challenges and temptations, and ultimately present their known world with a gift of any kind. Homer’s The Odyssey paints a picture of the supposed savior Odysseus. The irony of Odysseus’ situation is that he really is not the marvelous hero that many who read The Odyssey see him to be. When imagining a great hero, the words of cruel, unfaithful, selfish, or careless never come to mind, but the son of Laertes sets examples for each attribute. Odysseus makes many poor decisions that cause his …show more content…
While there, Odysseus used his wits to help him and his men escape the large cave they were being held captive in. Defeating the Kyklops Polyphemos was not enough for Odysseus, so he proceeded to mock the one eyed giant, “Kyklops, if ever mortal man inquire how you were put to shame and blinded, tell him Odysseus, raider of cities, took your eye: Laertes’ son, whose home’s on Ithaka” (IX, 548-552). The extra gloating is completely unnecessary for he should just be relieved he is alive. This excessive pride is also proven when Odysseus expects too much of the gods he believes in. The first display takes place in the Land of the Kyklopes too when he is beginning to introduce himself to Polyphemos. Odysseus claims that if Polyphemos is not an adequate host to his “guests” then “Zeus will avenge the unoffending guest” (IX, 292-293). This is not a fact to Odysseus, and he just assumes that Zeus will assist him. The same assumption is made as Odysseus reveals his master plan to kill the suitors to his son Telemakhos, who questions if the scheme is practical. Odysseus assures his son by stating that “Athena’s arm is over us, and Zeus her father’s, must I rack my brain for more?” (XVI, 309-310) and takes for granted how the gods have helped him so far. Because of that, Odysseus takes too much pride in his thoughts and his work. Once all the suitors and traitors were dead, he enjoys the glory of knowing his plan played out perfectly and quickly resumes acting like a king.

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