Odysseus : The Hero Of The Odyssey

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Throughout the Odyssey, Odysseus experiences many ups and downs throughout his journey home. He is throw into peril and there often seems to be no hope for his return home. While he remains victorious in the end, returning to his wife, son, and father, the poem itself is filled with many darker moments filled with doubt and sadness. Odysseus is the hero of the Odyssey, and in order to exist as a hero he must be relatable. His story cannot be one entirely of triumph, it must include a more human perspective. Triumph cannot come without strife, and heroism cannot come without tribulation. Athena and Odysseus’ experiences as divine and human, respectively, and define whether or not they are heroes. By comparing Odysseus to Athena, it is apparent that what makes Odysseus a hero before anything else is his humanity. In Athena’s first appearance she is badgering Zeus about when Odysseus will be allowed to return home, “My heart breaks for Odysseus, / that seasoned veteran cursed by fate so long- / far from his loved ones still, he suffers torments / off on a wave-washed island rising at the center of the seas,” (1 57-60). After years of torments, she is still begging Zeus to have pity on Odysseus and to bring him home. She has not lost vigor or strength. Her demeanor is not one of desperation, rather it is persistent. She has not lost faith in Zeus or the fates in her ten years of advocacy for this man. She is an immortal, and time does not mean to her what it means to Odysseus.
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