Odysseus as a Tragic Hero

2449 Words Jan 26th, 2007 10 Pages
Nearly every story in Greek mythology revolves around a character with a certain outstanding attribute, be it strength, intellect, or even musical talent. Heroes such as this might spend their lives questing for kleos, or the myth might simply be a tale in which the hero was trying to accomplish a certain task, such as returning home or rescuing a lover from Hades. In every case, these heroic tales would always end with tragedy; the hero would be killed by a jealous lover, go mad, or have a loved one taken away from him. However, one Greek hero existed whose story did not end with tragedy: Odysseus. Homer's The Odyssey is unique among all other Greek myths in that it is the only story in which the hero does not meet a tragic end; why …show more content…
The two friends are extremely close to one another and are comfortable with simply sitting and singing together, away from the battle that Achilles has left. However, unlike Achilles, Heracles actually has more than one of these close companions throughout his adventures. Heracles's first and most important male companion was Hylas, with whom he traveled until the journey of Jason and the Argonauts. The relationship between the two has even been described as ‘homoerotic', they were so close to one another. For example, after Hylas goes missing in the story, "Herakles reacted with passionate anguish (‘sweat poured down over his temples, and within his innards the dark blood boiled', sang Apollonius)" (Buxton 111). In fact, after Hylas is lost, Herakles chooses to abandon Jason's quest for the Golden Fleece and continue searching for his beloved companion in vain. Another companion of Heracles, Iolaos, travels with and helps him during many of his labors. Heracles had many more of these companions as well, says Plutarch (Buxton 176). However, while both Achilles and Heracles had one or more close male companions, Odysseus had none, and traveled alone for much of his story.
There is yet one more difference between Odysseus and the other two heroes which may help to find the reason why his tale does not end

More about Odysseus as a Tragic Hero

Open Document