Odysseus in The Odyssey: Hero or Not? Essay

577 Words 3 Pages
The majority of those who read The Odyssey consider the protagonist of the story, Odysseus, a hero. On many occasions, however, Odysseus makes decisions beneficial to himself alone. For example, when Odysseus and his men find themselves on Polyphemus's island, Odysseus's actions are self-centered and at the expense of his men. This can be said for most of Odysseus's actions in the story, as his main objective is to reach his home. Having his men by his side when he returns seems a trivial thing to him. Odysseus could be considered a hero, but many of his actions say otherwise. Due to the many unfaithful and self-centered decisions he makes in the story, Odysseus is not a hero. Emphasizing on Odysseus's time on Polyphemus's …show more content…
The majority of those who read The Odyssey consider the protagonist of the story, Odysseus, a hero. On many occasions, however, Odysseus makes decisions beneficial to himself alone. For example, when Odysseus and his men find themselves on Polyphemus's island, Odysseus's actions are self-centered and at the expense of his men. This can be said for most of Odysseus's actions in the story, as his main objective is to reach his home. Having his men by his side when he returns seems a trivial thing to him. Odysseus could be considered a hero, but many of his actions say otherwise. Due to the many unfaithful and self-centered decisions he makes in the story, Odysseus is not a hero. Emphasizing on Odysseus's time on Polyphemus's island, many of his actions are cowardly and put his men in more danger than he. For one, Odysseus watches and cheers as his men stab Polyphemus in the eye. This shows Odysseus believes his men are tools helping him to reach home, rather than companions. Also, during the men's escape from the cave, Odysseus escapes under the largest sheep of the flock. This is a very selfish action and shows Odysseus believes his safety is more important than the safety of his men. After successfully escaping from the cave, Odysseus boasts to the cyclops and nearly gets his men killed in the process. Odysseus's actions on this island are far from selfless and put his men in unnecessary danger. Although Odysseus's cowardice is evidence enough to avoid
Open Document