The Qualities of Heroism

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A hero, by definition, is someone who performs brave acts and is known for their courage or skill but also possesses honorable traits. In Homer’s epic poem, The Odyssey, Odysseus could be considered a hero, exhibiting bravery in several instances, but he is also known for his cunning and crafty ways. Centuries later, as depicted in her diary, I Want to Live, Nina Luguvskaya could also be regarded as a hero due to her bold deeds for society and dedication to her cause. The two are similar in that they are complex but heroic people. Odysseus and Nina could both be deemed heroes, because Odysseus shows bravery and Nina exhibits both courage and leadership skills, but neither of them are able to show a consistent ability to put another’s needs before their own. Bravery is the most prominent quality of a hero. Both Odysseus and Nina display this trait. Throughout The Odyssey, Odysseus exhibits courageousness. In “The Land of the Dead,” Odysseus decides to proceed independently and leave his crew behind. He makes his way to Tiresias. Odysseus does not fear the ghosts in the underworld. He “[addresses] the blurred and breathless dead” (Homer 555). While there, he learns that he will return home to find many suitors vying for his wife’s hand in marriage. When this happens, Odysseus finds the courage to join forces with his son and fight off all the suitors, with “every shot [bringing] down one of his huddling enemies” (1523-1524). This type of bravery emerges in battle, while the

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