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How far is Odysseus's status 'safe' in the Odyssey?

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Introduction

How far is Odysseus's status 'safe' in the Odyssey? Throughout the Odyssey, Odysseus is portrayed as a Greek hero. However this can be contradicted. In many events Odysseus can be perceived as un-heroic at times. Therefore the above statement can be argued. Throughout this piece of work I will be discussing this statement and I will gradually draw closer to a conclusion. Odysseus shows leadership as he produces very clever ideas and performs quick-thinking actions. Throughout the narrative he has planned strategies, for example, every time Odysseus and his men reach an island he always sends his men first to investigate the surroundings. This quality can be seen as cunning and therefore he can be seen as a hero. His personality can be seen as caring and scheming. In many periods of the book this can be proved. He stays calm in situations and when his men die he thinks of them, and when in trouble he does his best to help them says quote, "we travelled with heavy hearts, grieving for the loss of our dear friends....." ...read more.

Middle

Odysseus can be thought of as violent as he blinded Polyphemus with a stake. This could be looked at as un-heroic and wrong, but it can also be seen as him being vengeful for his killed crew. Therefore these different situations can be looked at from two perspectives. He could be seen as hospitable and vengeful, which are true qualities of a hero, or he can be looked at as a violent person who has bad judgement. It all depends on the reader's standpoint. Odysseus has a very strong relationship with the Gods, especially with Athenes and Hermes. For example Hermes helped Odysseus by giving him the moly flower. This can be looked at from two angles. Odysseus might seem not so heroic as he needs help from the powers that be, and he might be seen as dependent on the Gods. But this can be argued as only some people would think that only a hero can receive such gifts from the gods and that there has to be something special about him, and also Athene was known for helping heroes which could prove that he was one. ...read more.

Conclusion

They feel as if his leadership is endangering them which shows that they do not think of him as a hero and influences the reader to think the same, even though Odysseus tries his best and up most to rescue his men In my opinion, I think that Odysseus is a heroic figure. This is because in the book he is proved to be cunning, caring and an important figure. There are many events in the book that contradict this, but they can be argued to whether Odysseus was really in the wrong. For example, he wanted to stay in Polyphemus's cave because he wanted to be hospitable (which is the right thing to do), and he was not aware of the dangers that were at hand. He can be seen as violent, but revenge was his only motivation, when he blinded the Cyclops. Therefore, I think that Odysseus can be categorised under 'hero', and I think that Odysseus's status throughout the Odyssey all depends on how the reader interprets the events that take place as they always have two aspects to look at. ...read more.

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