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Odysseus: A Beloved Epic Hero

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Introduction

Carly Menser Honors English 9, Period 4 Mr. Diamantopoulos December 1, 2008 Odysseus: A Beloved Epic Hero Are you an epic hero? Do you have values such as courage, loyalty, physical strength, and wisdom? Odysseus has these values in many parts of his life. Odysseus is the King of Ithaca and goes off to the Trojan War leaving his family and kingdom behind to go fight with the other Greek kings for the always beautiful, Helen. After the ten-year war, Odysseus heads home but meets new friends and trouble along the way. After twenty years away from his glorious kingdom, he finally gets back home. Is Odysseus an Epic Hero, someone who is in a long, narrative story that embodies the values of a certain culture of people? According to the evidence found supporting many of their values in Ithaca and all of Greece Odysseus is an Epic Hero of the sorts. The first value Odysseus shows is courage, which he embodies many times throughout the epic. Courage is the quality of being brave ("courage"). ...read more.

Middle

This proves that Odysseus is loyal because he is faithful to Elpinor and abides by his wishes to have a respectful funeral. Next Odysseus proves he is loyal to his crew because when they are about to hear the Sirens' hypnotizing song he takes out a cake of wax and chops it into little pieces that he then puts in the men's ears (117). By doing this, Odysseus proves he is loyal to his crew because he is keeping them from killing themselves over the song of the Sirens' and shows he cares about their safety. Odysseus' dominant quality is physical strength, which is the level of exertion of bodily effort; Odysseus is on the higher end of this scale. An example of this is Odysseus is at Scheria and is taunted by these younger men about him being too old to play with them in the games. Odysseus joins the men and throws the discus farther than any of the men (Homer 71-73). This shows us Odysseus has the value of physical strength because he was the only man at this event who had the strength to throw the discus such a long distance. ...read more.

Conclusion

He only blinded Polyphemus so he could get out of the cave. The last example is when Odysseus chooses to sail by Scylla instead of Charybdis (118). This again exemplifies Odysseus' wisdom because it is better to lose a few men than many. Charybdis would have swallowed the ship whole, but Scylla can only take six men total so it was the wisest decision to go by Scylla. Expressing such a diverse array of traits and characteristics, Odysseus embodies that of an epic hero through courage, loyalty, physical strength, and wisdom. Odysseus was courageous because he went into battle fearlessly and he does not take the consequences or the fact that he is inferior in number or size as a threat. He shows loyalty to his friends by respecting their last wishes and by saving their lives. Odysseus also shows physical strength by winning the games at Scheria and being the only man able to bend the bow in order to string it. Odysseus shows wisdom by thinking through his actions and only blinding, not killing, Polyphemus and by sailing by Scylla and not Charybdis. Overall, Odysseus is an amazing epic hero who shows his strengths but also his weaknesses, and will never be forgotten. ?? ?? ?? ?? Menser 3 ...read more.

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