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Was Odysseus a hero?

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Introduction

Was Odysseus a hero? I feel that Odysseus can be a hero at some times and very selfish at other times. During the war in Troy, Odysseus was a true hero, as he thought elegantly and cared for his men well. However, in books 9, 10 and 12, Odysseus is definitely not playing the role of a hero among his crew. Odysseus was a bad hero because he constantly put his own curiosity above the well-being of his men. For instance, he got them into the Cyclops dilemma because he wanted to know what was on their island. . When they were in the land of the Cyclops, Odysseus refused to simply raid the cave and leave. ...read more.

Middle

On almost any page you turn to in the book, you can find some act of selfishness coming from Odysseus. Also, Odysseus has a lot of pride. When he leaves the island of the Cyclopes, he shouts back to Polyphemus that his true name is Odysseus and brags about how he bested him. If Odysseus had kept his mouth shut, his men would have been able to sail away easily, and Polyphemus would never have known his true name (because he thought his name was Nobody). If he hadn't known his name, he wouldn't have been able to ask his father Poseidon to curse Odysseus, causing him to either die or if he did not die, to lose the rest of his crew and return home to find trouble. ...read more.

Conclusion

The reason why the gods help him on many occasions is because he has respect for them. Any hero would have respect for the gods, as Odysseus did. Overall, I think while Odysseus has the intelligence and strength of a hero, he still experiences emotional pain, and struggles with life just as any human being does. The emotional and physical trauma he experiences are the characteristics of an ordinary man, which keep him human and easier to relate with. Odysseus was not a perfect hero, and had his bad days. Not surprisingly, twenty years of hardships took its toll. Sometimes he was simply, "wretched and miserable..." (62). While on the island with Calypso, for instance, he really missed his own home, and this left him with a sorrow that at times could overcome even his strongest heroic qualities. What really shows that he is a hero is that he never gave up. ...read more.

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