Odysseus Hero Or Not Essay Format

Odysseus Is Not A Hero Essay

A hero is "a man noted for his special achievements" according to the dictionary, but if you ask most people what a hero is, you will get the same general response. They will probably say "someone who does something for other people out of the goodness of his heart." Odysseus, who is the main character of the book "The Odyssey" written by Homer, would fit the dictionary¹s definition of a hero; but if you go deeper, looking at what people feel a hero is, he doesn¹t even come close. In the book, Odysseus does nothing out of the goodness of his heart. Even if Odysseus fought in the Trojan War, he is not a hero because he is self-centered and ignorant to other people¹s values and needs.

There are multiple examples of Odysseus being self-centered, such as not taking people¹s advice. Odysseus was given advice from Circe that said not to try to fight Scylla even when she takes six of your men, but Odysseus tried to fight her and he lost three more men than the six he already lost. He also neglected to take the advice from his crew member, Eurylochus. Eurylochus told Odysseus not to send men to see what was on Circe¹s island and because he sent them anyway, they ended up being turned into pigs. Odysseus also neglects other people¹s lives when he takes action; such as when he tried to fight Scylla after strictly being told not to. Because of this ignorant action, he lost three more men on top of the other six. He also sacrificed men when he waited at the Cyclops¹ home for "gifts." Odysseus was very self-centered where real heroes are not.

Odysseus also lacks the part of the hero profile which includes having a good heart. Odysseus definitely does not have this because he kills people without giving them a chance. Odysseus killed every one of the suitors in cold blood when most of them didn¹t commit a crime suitable for the death penalty. He also killed all of the maids who were raped by the suitors as if the had a choice in the matter. Odysseus also doesn¹t care about his crew members. When Elpenor fell off the roof at Circe¹s house, Odysseus didn¹t even bother to bury him. He doesn¹t support up for...

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800 Words4 Pages

Many would argue that Odysseus is more of a villain nowadays, for every instance of his wiliness or feats of strength there are several of venality, vice, cruelty, or selfishness. The episode of the Sirens,(Book 12), is one example. The only reason Odysseus ties himself up to the mast, when instead he could have simply plugged his ears with wax like the rest of his crew, is that he chooses the jeopardous choice, wanting to "go down in the books" by being the first man to ever listen to the Sirens song and live. In consequence he possibly endangers the rest of his crew from safely reaching home by endangering himself. While Odysseus’ many adventures are very exciting, he spends a considerable amount of time cheating on his wife (with…show more content…

In the time of the so-called Heroic Age (roughly the Mycenaean Age, the time of the Trojan War, 1200-1100 BCE or thereabouts) standards were much, much different, and some of them, at least, for very good reasons. Probably by those standards (or the standards of Homer’s time, some 400 years later) Odysseus was considerably closer to a hero than he would be in our eyes today. Perhaps, what might now be seen as grotesquely excessive blood letting, would then have been seen as an understandable or even necessary act of retribution
Again, Odysseus' darker and 'immoral' acts could be viewed could viewed as metaphors for and/or accurate reflections of the imperfection of the human race. Characteristics that show that heroes too are flawed. A hero who has some shortcomings is a more believable character, they may be godly in the sense that they do what no one else can, but that they are still only human. Drawing on this, Odysseus can be considered a hero for modern times. He possesses admiral skills, such as commitment and knowledge, which are still considered heroic today. He uses these traits to protect himself and his crew as they make the long journey home. Although Odysseus is renowned for his expertise in fighting, he is

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