Aveneu Park, Starling, Australia

When In addition, Odysseus’ friend, Menelaos, also

When someone says hero, what word comes to mind? Charismatic? Bravery? Intelligence? Strength? The concrete definition of a hero is someone who is admired, or idealized for having courage, noble qualities, and achieving their goals. When thinking about a hero, who comes to mind? Anyone can be one as long as they contain the qualities a hero requires. According to the book, ‘The Odyssey’ there have been many debates on whether Odysseus, the main character is a hero or not. It is proven Odysseus is in fact a hero. He has portrayed certain features that have made him a hero. The Ithakan, Phaiakian and the Akhaian often described Odysseus as the greatest hero in Greece. In addition, Odysseus’ friend, Menelaos, also describes Odysseus as, ‘a glinting of the eye.’ (640) All these characteristics reveal that Odysseus was a hero due to his good deeds towards people of Greece. (Homer)One way that shows that Odyssey was a hero was his way of retaliating back to his rivals. Most people would prefer to physically fight back their enemies so that those who come out victorious are labeled heroes. However, for Odysseus’ case, he decides to fight his enemy using wisdom.  During the Trojan war, when Achilles received the saddening news of the death of Patroclus, he decides to revenge the death of Patroclus through physical fighting with the perpetrators. He further suggested that Odysseus and him would get help from the Achaeans but Odysseus refuted this suggestion as being unwise. Odysseus guides Achille in capturing the Troys who killed Patroclus through his wisdom strategy. This showed that the wisdom strategy was way better than that of physical fight over enemies. During the war, when the polyphemus asked Odysseus what his name was, he said,’ Noman.’ This was to alert the Cyclopes that no man actually hurt the polyphemus. When he was taken captive with other beggars, he said to them, ‘The gods were with me/ keeping me hid.’ and, ‘Athena’s arm is over us.’ (704). He was advising the beggars not to act against the law of their ruler who had taken them captive. (Rieu)Odyssey shows his heroic nature when he replaced his coward nature with bravery and courage. On one of the occasions when his crew were afraid of the sirens of  Cyclops he told them, ‘Did I not keep my nerve and use my wits to find a way out for us?’ (663-664). This statement shows that Odysseus would rather fight with his enemies than be taken captive. He immediately stopped being afraid of his enemies and regained bravery that he would come out victorious. For any person to come out victorious, they need to endure all the sufferings they go through. Odysseus endured many sufferings and attacks from his enemies that made him the hero he was. He pretended to be a beggar when he met the King of the Phaecians. Menelaos says, ‘No soldier took so much, went through so much.’ (656). As mentioned previously, not all people think that Odysseus is a hero. Some think that he was not a hero due to some behaviors that he may have portrayed. The fact that he abandoned his family for a very long time shows that he was not a hero. This is because of the belief that family always came first. When he returned home after many years, he wondered whether his father would remember him. He asks himself, ‘Will he know me?’ (698). He feels bad and guilty for leaving his family for a very long time. (Thornton) His dressing as on old beggar also showed the opposite of what a hero should be like. He was considered as an outcast in Ithaka and also by other suitors.


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