Odysseus: A Tragic Hero

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CRUNCH! SPLASH! These are the sounds of Odysseus’s armada getting destroyed by the Cyclops Polyphemus whom Odysseus blinded to save his men. Odysseus is the protagonist in The Odyssey and was one of the greatest leaders of all time. Odysseus was well known for his clever tricks and strength. But as all heroes have flaws, Odysseus was cursed by some of the gods and was far too boastful, which led to many preventable incidents. Even though he was flawed, however he shows remarkable determination and his “goods” outshine his “bads.” Odysseus lives up to the role of the hero due to his valor, and even if he is too boastful, his qualities surpass his defects.
Like most heroes, Odysseus has quite a number of achievements and feats that will be used
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His boastfulness and cursed luck have lead to many incidents with some foes that not even an army could handle. In one moment in the story, Odysseus has escaped a giant, Polyphemus, and boasted his name in anger, which led to Polyphemus “Breaking off the peak of a huge crag/ He threw it toward our ship, and it carried to just in front of our dark prow” (9, 481-483). Odysseus almost killed all of his men and himself because of his foolish swagger. On top of his boasting, he was cursed by Polyphemus, which led to very big problems for Odysseus, one of which involved the leader of the gods- Zeus, “In the same instant, Zeus thundered/ And struck the ship with a lightning bolt.” (12, 426-427). The curse destroyed Odysseus’s ship and killed the last of his men. His flaws and history are quite similar to the story of Samson in the Bible, they both were very gifted, but cursed and learned their lesson in the end. In sum, Odysseus’s flaws seem to lower his influence on his men and lower his aspect as …show more content…
All of his evil aspects are surpassed by his heroic deeds and heroism. Although Circe was going to turn him and his men into pigs as Hermes tells him, “But she won’t be able to cast her spell/Because you’ll have a charm that works just as well-/The one I’ll give you-and you’ll be forewarned” (10, 311-313), the god Hermes assisted him in saving all of his men and getting Odysseus more information. Not only that, but Odysseus when gloated his great strength, in most cases, he had the right to boast like when he was in the Phaeacian Sports and Euryalus called him “Greedy for profit. No, you’re no athlete” (8, 178-179), which Odysseus then proceeded to win at all the games. This is almost like how in the Civil war, the Union army had bad leadership, but yet the most temperamental general won the war, William Sherman. In conclusion, Although Odysseus has some flaws, he is still a remarkable

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