Odysseus: The Hero In The Odyssey: A True Hero

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Hero is a word associated with a completely different type of being in our modern world. When we think of a hero our minds immediately go to the stories we were told as children such as superheroes like batman, superman, and wonder woman. All characters who have exceptional talents or powers to protect mankind. Unlike our heroes of today, who are made up, the heroes of ancient Greece that immediately comes to mind were very real to the people. The Odyssey by Homer does an exemplary job at defining “hero” through the long journey of Odysseus. Homer takes us through the ten year journey of Odysseus to his homeland and through Odysseus’ Homeric hero characteristics and the great obstacles Odysseus must overcome we identify what a true hero is. …show more content…
He further goes on to explain, “Homer used it to mean any “noble” or “well born” male, always alive,” (Powell 314). Odysseus fits into Homers definition exactly as he is the King of Ithaca. Not only is Odysseus a king and have noble blood but he also possesses other characteristics of Greek heroes. Odysseus possesses strength, a search for kleos, great intellect, hubris, and a need for nostros. We have seen time and time again heroes searching for kleos. Kleos is the Greek word for glory. All heroes are searching for eternal glory and for their name to be remembered forever for their great accomplishments and good deeds. Odysseus continually looks for his kleos in all that he does to help his people, protect his men, and get home to his family. We still know the great adventures of Odysseus today so even though he obtained his kleos his hubris, or excessive pride, hindered his journey towards this glory. All heroes have a sense of hubris, which is an excessive self-confidence that usually leads to enemies, especially the gods. In book nine Odysseus and his men get into a predicament where a Cyclops traps them. Odysseus and his great intellect devise a plan to escape and successfully does so. Instead of being humble and going on his way his hubris gets in the way as he yells back to the Cyclops, “if any man asks how …show more content…
He sets up multiple obstacles for Odysseus to overcome in order to achieve kleos and nostos. These obstacles are ones that not any ordinary man could overcome though. They require great intelligence and courage to complete. Odysseus displays his great intelligence early on as he was the man who so cleverly thought of the Trojan horse ploy and as we know this act of deception was very successful. In book nine we see Odysseus’ great intelligence as the Cyclops, Polyphemus, traps him and his men. They are in such a predicament and he comes up with a great plan to deceive the Cyclops and escape. When the Cyclops asks for Odysseus’ name he replies that it is “Nobody” (Homer 9.410). When the Cyclops is blinded no one comes to his rescue because he is yelling, “Nobody’s killing me!” (Homer 9.455). Now that the Cyclops is blind Odysseus and his men strapped themselves to the bellies of sheep so that when the Cyclops reaches down he only feels the fleece. This is very clever on Odysseus’ part and also shows his great loyalty to his men since he devices this plan to save them as well. If only his hubris had not blinded him. In book eleven Odysseus’ courage is exemplified in his journey to the underworld. Several other heroes have made this journey as well, such as Achilles, despite the great risk that he may be taken as prisoner and never return to the sunlight. He travels to the underworld by the orders of

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