Odysseus and His False Heroism Essay example

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Odysseus and His False Heroism
Once studied in depth, Odysseus, from the epic poem, Odyssey by Homer, is not a hero. Odysseus, although known as a “kingly and wise man” (I, 87) to the gods, clearly does not behave like one. A hero is one that attempts to help others despite putting themselves at risk and is also a good leader. One is not a hero if he is helping just so that he has bragging rights, but is helping because he or she wants other people to be able to achieve their goal, end their pain, or even go home after a long journey. As Odysseus makes decisions throughout the story, Odysseus becomes less and less like a hero, when he demonstrates hubris, shows poor leadership skills, and kills unmercifully.
Odysseus often uses his wits
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He told his men to plug their ears with beeswax so they would not be able to hear the Seirenes’s songs. However, due to his extremely boastful personality, he decided that he wanted to have the “bragging rights” of surviving and hearing the Seirenes’s song. Ultimately, Odysseus demonstrates two types of hubris and thus, is not a hero.
Odysseus also has poor leadership skills that ultimately lead to the death of his men. On Ismaros, Odysseus cannot control his men and his men slaughter and rape a whole village. In retaliation, the main force of the Kikones came and killed many of his men, “My men were mutinous, fools, on stores of wine… The came with dawn over that terrain like the leaves and blades of spring. So doom appeared to us… Six benches were left empty in every ship” (IX, 51-67). If a hero cannot control those his followers, then the hero is not truly a hero. Again, Odysseus failed to control his men at Thrinakia, resulting in him being left all by himself. Odysseus again proved that he was not a hero by not being able to control his men. Odysseus also does not take precautions, which proves that he is not a hero as well. In Lamos, he tells his men to anchor their ships in a bay which would eventually lead to the fleet being ambushed and lost. Odysseus’s decision for his men to anchor in the bay demonstrates his poor leadership skills as he does to take into fact that his fleet

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