The main character of the Odyssey, Odysseus the King of Ithaca is given a complex personality to an extent where it is hard to identify whether he is a true hero or not. True heroism is only achieved when a person achieves certain qualities that portray heroism. Odysseus is not a hero based on the standards of merciful, selfless, and gentle because of his actions of sacrificing his men, killing the suitors and being ruthless throughout the Odyssey. Along with many others qualities these three are helpful and necessary in a hero. A hero must be willing to do service for others and put the needs of others safety and protection before his own. Odysseus does not even come close to matching these qualities because he is a person, who only
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/ In blood and dust/ he saw that crowd all fallen, many and man slain.”(Homer 1040-1042). As stated by the quotation, Odysseus mercilessly murders all the Suitors as revenge, even though they begged to him for mercy. He killed them showing no hesitation despite the fact that they said they understood why he was angry and also said that they would make it up to him by giving back all the wine and meat they consumed and by sending gold and bronze decorated oxen as gifts to warm Odysseus’ heart. His no mercy attitude and lack of kindness reveals that he is not a hero and he lacks the nobility that a true warrior and hero must possess. By killing all the Suitors without showing mercy, Odysseus proved to be an anti-hero, a bad role model, and him proved this again by being selfish and thinking that he is the most important one.
Odysseus’s is not a hero also because he is not selfless and his selfish behavior and self-centered beliefs shows that he does not have the necessary qualities of a hero. Throughout the story Odysseus does not take actions when his men are being killed or eaten so that he can live, like he did in the giant’s cave, when Scylla attacked and when Zeus struck them with a lightning bolt and the evidence that proves Odysseus takes these actions to protect himself reads, “why not/ take these cheeses, get them stowed, come back, / throw open all pens, and make a run for