Odysseus, from the epic poem The Odyssey written by Homer, is a classic epic hero. Although he has admirable qualities, he also has faults like any other human being. His cleverness and leadership make him a hero. Not all heroes being perfect, he has a very overactive curiosity.
First of all, Odysseus’ cleverness is truly a valuable trait to have, as this hero finds himself in many difficult situations. During the Trojan War, Odysseus uses his cleverness by thinking of a plan to get into the city of Troy and killing their city.
He devises the “Wooden Horse” trick by hiding his men in a giant wooden horse and kills the city of Troy, winning the war. After the war, Odysseus and his men start to sail to Ithaca but find themselves at the island of the Cyclops. Trapped by the ruthless one-eyed creature, Odysseus makes a clever plan of escape. In the words of Odysseus, “Now I chopped out a six foot section of this pole and set it down before my men, who scraped it; and when they had it smooth, I hewed again to make a stake with pointed end.
” (lines 271-275) With this stake, brave Odysseus pokes out the Cyclops’ eye. Next, Odysseus uses his cleverness again by using the Cyclops’ flock of sheep to get his men out of the creature’s cave. “Three abreast I tied them silently together, twinning cords of willow from the ogre’s bed; then slung a man under each middle one to ride there safely, shielded left and right.” (lines 378-381) Without Odysseus’ cleverness his men would have been eaten by the one-eyed monster.
Being a well known hero, Odysseus is also a great leader to his men. His leadership helps him make decisions for himself and his men while being afloat on the sea. Using his leadership Odysseus tells his men, when they arrived to the Lotus Eaters, “All hands aboard; come, clear the beach and no one taste the Lotus, or you lose your hope of home.” (lines 103-105) After passing the Lotus Eaters and the Sirens, Odysseus gives his men a “pep talk” once they arrived at the Land of Scylla and Charybdis. In the words of Odysseus, “heads up lads! We must obey the orders as I give them. Get the oar shafts in your hands, and lay back hard on your benches; hit these breaking seas.” (lines 772-775) After giving his “pep talk” to his men, Odysseus didn’t mention that some of his men might die to avoid panic from the rest of his men. While sailing through Scylla and Charybdis, Odysseus’ men knew to row like normal and didn’t think to panic because Odysseus didn’t tell them any of his men were going to die, making Odysseus a good leader.
Lastly, Odysseus is known as a classic epic hero in this tale by Homer. Although we might think all heroes are perfect, were wrong. Great Odysseus even has faults, like any other normal human being in this world. One fault, of many, is having an overactive curiosity. Arriving at the Cyclops’ island, Odysseus’ curiosity gets to him when he decides to take a look around and step into the cave of the one-eyed monster. “…So we looked round at everything inside: a drying rack that sagged with cheeses, pens crowded with lambs and kids, each in its class: firstlings apart from middlings, and the ‘dewdrops’ or newborn lambkins, penned apart from both.” (lines 159-163) While being in the cave of the great Cyclops, Odysseus gets himself and his men into a challenging situation when his men want to take the Cyclops’ sheep and leave without the giant creature seeing. Odysseus didn’t want to leave until he saw this one-eyed creature. “Ah, how sound that was! Yet I refused. I wished to see the cave man, what he had to offer- no pretty sight, it turned out, for my friends.” (lines 171-173).
Through all of these examples, Odysseus is the man who protected his men the best he could, the soldier who fought ’til the end, the husband and father who sailed for twenty years to see his wife and son. Although he has many faults such as an overactive curiosity, Odysseus is considered a classic epic hero because he was a great leader to his men and a very clever man when it came to his or his men’s’ lives. Odysseus is far from perfect but he was born to be a good soldier and strive for what he thought was the right thing to do and get home to his family.
Cite this Odyssey Essay
Odyssey Essay. (2016, Oct 04). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/odyssey-essay/