Is Odysseus a Hero? What is a hero? In my opinion, a hero is someone who accomplishes spectacular feats and puts others before himself. According to my definition, Odysseus, the main character in the epic poem The Odyssey, deserves the title of hero. This is due to three reasons; he is skilled in battle, ingenious and loyal. One way a hero accomplishes feats of valor is to have physical prowess, which Odysseus does. Odysseus’ skill in battle was shown throughout the course of the Trojan War, in which he was a military commander.
To have survived the entire ten year war, Odysseus must have been very strong and battle hardened, else he would have perished due to his enemies.
Another instance where Odysseus’ battle skills were shown was when he blinded the Cyclops with a spear. Not only did he have to be brave to take on the task, he also had the strength and skill to stab the Cyclops in the eye and blind him, ultimately allowed he and his men to escape.
If Odysseus did not have the strength to plunge the spear all the way into the Cyclops’ eye, then he wouldn’t have been totally blinded as he was.Odysseus’ strength was exhibited when he strung the bow and killed all of the suitors in his hall after he returned to Ithaca. The bow was so hard to string, that none of the suitors could do it. Odysseus on the other hand, strung the bow without breaking a sweat.
He then went on to punish the suitors for attempting to take his kingdom by taking their lives without suffering a single wound. This is the ultimate display of Odysseus’ skill in battle, which can be an instrumental part of being a hero. Being clever and ingenious is another way a hero, such as Odysseus, can accomplish extraordinary feats.A textbook example of the use of intelligence to accomplish a feat is the ending of the Trojan War with the Trojan Horse.
Odysseus’ plan was so creative, that the Trojans had no idea that the horse could have been housing enemy forces. It is due to Odysseus’ plan that his forces were able to burn the city of Troy to the ground. Another example of Odysseus’ cleverness is when he told the Cyclops his name was Nhbdy. This way, when the Cyclops wailed that he was blind, the other Cyclopes would think that he was actually blinded by nobody, arousing no suspicion.If Odysseus had told the Cyclops his actual name, the other Cyclopes would have come to aid the blinded Cyclops, which would have been the end of the soldiers. When Odysseus disguised himself as an old man in his own house when he returned to Ithaca, he was definitely using his brain to his advantage. Had he tried to waltz in as himself, the suitors would have evicted, or even killed Odysseus in fear of him. However, Odysseus realized this and disguised himself so he would be of no interest to the suitors as he wasn’t a threat and was later able to retake his throne.
Heroes have the responsibility of putting others before themselves and Odysseus does this on occasion by being loyal to his men. For example, when the Cyclops asked Odysseus where his ship was, he lied about its actual location. This is because he did not want to put any more men in danger than he already did. Had he told the Cyclops were his ship actually was, Odysseus’ soldiers could have been endangered but instead he took their lives into account. Another example of Odysseus’ loyalty is when he rescued his scouts from the Lotus Eaters.Odysseus could have chosen to leave the men behind, but he felt it was his responsibility to save them; he was putting their lives ahead of his and risked his own life for his men’s. Loyalty on Odysseus’ part was exhibited once again on the island of Circe.
When Circe turned his men into pigs, he chose to stay with Circe and save his men rather than just leave without them. If he wanted to, Odysseus could have left his men behind and continued to Ithaca, but he was loyal and refused to leave the island without them. This proves that he valued their lives over his own and is therefore considered a hero in this regard. Through his skill in battle, intelligence and loyalty, Odysseus has proven to be a hero in all regards. In fact, Odysseus is referred to as a Greek Hero after all. If society didn’t find heroes fit to be looked up to, then there wouldn’t be stories written about them. In reality, heroes are the ones who uphold society for all others and we should be grateful for them.