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Analyzing Odysseus As An Epic Hero British Literature Essay

A Homeric epic hero is considered to be above a standard individual. The traits of the epic hero are power, loyalty, courage, and intelligence. Actually, the Macmillan Dictionary for Students defines a hero as "one who is adored and viewed up to for valor, achievements, and noble characteristics" (483). Odysseus fulfills all the requirements for an epic hero plus more. He shows his potential to be an articulate speaker, and his poise products him on his journey. His endless curiosity has become him into dilemmas, while his superb displays of strength and cunningness have helped both him and his staff escape danger. His arrogance pieces him again, but his devotion is exactly what drives him onward on his long and treacherous expedition. Within the first few lines in the Odyssey, Odysseus explains himself as "formidable for guile in calmness and war". He is aware of that he is a formidable opponent, and there are circumstances in which his guile has induced both harmony and violence. No matter what challenges Odysseus faces, he always clearly shows the characteristics associated with an epic hero.

An important characteristic an epic hero must have is cleverness. Odysseus's quick thinking, combined with his eloquence in speech and many other characteristics, has become him and his team out of several small situations. One situation, for example, was when Odysseus and his men were stuck in the Cyclops Polyphemos's cave. Although Odysseus's interest was what landed him in to the situation to begin with, his masterful presentations of his articulation in speaking were what eventually helped him avoid. He handles to win over Polyphemos in the storyplot with a few well-spoken words and an offering:

"'Kyklops, try some wine beverage. / Here's liquor to wash down your scraps of men. / Preference it, to see the kind of drink we transported / under our planks. I supposed it as an offering / if you'll help us home. Nevertheless, you are mad, / unbearable, a bloody monster! After this, / will any other traveler come to see you?'" (Homer 155)

Odysseus performs with the Cyclops's thoughts by luring him with your wine and calling him "a bloody monster". The Cyclops is obviously pleased with the spoken words and gestures, and as a result, he gives in to his greed as he takes your wine. Odysseus's confidence in his own ability was the first step towards his success with the Cyclops. However, he must take it a step further to make a successful get-away. Once more, a demo of his sharp intellect shows how Odysseus is smarter plus more cunning than the average human. A estimate that shows his intelligence is,

"But I stored considering how to get the overall game: / death sat there huge; how could we slip away? / I drew on all my wits, and ran through practices, / reason as a guy will for dear life, / until a strategy came-and it delighted me well. / The Kyklops' rams were good looking, unwanted fat, with heavy / fleeces, a dark violet" (Homer 157).

Another exemplory case of Odysseus's cunningness is shown after he killed all the suitors. He told Telemakhos and the servants to pretend like there was a wedding taking place. That way, no one passing by from the exterior would think anything. Odysseus realized that if reports of the suitors' fatality spread, then he would not have the ability to make a clean get-away to his father's house. Odysseus said,

"Here is out best maneuver, when i view it: / bathe, you three, and put fresh clothing on, / order the ladies to adorn themselves, / and let our admirable harper choose a melody / for dancing, some lighthearted air, and strum it. / Anyone going by, or any neighbor, / will think it is a wedding feast he hears. / These deaths should not be cried about the city / till we can slip away to your own woods. We'll see / what weapon, then, Zeus puts into our hands" (Homer 433).

Odysseus must consider the basic safety of everyone under his care, including the servants that possessed stayed faithful to him. Odysseus's intelligent is not only shown when he must escape from a predicament; he considers through all possible scenarios, and then chooses the the one which will profit the most people. He uses his quick thinking and ability to deliver interesting speeches to his edge and in the majority of his situations, Odysseus tries to use all the resources open to him.

Odysseus is not only ingenious and witty, but he's also fiercely devoted to his family and home. Throughout the publication, Odysseus was completely focused on striving getting home to Ithaka and Penelope. His commitment to his family and his people is exactly what kept him going through the crisis. There is nothing more important to the epic hero than honor and take great pride in. A hero's commitments are to his family and his lord (Savage). Odysseus evidently proves that he is loyal in many situations. One example was when Odysseus's men dropped prey to the Lotus Eaters. Homer writes,

"Then I sent out two picked men and a runner / to learn what race of men that land sustained. / They dropped in, soon enough, with Lotus Eaters, / who showed no will to do us harm, only / offering the lovely Lotus to your friends--/ but those who ate this honeyed seed, the Lotus, /never cared to survey, nor to return; / they longed to remain forever, browsing on / that indigenous bloom, forgetful of the homeland. / I drove them, all three wailing, to the ships" (148).

No matter what had occurred, Odysseus is definitely unwilling to leave his men behind. He will not want his men to ignore their ultimate goal: to go back home to Ithaka. However, because the three men weren't in their right imagination, Odysseus needed to go and retrieve them. Odysseus's allegiance to his men is also shown through this quote, "She ate them as they shrieked there, in her den, / in the dire grapple, reaching still for me- / and deathly pity ran me through / at that sight- / significantly the most detrimental I ever endured, / questing the goes by of the weird sea" (Homer 218). As a result of the commitment and compassion Odysseus seems for his men, he identifies sacrificing his men among the worst things he had ever had to endure. He had been forced to watch his comrades pass away, knowing that there was little or nothing he could do to save them. Odysseus's devotion and devotion to his men wouldn't normally let him give up them in their time of need. Odysseus is faithful to his men, but in the long run, his commitment is to his home and family. As Circe says to Odysseus during his voyage, "Now give those kine a broad berth, keep your ideas / intent after your course for home, / and hard seafaring brings you all to Ithaka" (Homer 213). She warns him that if he does not obey her orders, then there would be damage to come for him and his men. Knowing the results of eradicating Helios's cattle, Odysseus is intention on avoiding the island. He truthfully says his crew what Circe has thought to him, because he desires them to comprehend his logic and his reasoning; he would like to go back home as soon as possible, if his men give into enticement and destroy the cattle, then Odysseus understood that they might have to suffer from much more. However, rather than being honored by Odysseus's credibility, the men lash out at him and insist upon stopping at the island. Odysseus has no choice but to forgo his previous ideas, and his journey home is once again delayed. Odysseus's final goal is usually to be able to see his home and family again, but difficult situations continue steadily to hinder him. The sole reason why Odysseus did not quit during his trip was because of his determination and devotion to his family.

An epic hero is also known for his love of glory through deeds. Within the first few lines from the Odyssey, Odysseus telephone calls himself, "formidable for guile in peace and war". Not merely will Odysseus's wittiness result in calmness, it also brings and starts wars. A good example of Odysseus's guile having war is when he finally shows his true home to the suitors after disguising himself as a beggar. Homer writes,

"You yellow pet dogs, you thought I'd never make it / home from the land of Try. You required my house to plunder, / twisted my maids to provide your beds. You dared / bet for my wife while I was still alive. / Contempt was whatever you possessed for the gods who rule wide heaven, / contempt for what men say of you hereafter. / Your previous hour has come. You expire in blood" (410).

Odysseus's patience possessed finally paid off, and he could take revenge on the suitors. His cunningness was why he mingled with the suitors. He had to patiently hang on until the time was to get started the bloodshed. Although Odysseus's guile causes chaos and disruption, his intelligence also brings calmness. An example of him having calmness is when he tells his father, Laertes, that he is alive and again from his mission: "I bring good reports- though still we can not rest. / I killed the suitors to the previous man! / Outrage and damage have been avenged!" (Homer 454) Odysseus brings peace to his father by uncovering that he previously not perished. Odysseus's guile has dished up him well in various situations. He could cause wars and battles, but he was also in a position to create tranquility.

Odysseus completely shows all of the key characteristics of your Homeric hero. His durability, intelligence, and guile all serve him well when he's in struggling to get out of a certain situation. Odysseus's devotion is depicted throughout the complete poem, and his needy need to see his home again is what pushed him frontward in his trip home. Without all these qualities, Odysseus would not certainly be a hero. However, because Odysseus manages to superbly screen his heroic qualities in everything he will, he is considered to be one of the biggest epic heroes ever created.

Words Cited

Fitzgerald, Robert. The Odyssey. NY: Viking, 1996. Print.

"Hero. " Def. 1. Macmillan Dictionary for Students. 5 ed. NY: Simon & Schuster Literature for Young Viewers, 1984. Print.

Savage, Mrs. . "Epic Poem. " Honors English Nine. Maranatha SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL. Academic Center, Pasadena. 5 Nov. 2012. School lecture.

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