The heroic character of odyssey

King of Ithaca—Odysseus displays the essential traits of an epic hero: He gains fame through his intellect and cunning, using both to help the Greek army destroy Troy. As with all Homeric heroes, Odysseus possesses hubris, or pride, which causes him to do really stupid things. A larger than life hero—Odysseus would fare well in professional wrestling if he were alive today, where instead of calling out the Cyclops Polyphemus, he could call out the Undertaker or Vince McMahon.

The heroic character of odyssey

In many ways, Odysseus is the most rounded and complex of the Greek heroes in Homer. He is lauded as godlike many times, and praised for many qualities that the poet considers heroic.

He follows codes of honour, and is extremely faithful towards his friends, his crew, and his wife. His loyalty towards his allies is a definite trait of a hero. His strength and physical prowess both in battle and in competitions is also a necessity for Homeric heroes.

However there is also another side of Odysseus that is perhaps more morally ambiguous by our modern standards. Odysseus is a trickster and a liar, who fabricates false stories in order to deceive people, sometimes even his friends.

However, surprisingly this is not looked down on by the poet, but in fact is praised by Athena herself in the poem. Her appreciation of a kindred spirit is considered one of the main reasons why she is so favourable to Odysseus and helps him numerous times on his quest to return to Ithaca and depose of the evil suitors.

In this way, Odysseus is being used by the Gods; his destiny is not of his own choosing, which is often another trait attributed to heroes and how they fit into the larger mythological picture.

Another way Odysseus by lying actually becomes an even greater hero is that, true or not, his stories make him into a bard, a storyteller much like Homer. And it is clear from the other bard characters in the poem, that bards and storytellers have a special and revered place in this society.

Homer treats Odysseus as a great hero not only because of his physical strength and his adherence to the value systems shown in the poem, but also because of his ability to scheme and to use subterfuges to get his own way, often through the art of storytelling.

The most common way heroes are defined as such in Homer is from their feats of strength and their physical abilities.

Character List

In the Odyssey, Odysseus proves himself to be in top peak condition several times. When he comes ashore on the island of the Phaiakians, and is taken in, the Phaiakians arrange a series of competitive games. Odysseus initially declines to compete, but provoked by the rude Euryalos, he throws a discus farther than any other person, at least according to Athena VIII.

In this way, he proves himself to the Phaiakians and is even more glorified by them. This occurs several times during the Odyssey; a parallel to the athletic competition on Scheria is when Odysseus arrives back on Ithaca and meets with the suitors.

He is soon insulted by the beggar Iros who, like Euryalos of the Phaiakians, challenges him to a match of strengths.

The heroic character of odyssey

Again Odysseus is made angry, and he clearly shows his dominance over Iros by knocking him out. A common Homeric trait of heroes seen in the Odyssey is loyalty and the following of sometimes unspoken codes of conduct.

When someone is treacherous in anyone way, they always are punished in the end, whereas someone who proves themselves to be pious is, while not necessarily rewarded, at least spared a gruesome death. When Odysseus returns to his homeland, he meets many of his old servants and, by their treatment of him as a stranger and their loyalty to Odysseus the seemingly far- away figure, he decides whether or not to punish them.

One of the first people Odysseus, who is disguised as a beggar, meets is the swineherd Eumaios. Eumaios honours the ancient Greek concept of Xenia by taking in Odysseus and feeding him and providing a place for him to sleep for the night. The hospitality of Eumaios shows that he cares to follow the Greek customs, which seems to be of high importance to the poet.

If someone treats Odysseus well, then they are either rewarded slightly, or are spared death or mutilation. Polyphemus, as a Cyclopes, does not feel that he needs to follow Xenia, but in the end is blinded for his treatment of the hero. Likewise on Ithaca, the goat herd Melanthios and the unfaithful maids treat the disguised Odysseus with no respect or hospitality and are suitably punished in the end.

Bringing this back to Odysseus as a hero, when Odysseus punishes someone who is not following the customs laid out by the poet, he is seen as carrying out justice.

Odysseus did not need to kill all the suitors, but was compelled to do so because of their outrageous abuse of the customs of hospitality. Odysseus is more than just enacting revenge, he is bringing retribution onto guilty persons.Here we come to some the more surprising aspects of Odysseus’s heroic character, details that Homer deliberately makes a core part of his identity.

Firstly, Odysseus is a bard, like Homer himself.

Odysseus as a Hero in ‘The Odyssey’ – Michael B – Medium

Odysseus demonstrates heroic, god-like qualities throughout The Odyssey. In one instance, he cleverly tricks and blinds the Cyclops Polyphemus, saving his crew from certain death.

Odysseus also. Use the story of The Odyssey and map it to the narrative structure of the Hero's Journey. Click "Use this Template" from the assignment. Depict and describe how the chosen character's story fits (or does not fit) into each of the stages of the Hero's Journey.

In the Iliad and the Odyssey, the code which administers the conduct of the Homeric heroes is a straightforward idea.

From what war is Odysseus attempting to return home?

The aim of every hero is to achieve honor. Throughout the Iliad and the Odyssey, different characters take on the role of a hero. Honor is essential to the Homeric heroes, so much that life would be meaningless without it. The Odyssey Characters: Odysseus. Odysseus: King of Ithaca–Odysseus displays the essential traits of an epic hero: strength, nobility, confidence, courage, and the love of gains fame through his intellect and cunning, using both to help the Greek army destroy Troy.

As with all Homeric heroes, Odysseus possesses hubris, or pride, which causes him to do really stupid things. Feb 17,  · Which character (other than Odysseus) in part two of The Odyssey was the most heroic? Which character, besides odysseus, do you think was the most heroic in the odyssey, and why?

Help on Heroic characters?Status: Resolved.

SparkNotes: The Odyssey: Character List