The Odyssey: What Makes a Hero

Odysseus: A True Hero

(All quotes are taken from The Odyssey by Homer)

For centuries, humans have created their ideal hero. From the Ancient Greek Hercules to the Modern Day Superman, everyone has a hero. One such hero was named Odysseus, the king of Ithaca, and in his Odyssey, he proved to be a true hero.

The Lotus Eaters

"One day at sea, a great storm drove us off course. We landed on the shores of a beautiful island where people lived by eating lotus flowers. Some of my men went ashore and sampled the flower. It tasted like the most delicate honey- like th enectar the gods drank. It was delicious, that my men focused on the flower instead of getting home. How they wept when I forced the back to the ship! But I would not listen, I was determind to return to my home." (pg. 49) Odysseus was determind as heroes such as a firefighter is running into a fire to rescue a child trapped inside. Despite the delicious flower and it's enchanting properties, Odysseus kept his mind on getting home. He was focused, another requirement for heroes.

Odysseus and the Cyclops

Odysseus was cunning and wise, he understood how to defeat the cyclops: Polyphemus during his many trials on his adventure to hit home. He knew that the Polyphemus' words "were designed to defeat me, but failed. I was too wise... Then I formed a courageous plan to steal him up, draw my sharp swrod, and stab him there. But the next thought checked me." Odysseus understood that he had to wait and watch his men eaten, while his plan was put into action. Odysseus tricked Polyphemus into drinking a tasty wine mixture and "When the wine had fuddled his wits I tried him with subtle words. "Cyclops you asked my name, and I will tell it. My name is Noman. Noman, my mother, my father, and friends call me." That night, Odysseus and four of his brave men stabbed a drunk Polyphemus' one eye, blinding him. The other cyclops' heard his cries of pain, "'Polyphemus, what terrible pain is this that makes you wake us in the deathless night? Is some mortal trying th kill you by violence and treachery?' Out of the cave, Polyphemus called back, 'Noman, my friends, is trying to kill me by violence and treachery. Noman is!'" Polyphemus had been tricked by Odysseus' quick thinking his cyclops friends believed that No Man was attacking him. Every hero must have a clever brain and a sharp wit, like Odysseus.

Scylla and Charybdis

Every hero must be brave, it is a requirment. "We had to sail through a passage guarded by two monsters: Scylla and Charybdis. Scylla had twelve feet and six necks, at the end of each neck she had a horrible head, each with three rows of teeth. Charybdis sat on the other side of the passage. She sucked the seawater all the way in, creating a giant whirlpool. Then she spit the water back up creating a giant whirlpool." (pg. 75) To an ordinary person, this would seem rather scary, but Odysseus was brave enough to force his men on and past Scylla. "I had to contain my anger to save my men. We managed to fight her off long enough to pass her." (pg.75) Every hero is aloud to be scared, but they must have the courage to face the challenge head on, and do their best to overcome it. And Odysseus did.

Odysseus was a true hero, for he was brave, clever, and determind, all things needed to be a hero. He was scared at some times, but he knew his quest and completed it, though it took his twenty long years before he could see his wife, Penelope, and his son, Telemachus. Every hero has these traits and hardships, these tests and many others, proved Odysseus to be a true hero.