Odysseus: A Hero In Homer's The Odyssey

1308 Words6 Pages
What is a hero? In our time, heroes are defined as people who have done amazing feats of kindness, and also have many heroic qualities, important ones being compassion and honesty. However, thousands of years ago a hero was someone who simply did something great (preferably in the field of war). This is portrayed in the Odyssey where the hero had none of the qualities listed above. In the poem the Odyssey, the main character Odysseus would not be called a hero in modern times, but would be called a villain who only cares about himself and his pride. Odysseus is the main character of the book the Odyssey, a character who is proclaimed a hero after his feats in the Trojan War (he was one of the main reasons why they won) and must suffer many…show more content…
Damaging a Cyclops shows that Odysseus is a hero, but looking deeper proves how selfish Odysseus really is. Book 9 in the Odyssey shows how much Odysseus will do for his pride, even if it costs lives. In book 9, Odysseus and his men arrive on an island belonging to the Cyclops, giant people who only have one eye. Arriving there, they see a cave full of milk, cheese, and sheep. Odysseus, despite his men’s pleas, decides to stay there, instead of taking some food and leaving immediately. The reason he does this is because he wants to brag to the Cyclops that he stole a gift from them. If he took a little bit of cheese and milk and left, he could have had a smooth journey to his home, but instead he stayed there and when Polyphemus came to the cave, he devoured Odysseus’s men right in front of his eyes. Due to the fact that Odysseus could not swallow his pride got his own men devoured. When Odysseus saw his men being devoured before his eyes, he didn’t say anything. Instead of trying anything to defend his men he just watches them. One of the most important quality of a hero is compassion, but where is the compassion in hiding like a coward. If he did try to save his men, it would show that he cares about the crew members that always listen to him despite his foolish decisions, but he doesn’t care about them. Not only that, but after Odysseus escaped Polyphemus with his remaining men, he taunted the Cyclops, and even revealed his name just to make him feel prouder by irritating Polyphemus. However, this proved foolish, as Polyphemus now knew where they were located, and threw a giant boulder at them, causing Odysseus to lose even more men. To top it off, Odysseus even angered the god Poseidon, causing him to be cursed and preventing him to return to his
Open Document