Odysseus: A True Modern Hero

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In Robert Fagles’s translation of The Odyssey by Homer, Odysseus, the protagonist of the poem and king of Ithaca, exemplifies great Greek heroism. During ten years of a brutal warfare with the Trojans and an additional ten years of traveling back home, Odysseus reveals his true abilities as a hero. The procedures and systems he formulates to save his men, save himself, and survive the harsh conditions he is placed under during the voyage, shows his ability to be a hero. Though his actions display the ideal Greek hero and leader, Odysseus fails to translate his brute strength, sheer skill, and cunning thinking abilities into a good modern heroism. In Robert Fagles’s translation of The Odyssey by Homer, Odysseus is ineffective as a hero, as he…show more content…
As Odysseus leads his men back home after the fall of Troy, his oikos and kleos seem to be more significant in comparison to his men. He demonstrates his love for honor and respect when he insists on slaying Scylla, a man-eating monster and defeating Charybdis, a whirlpool. He states, “Deadly Charybdis- can’t I possibly cut and run from her and still fight Scylla of when Scylla strikes my men?” (12.124-25). The respect Odysseus will gain for slaying a man-eating sea dwelling beast is far greater than the mere lives of the men who follow and respect him. His personal goal of attaining kleos is his primary obligation, a duty of his that must be fulfilled at all costs. Though tenacious, Odysseus is fully aware of sacrificing his crew for personal merit. Odysseus causes another misfortunate incident, in which he disregards Circe’s directions and deceives his crewmembers, as he states, “…we must steer clear of the Sirens…I alone was to hear their voices, so she said” (12.172-174). Odysseus seeks to not only gain kleos by listening to the Sirens, but also to deprive his companions of such high status. Odysseus’s crew is fully aware of the sacrifices they have made for him, and how they receive very little in return. During this period, a crewmember of Odysseus’s states, “Look at our captain’s luck—so loved by the world, so prized at every landfall, every port

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