is odysseus, the greek hero in homer's odyssey, a TRUE hero? : odysseus as a hero

Essay by candy16Junior High, 9th gradeA+, January 2003

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The definition of a hero varies in lots of ways. Today, the concept of a hero has widened and heroes nowadays include political figures, religious leaders, and even the Hollywood superstars. The expansion of a concept has led to the misconceptions of a hero and it has become very difficult to identify a true hero in a society today. However, a real definition of a true hero is to be a "person who affects the society with one's great abilities that normal people may never have and thus who we admire or look up to." As it is defined that a hero affects the society, obviously, a hero reflects values, ideas, and beliefs of a particular time period. This perhaps is the most important meaning of a hero. Homer, one of the greatest Greek writers has portrayed a hero, who satisfies the definition mentioned above in an epic poem Odyssey.

In Odyssey, Odysseus, the king of Ithaca and the greatest Greek warrior of the Trojan War, appears as the hero. Odysseus has a lot of qualities of a true hero. One of them is his leadership. His leadership is clearly noticeable by the way his crew acts. Although they knew that they had to sacrifice or risk their lives when they follow Odysseus, and Odysseus' attempt to reach their homeland had continuously failed, no one rebelled against him or complained about Odysseus being their leader. Instead, they obeyed him and followed him wherever he led. Strong determination and faith is another characteristic of Odysseus that makes him a hero. Odysseus had to suffer 20 years of pain until he could finally touch the ground of his homeland, Ithaca. If it weren't for his strong determination and undying faith, he wouldn't have reached his land. He didn't lose his...