Odysseus is not a Hero

Essay by David HarrisJunior High, 9th gradeB+, February 1997

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A hero is "a man noted for his special achievements" according to the dictionary, but if you ask most people what a hero is, you will get the same general response. They will probably say "someone who does something for other people out of the goodness of his heart." Odysseus, who is the main character of the book "The Odyssey" written by Homer, would fit the dictionary¹s definition of a hero; but if you go deeper, looking at what people feel a hero is, he doesn¹t even come close. In the book, Odysseus does nothing out of the goodness of his heart. Even if Odysseus fought in the Trojan War, he is not a hero because he is self-centered and ignorant to other people¹s values and needs.

There are multiple examples of Odysseus being self-centered, such as not taking people¹s advice. Odysseus was given advice from Circe that said not to try to fight Scylla even when she takes six of your men, but Odysseus tried to fight her and he lost three more men than the six he already lost.

He also neglected to take the advice from his crew member, Eurylochus. Eurylochus told Odysseus not to send men to see what was on Circe¹s island and because he sent them anyway, they ended up being turned into pigs. Odysseus also neglects other people¹s lives when he takes action; such as when he tried to fight Scylla after strictly being told not to. Because of this ignorant action, he lost three more men on top of the other six. He also sacrificed men when he waited at the Cyclops¹ home for "gifts." Odysseus was very self-centered where real heroes are not.

Odysseus also lacks the part of the hero profile which includes having a good heart.