Achilleus vs. Odusseus

Essay by Jamseys1216 May 2004

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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 misunderstandings 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, just like Odysseus and Achilles. This perhaps is the most important meaning of a hero.

Odysseus has the defining character traits of a Homeric leader: strength, courage, nobility, a desire for glory, and confidence in his authority.

Furthermore Odysseus, the king of Ithaca and the greatest Greek warrior of the Trojan War, appears as the hero. 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 "one by one, gave way, six benches were left empty in every ship that evening when we pulled away from death. And this grief we bore with us to sea." (62-65 Odyssey) Strong determination and faith is another characteristic of Odysseus that makes him a hero. Odysseus considers every possibility before he acts and carefully evaluates the situation before he makes a decision. In addition he hesitates before he determines his action, which isn't because of fear, but cautiousness. He scrupulously draws out time between when he first confronts a task and when he makes up his mind...