The Hero Within

Essay by talldarkandhandsomeUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, December 2004

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When Odysseus sails off on a journey that could separate him from his family and friends forever, he demonstrates a strength that not too many characters possess, courage. When Odysseus spends several years with the goddess Calypso without knowing if he might ever escape, he reveals a quality foreign to many men, patience. When Odysseus returns to his homeland and defeats the suitors that cause turmoil in his palace, he exposes a being that only a few men become, a warrior. With the infusion of courage, patience, and the characteristics of a warrior guiding him, Odysseus refuses to give up, give in, or accept defeat; he becomes a true hero.

As Odysseus ventures off to Troy he soon finds himself in a midst of events that prolongs his stay away from his homeland, Ithaca. The king's encounter with the Cyclops Polyphemous demonstrates immensely the courage that he possesses. In this situation, the cruel beast tricks the sailors by pretending to be a caring friend.

However, the giant's mood changes abruptly and he decides to take the king and his crew hostage. Although Odysseus may be fearful of the one-eyed monster, his determination to conquer any and everything that gets in the way of his return to Ithaca provides him with the valor to do just that. He outsmarts the Cyclops by plying him with his best-aged wines until the supernatural being collapses from being drunk. The king then commands his men to stab the monster in the eye, which forever blinds his cruel soul. With the monster not being able to see the men, Odysseus and his crew escapes the monster's cave and continues their mission.

Another demonstration of Odysseus' courageousness lies in his encounter with the lovely but brutal witch goddess, Circe, along the sea of Aeaea. The...