Odysseus Character Analysis In The Odyssey

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade December 2001

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Odysseus: Not Just Another Hero In Homer's epic poem, The Odyssey, Odysseus possesses the qualities of compassion and patience, ability of human weakness and love for his family, which qualify him as an epic hero.

Odysseus constantly expresses love for his family throughout The Odyssey. As Odysseus finally arrives home and sees his son for the first time in twenty years, Homer writes, "Held back too long, the tears ran down his cheeks as he embraced his son" (931). This clearly demonstrates that, Odysseus, a man capable of murder and deception, still retains the ability to shed tears of happiness and love for his son. Just as any true loving and caring father, Odysseus openly weeps upon his return to meet his son after a long business trip. Also describing Odysseus and Son's meeting, Homer says, "So helplessly they cried, pouring out tears, and might have gone on until sundown" (931).

Once again, Odysseus acts out of true emotion and compassion; in fact, acting stays uninvolved during Odysseus' family time. The love Odysseus shows is true and totally genuine marked by no falsehood; no once could do a better job of evidencing it. When Odysseus confronts Calypso about his departure from his role as her captive, she realizes that he only flatters her and tells him she knows that "you wanted her forever, the bride for whom you pine every day" (893). This demonstrates that Odysseus's love is so strong that, even when an effort is made to conceal it, it lies plainly for all to see. Odysseus reveals the one emotion that remains rare on his journey, love, but in the instances that it is visible, it is strong and genuine, proving himself a man of great love.

Ability of human weakness, a quality present in many...