"The Odyssey" by Homer an epic hero

Essay by bittersweetsymphonyJunior High, 9th grade November 2003

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Odysseus as an Epic Hero

In the book The Odyssey by Homer, the main character, Odysseus, is depicted as being similar an epic hero. There is a question, though, as to whether or not he actually was an epic hero. I believe that, while he did have a major difference, he had more similarities than differences to the characteristics of an epic hero and therefore was one.

An epic hero is someone who is strong, intelligent and bold. First of all, an epic hero must have physical strength. Strength enables the hero to defeat enemies. Without strength he would not be able to survive as a victorious hero. Epic heroes must also be intelligent. Intelligence is put to use when mere strength is not enough. With intelligence, the hero is able to make more logical actions and not make rash decisions. Boldness is another characteristic an epic hero needs to possess.

A hero needs to be strong and intelligent, but if he is not bold he is liable to be intimidated by the enemy, which could cause serious problems. Thus in order to obtain victory easier, boldness is a necessity. Because of these reasons, an epic hero will usually be strong, intelligent, and bold.

Odysseus had several good characteristics, but he also had a bad quality. Odysseus showed that he was intelligent when, on page 904, he told Polyphemus that his name was Nohbdy. Because he did this, he saved his life as well as the lives of his men. This is proof that he possessed intelligence, a good quality. He shows another characteristic, strength, on page 939 by stringing the bow. All of the suitors were unsuccessful at stringing the bow, but Odysseus was able to string it on the first try. This showed his superior strength.