Odysseus As An Epic Hero Essay, Research Paper
The Odyssey is an epic composed by Homer, an early Greek storyteller. This epic was the basis for Greek and Roman education. Epics are long poems marked by adventure. The main character in an epic is an epic hero. The epic hero is a figure of great stature and may be a character from history or legend. Epic heroes most remarkable traits are usually the ones most valued by the society from which the epic came. The main character in this epic is Odysseus. Odysseus is on a quest to find his home after a war. Odysseus is an epic hero. An epic hero exhibits great leadership qualities. One of these qualities is having aplomb in critical times. This is exemplified when Odysseus is trapped in the cave of the Cyclops, a giant one-eyed monster. The Cyclops puts a stone unmovable by Odysseus and his men in front of the entrance to the cave. While most men would have lost their composure, Odysseus remains calm and rational. He thinks of a brilliant way to escape the cave of the Cyclops in a time of tension. Odysseus, referring to an olive tree, says: I hewed it again to make a stake with a pointed end. He carves an olive tree into a stake as a weapon against the Cyclops. This also demonstrates Odysseus resourcefulness, which is another leadership quality. Odysseus comes up with a way to escape the cave with very little available. He hides under the bellies of sheep from the Cyclops as they leave to escape the cave. Odysseus resourcefulness helps him escape from the giant Cyclops. Another leadership quality that Odysseus holds is cleverness. He uses his cleverness often on his voyage. In one particular instance, he uses his ingenuity to trick the Cyclops. He tricks the Cyclops by telling the Cyclops that his name is Nohbdy. After Odysseus pops the eye of the Cyclops, the other Cyclopes arrive. The Cyclops says to the Cyclopes: Nohbdy s tricked me, Nohbdy s ruined me. The Cyclopes reply: Ah well, if nobody has played you foul there in your lonely bed, we are no use in pain given by the great Zeus. Odysseus cleverness helped him evade the fate that would have befallen him if the other Cyclopes caught him.
One more leadership quality possessed by Odysseus is wisdom. Odysseus wisdom is displayed when Odysseus conquers the town of Ismarus. Odysseus says: I told them Back, and quickly! Out to sea again! My men were mutinous fools, on stores of wine -while fugitives went inland running to call arms to the main forces of the Cicones. Odysseus is wise enough to realize that the enemy would slaughter him and his men if they stayed. His wisdom is also evident when he landed on the where the Lotus-Eaters live. The Lotus-Eaters are people whose only concern is to eat an addicting plant called the lotus. If one happens to eat the lotus, one becomes obsessed with browsing on the lotus. Odysseus does not send the entire crew out to this land; he sends small party of men to explore the land. When they do not return, Odysseus realizes something detrimental to their journey is on the land. In this example, Odysseus wisdom saves the men from wasting their lives eating the lotus plant. Odysseus displays the leadership quality of bravery by trying to save his men in several instances. One of these instances includes a battle with Scylla. Scylla is a giant six-headed sea monster that Odysseus encounters on his voyage. When Scylla attacks Odysseus men, he tries to stop Scylla without worrying about his own safety. Odysseus attacks Scylla with spears even though the spears are useless against Scylla. In such instances, he crosses over the line of bravery and into the threshold of stupidity. Odysseus sometimes forgets that he is mortal. Odysseus is not easily scared. Odysseus exhibits the leadership qualities of aplomb, resourcefulness, cleverness, wisdom, and bravery during this voyage. These leadership qualities help to make an epic hero and exemplify his great stature. Odysseus leadership qualities affirm that Odysseus is an epic hero.