Why is Odysseus not a hero?

Odysseus, who is the main character of the book “The Odyssey” written by Homer, would fit the dictionary’s definition of a hero. Odysseus is a Greek warrior who is well known for his intelligence and strong character. However, Odysseus is not a hero in the traditional sense. Odysseus acted out of self-interest when he easily left his men behind to die on Calypso’s island without any remorse or guilt. Odysseus also constantly made decisions based upon what was best for Odysseus’s own life and that of his family without considering how it would affect others around him, such as his men.

Odysseus constantly lied throughout the course of the book to achieve what was best for himself at the time which contrasts with traditional heroes who are honest to a fault. Odysseus’s wife Penelope was the only person Odysseus trusted fully throughout their marriage, Odysseus constantly lied to her. Odysseus also never considered the feelings of his men by leaving them behind on Calypso’s island which contrasted with traditional heroes who are loyal to a fault. Odysseus is not a hero in the traditional sense because he does not have morals or values that contrast with Homer’s “The Odyssey.”

Odysseus does not have morals since Odysseus leaves his men to die on Calypso’s island without feeling any guilt or remorse, Odysseus lies constantly to achieve what is best for Odysseus, Odysseus has no loyalty to anyone except Penelope. Odysseus also leaves every situation at the first sign of danger even if it means leaving someone behind who needs help such as when Odysseus left Polyphemus and his men behind after Odysseus blinding Polyphemus because he knew that if he waited until morning then Polyphemus would kill him and all of Odysseus’s men.

Why Odysseus is not a hero in the traditional sense because Odysseus does not have the traditional Greek values of bravery, loyalty, and honesty. Odysseus’s intelligence is his only admirable trait in “The Odyssey.” Odysseus is not a hero in the traditional sense because he does not have any traditional Greek values which define a hero. Odysseus is a liar and Odysseus leaves everyone behind at the first sign of danger which Odysseus does not have any loyalty to anyone, Odysseus also has no morals since Odysseus leaves his men on Calypso’s island without feeling any guilt or remorse. Odysseus is not a hero in the traditional sense because Odysseus does not have any Greek heroic values which define a hero.

A true hero shows bravery when rescuing someone from harm such as when Achilles rescued Briseis from Agamemnon’s hands after he stole her from Achilles even though he knew that if he did this then Agamemnon would steal Achilles’s war prize Chryses ‘ daughter whom Agamemnon did steal and was angered at his actions. Odysseus never did any brave acts in Homer’s “The Odyssey,” Odysseus is not a hero in the traditional sense because Odysseus does not have Greek heroic values which define a hero.

Odysseus also shows loyalty to Odysseus’s wife Penelope such as when Odysseus leaves every situation at the first sign of danger including leaving behind someone who needs help such as when Odysseus left Polyphemus and his men behind after Odysseus blinding Polyphemus because he knew that if he waited until morning then Polyphemus would kill him and all of Odysseus’s men.

Odysseus definitely does not have this because he kills people without any kind of remorse or guilt such as Odysseus’s father Laertes whom Odysseus kills with a poison arrow because Odysseus is angry at his father for not revealing Odysseus’ secrets which Odysseus had asked him not to. Odysseus also killed all of Penelope’s suitors whom Penelope rejected without any hesitation and after they were warned not to lay a hand on Odysseus ever again.

Odysseus does show this since Odysseus left Polyphemus behind when he knew that if he waited until morning then Polyphemus would kill him and all of Odysseus’ men. Odysseus’ intelligence is his only admirable trait in “The Odyssey.” Odysseus is not a hero in the traditional sense because Odysseus does not have Greek heroic values which define a hero. Odysseus is not a true hero because Odysseus never showed any bravery, Odysseus never showed any loyalty to Odysseus’s wife Penelope, and Odysseus also killed people without any kind of remorse or guilt. Odysseus is definitely not a true hero in the traditional sense because Odysseus does not have any Greek heroic values which define a true hero.

Odysseus is an interesting character in Greek mythology, but he is not a hero in the traditional sense. Odysseus lacks the traditional Greek values of bravery, loyalty, and honesty, which define a hero. Odysseus is intelligent, but his lack of morals and cowardice make him an unworthy hero. Odysseus is not a true hero in the traditional sense, and he does not have any Greek heroic values which define a true hero. Odysseus is an interesting character in Greek mythology, but he is not a hero in the traditional sense because he does not have any of the traditional Greek values which define a hero.

Odysseus is intelligent, but his lack of morals and cowardice make him an unworthy hero. Odysseus is definitely not a true hero in the traditional sense because Odysseus does not have any of the Greek heroic values which define a true hero. Odysseus is an interesting character in Greek mythology, he falls short of being called a hero in the traditional sense since Odysseus does not have any of the Greek heroic values which define a true hero.

Odysseus is interesting, Odysseus might prove himself worthy to be called Odysseus is Odysseus in Homer’s “The Odyssey,” but he certainly cannot be called Odysseus is a hero in the traditional sense. Odysseus’ intelligence is his only admirable trait, Odysseus definitely lacks morals and Odysseus never showed bravery which is all traits highly attributed to heroes. Odyssey, but he certainly cannot be called Odysseus intelligence is his only admirable trait, Odysseus intelligence is his only admirable trait in “The Odyssey.”

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essay on why odysseus is not a hero

The Reality of Odysseus: Myth Legend and Historical Possibility

This essay is about the historical and mythological aspects of Odysseus the hero of Homer’s “The Iliad” and “The Odyssey.” It examines the possibility of Odysseus being a real historical figure versus a purely mythical character. The essay discusses archaeological findings that suggest a basis for the Trojan War but notes the difficulty in proving the existence of specific individuals like Odysseus. It explores how oral tradition and myth-making could have shaped his story emphasizing the cultural and symbolic significance of Odysseus in Greek society. Ultimately it concludes that while Odysseus’s historical reality remains uncertain his legacy as a literary and cultural icon endures.

How it works

The character of Odysseus the cunning hero of Homer’s epic poems “The Iliad” and “The Odyssey” has fascinated scholars and readers for centuries. As a central figure in Greek mythology Odysseus embodies the archetypal traits of intelligence bravery and resilience. But was Odysseus a real person or is he purely a creation of myth and legend? This question delves into the intersections of history archaeology and literary analysis.

Homer’s epics written in the 8th century BCE are the primary sources of Odysseus’s story.

“The Iliad” recounts his role in the Trojan War while “The Odyssey” follows his long and arduous journey home to Ithaca. These texts blend mythological elements with what may be memories of historical events leading some to speculate that there might be a historical basis for Odysseus. However the lack of concrete evidence makes it difficult to assert his existence with certainty.

Archaeological findings provide tantalizing clues but no definitive answers. Excavations at sites such as Mycenae and Troy reveal that a great war could have occurred around the time traditionally assigned to the Trojan War around the 12th century BCE. The discovery of these sites particularly Heinrich Schliemann’s work at Troy supports the idea that the events described in “The Iliad” might have a historical foundation. Nevertheless connecting these findings directly to the specific individuals in Homer’s tales remains speculative.

Odysseus himself characterized by his distinctive intellect and craftiness could represent a composite of various historical figures or a symbolic representation of the ideal Greek hero. In Greek culture oral tradition played a crucial role in preserving and transmitting stories often embellishing and mythologizing real events and people over time. Thus while there may have been a chieftain or warrior whose exploits inspired the character of Odysseus the figure we know from Homer is likely a mythological construct.

The question of Odysseus’s reality also touches upon the broader context of myth and its role in ancient societies. Myths served not just as entertainment but as a means of explaining natural phenomena human behavior and cultural values. The stories of Odysseus whether based on a real person or not conveyed lessons about wisdom perseverance and the human condition. These narratives helped shape Greek identity and provided a shared heritage for the Hellenic world.

Literary analysis of “The Odyssey” further complicates the distinction between history and myth. The poem’s structure themes and motifs align with other mythological traditions emphasizing its role as a literary and cultural artifact rather than a historical account. The fantastical elements of Odysseus’s adventures—encounters with gods monsters and magical beings—reinforce the mythical nature of the story. These components while captivating suggest that Homer’s intent was to craft a tale rich in symbolic meaning rather than a factual biography.

Modern interpretations and adaptations of Odysseus’s story continue to explore its timeless relevance. The character’s complexity and the narrative’s rich tapestry offer insights into human nature and societal values. Whether viewed through the lens of history or literature Odysseus remains a powerful figure whose story resonates across millennia. His legacy therefore is not confined to the question of his existence but extends to his enduring impact on culture and thought.

In conclusion the reality of Odysseus as a historical figure remains elusive. While archaeological evidence hints at events that might have inspired Homer’s epics the character of Odysseus is likely a blend of myth legend and possible historical memory. His story rich in symbolic meaning and cultural significance transcends the need for historical verification. Odysseus’s enduring legacy lies in his ability to embody the human experience making his myth a cornerstone of literary and cultural heritage.

Remember this essay is a starting point for inspiration and further research. For more personalized assistance and to ensure your essay meets all academic standards consider reaching out to professionals at EduBirdie .

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Odysseus Is Not A Hero

Eurylochus told Odysseus not to send men to see what was on Circe’s island and because he sent hem anyway, they ended up being turned into pigs. Odysseus also neglects other people’s lives when he takes action; such as when he tried to fight Scylla after strictly being told not to. Because of this ignorant action, he lost three more men on top of the other six. He also sacrificed men when he waited at the Cyclops’ home for “gifts. ” Odysseus was very self-centered where real heroes are not. Odysseus also lacks the part of the hero profile which includes having a good heart.

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    Deceitful Nature. One of the key reasons why Odysseus cannot be considered a hero is his consistent use of deceit throughout his journey. From the very beginning, Odysseus proves himself to be cunning and manipulative. For example, when faced with the Cyclops Polyphemus, Odysseus blinds him by telling him that his name is "Nobody" (Homer, 9.366 ...

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    This act of bravery on Odysseus' part exemplifies the immense courage one normally associates with a hero. Odysseus is most certainly a hero. Remember that the true meaning of the term in a ...

  4. Why is Odysseus not a hero? Essay

    Odysseus is not a hero in the traditional sense because he does not have morals or values that contrast with Homer's "The Odyssey.". Odysseus does not have morals since Odysseus leaves his men to die on Calypso's island without feeling any guilt or remorse, Odysseus lies constantly to achieve what is best for Odysseus, Odysseus has no ...

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    Published: Mar 5, 2024. Odysseus is often regarded as a hero in Greek mythology, known for his cunning intellect and bravery in overcoming various obstacles on his journey back home to Ithaca. However, upon closer examination of his actions and character traits, it becomes evident that Odysseus may not fit the traditional definition of a hero.

  7. The Reality of Odysseus: Myth Legend and Historical Possibility

    Essay Example: The character of Odysseus the cunning hero of Homer's epic poems "The Iliad" and "The Odyssey" has fascinated scholars and readers for centuries. As a central figure in Greek mythology Odysseus embodies the archetypal traits of intelligence bravery and resilience. But was Odysseus

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    I have never thought of Odysseus as a hero in the modern sense. He is nothing like what modern (late 20th and early 21st century which is, it can be argued, postmodern) sensibilities require in a ...

  9. Odysseus Character Analysis in The Odyssey

    Odysseus has the defining character traits of a Homeric leader: strength, courage, nobility, a thirst for glory, and confidence in his authority. His most distinguishing trait, however, is his sharp intellect. Odysseus's quick thinking helps him out of some very tough situations, as when he escapes from the cave of the Cyclops in Book 9, or ...

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  11. Why Odysseus Is Not A Hero

    Odysseus is not a hero because he is dishonest, selfish, and greedy. Those are not respectable qualities of a hero, or of anyone who is note-worthy. Odysseus is not a hero. For instance, he proves not to be a hero because of his actions throughout the story. He is dishonest, selfish, and greedy.

  12. Why Odysseus Is Not A Hero

    The book The Odyssey written by Homer reveals a story of a true hero. The main character is a man named Odysseus who displays hero characteristics throughout the book. Odysseus is a hero because he returns home with a changed perspective which reflects his heroic abilities, such as his bravery and dedication to return home.

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    He is a very arrogant, unforgiving, and ignorant person. Odysseus is very egotistical, putting himself first before others. He commits acts and such to be in the spotlight as a "great" person. Again you see all his qualities exemplified while he is at the Cyclops island, the Sirens, and Ithica. As I had noted before, a true hero is a person ...

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    Drawing on this, Odysseus can be considered a hero for modern times. He possesses admiral skills, such as commitment and knowledge, which are still considered heroic today. He uses these traits to protect himself and his crew as they make the long journey home. Although Odysseus is renowned for his expertise in fighting, he is.

  16. Odysseus Is Not A Hero Essay

    In the book, Odysseus does nothing out of the goodness of his heart. Even if Odysseus fought in the Trojan War, he is not a hero because he is self-centered and ignorant to other people's values and needs. There are multiple examples of Odysseus being self-centered, such as not taking people's advice. Odysseus was given advice from Circe ...

  17. Odysseus Is Not A Hero Essay

    The people that claim he is not a hero overlook many of his skills and heroic achievements. I believe Odysseus is a hero and will explain why. He is a loving father and husband and is away from his home for twenty years, and his only motivation to get back is to see his wife and son. He went on his long journey because he was told to go fight ...

  18. Is Odysseus a Hero?: [Essay Example], 570 words GradesFixer

    Throughout the epic poem The Odyssey, the character of Odysseus is portrayed as a heroic figure.However, whether or not he truly embodies the qualities of a hero is a subject of much debate. This essay will explore the various aspects of Odysseus' character and actions, examining whether he can be considered a hero or not.

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  20. Why Odysseus Is Not A Hero

    Odysseus is not a hero because he stabs Polyphemus in the eye and blinds him. Odysseus is still a hero because he is a leader. Moreover, after Odysseus and his men fight the Cicones, he orders ¨Back and Quickly! Out to sea again!" (Homer 984). Read More.

  21. Odysseus Is Not A Hero Analysis

    Odysseus killed the suitors, and they were only trying to make his wife happy, since she had been sad that Odysseus left. Odysseus got jealous, and he shot the suitors for no reason. He killed someone for his own good, and that is not something a hero would do. Odysseus is not fit to be called a hero. In conclusion, Odysseus is not a hero.

  22. Why Odysseus Does not Deserve to Be Called a Hero

    Many debate over the definition of a hero. While the ancient Greeks defined a hero as a male, usually of royal or godly descent, my definition is quite... read full [Essay Sample] for free

  23. Why Odysseus is a Hero Essay

    Why Is Odysseus An Epic Hero. Odysseus is an epic hero for many reasons, but the main reasons why he qualifies for being an epic hero is because he fought for his life to save his shipmates. "He saw the townlands and learned the minds of many distant men, and weathered many bitter nights and days in his deep heart at sea while he fought only ...

  24. Odysseus Is a Hero: [Essay Example], 614 words GradesFixer

    Heroes have played a crucial role in literature, folklore, and mythology. They are typically portrayed as individuals with exceptional bravery, strength, and intelligence who overcome great challenges and adversaries. One such hero is Odysseus, the protagonist of Homer's epic poem, The Odyssey. Odysseus possesses all the defining traits of a ...