Epic Hero Essay

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Joshua Shier Mr. Gordon English H P7 29 February 2012 An Epic Hero Homer’s The Odyssey portrays the main character, Odysseus, as an epic hero. An epic hero is the main character in a long poem or story who has many admiral qualities, along with flaws to go with them. Odysseus for example has immense amounts of cunning and wit, however he has incredible arrogance. He shows that, no matter what bad attributes you have, a true hero shines through no matter what. Odysseus’ first real show of bravery comes when he and his crew land on an island inhabited by Cyclops: “ ‘Cyclops, you ask me for my noted name; I’ll tell it to you if in recompense you keep your promise and I get that present. My name is No-one; No-one—so I’m called by both my mother and my father, and all my comrades’ ” (180). Using his quick wits in a time of peril, Odysseus hatches a plot that is soon to save his life and to be his downfall, “He [Polyphemus] shouted to the other Cyclops…[and they replied] ‘What struck you, Polyphemus? Why do you disturb the godlike night and spoil our sleep? What mortal can, against your will, drive off your flocks or try with treachery or force to kill you?’ Polyphemus, from the cave, replied: “ ‘My friends, no force can damage me; No-one, No-one is using treachery’ ” (182). By telling Polyphemus that his name was No-one, Odysseus planned that when he attacked the monster nobody would believe that anyone did it because Polyphemus would just say that No-one did it. However, no matter how sly Odysseus is, his biggest flaw, arrogance, gets hold of him and ruins his chances of getting home for a long time: “These were their words. But my firm heart was not convinced. Again my anger had to taunt: ‘Cyclops, if any mortal man should ask about the shameful blinding of your eye, then tell him that the man who gouged you was Odysseus, ravager of cities: one who lives in

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