Odysseus An Epic Hero

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Odysseus: An Epic Hero Homer’s epic poem, The Odyssey, tells the story of King Odysseus’ journey to his home in Ithaca, ten years after the Trojan War. Throughout Odysseus’ journey to reach home, he proves that he is an epic hero by overcoming many extraordinary circumstances that test his loyalty, ability to resist temptation, and the power of his cunning over his strength. While Odysseus is in Phaeacia, he is questioned by King Alcinious as to why he cries when he hears the story of the fall of Troy. As Odysseus starts to unveil himself and the woes of his travels, he says: “I, for one, know of no sweeter site for a mans eyes than his own country. The divine Calypso was certainly for keeping me in her cavern because she yearned for me to be her husband and with the same object Circe…but never for a moment did they win my heart” (110-111.28-31). Even though both Circe and Calypso both offer a good life for Odysseus to live, he is loyal in finding his way home to Penelope and Telemachus. He never gives up on going home, but if he had, he would have given up his loyalty to his wife and country, something an epic hero would never do. Odysseus stays loyal not only to his wife and country, he stays loyal to the men who have been with him on his entire journey. He has to be loyal to them because they have done nothing but stay loyal to him. Odysseus’ men want to give up hope on getting home, but as their leader he has to give them some words of encouragement: “My friends we may be miserable, but we are not going down to the house of Hades yet, not till our time has come” (129.174-176). Odysseus shows that he does not want to give up hope on going home or dying, and he is trying to keep on his trek home. He knows needs a loyal crew to reach home. Odysseus shows he will be loyal to them, proving that he is a great leader doing great deeds, and an epic hero.

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