Odysseus (Epic Hero)
Will Rodgers, an American humorist and social commentator, once remarked that “Being a hero is about the shortest lived profession on earth” (atd. in carnival of wit 222). While this may be literally true, most heroes live on figuratively in the recorded stories of their exploits, and in many cases they model characteristics that can inspire readers to emulate they’re behavior. One obvious example is Homer’s Odysseus the fictional king of Ithaca whose courage, strength, and quest for immortality define him as the prototypical epic hero.
His encounters with the Trojan war, the Cyclopes, the land of Aeolia with the bag of winds, a witch that accidentally turned his men to pigs and more. Odysseus manages to maintain the delicate balance between hubris and humbleness all throughout his ten year journey home from the Trojan War. This shows that he has potential in being a hero. Homer established the fact that Odysseus was willing to take help in addition to friendship from Athena when he wrote, “For I never knew the gods to show such open friendship and Pallas Athene standing by Odysseus. ” (The Odyssey, Homer, 23).
The meaning of courage is a quality of spirit that enables you to face danger or pain without showing fear, and that’s where Odysseus comes in. Odysseus has been through so much just to get back home to his family. From being in the arms of his loving wife to risking his life at war and the sea adventures with his men. Odysseus is faithful to those whom he loves and is determined to return to his home of Ithaca. As he was on the island with Calypso and she asked him to stay with her, he responded to Calypso by stating, “Every day I long to travel home and see my day of coming. ” (Homer, 49).