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Odysseus is an epic hero

In mythology there are numerous epic hero’s including Perseus, Odysseus, and Theseus. Some of the qualities of epic hero’s are: values honor and glory, usually has a guide, sometimes makes rash decisions and takes unnecessary risks and more. Odysseus has all these Epic hero qualities. In the Myth the Odyssey, Odysseus is the epic hero who has all the epic hero characteristics including: making rash decisions, endangering his men, achieving his goal, accepts and invites problems, values honor and glory.

The characteristic of epic hero’s “values honor and glory” is mainly centered around when Odysseus goes back to Ithaca and finds his wife has many suitors, instead of directly going to Penelope he is disguised by Athena to look like a beggar. Later Odysseus tells his son Telamuchus who he really is and the two devise a plan to kill the suitors who were taking advantage of his wife and home, including the servants, while he was away.

When he went to his home disguised as a beggar, he goes around the table where the suitors were eating and begged for food when he got to Antinous he was shoved away and had a stool thrown at him to the shock of all the other suitors. When the other suitors told Antinous the gods displeased the harm of people who begged for food and said that the beggar, who was really Odysseus, could be a god in disguise. When things became quieter Penelope spoke with her attendants about hoping that Antinous would be struck by Apollo’s arrow.

Telemachus then ordered all the suitors to leave, giving him and Odysseus and he enough time to rid the hall of weapons. Penelope then ordered that Odysseus be brought to her and she then questioned him. The next day Penelope devised a plan to decide which of her suitors would marry her. When all of the suitors were gathered she told them the contest. When none of the suitors could complete the test Odysseus came, still disguised as a beggar, and completed the task which needed to be done he then shot and killed Antinous.

The other suitors, shocked that Odysseus shot Antinous, declared that he would die for that. Odysseus then told all the suitors who he really was and told them that because they were all dishonorable and insulted him he would kill them. He upheld the beliefs of his society by killing the suitors, as Penelope couldn’t kick them out of their home and if he just said who he was, he would have been killed by the suitors. He also killed Antinous for attacking him while he was a beggar, which displeased the gods very much, because he was begging to have food.

He also upholds the beliefs of his time by remaining faithful to Penelope although he did sleep with someone else, but he was tricked into doing that. Odysseus also invite problems when he was on the Cyclopes island he sought to trick Polyphemus into letting him go while he was captured and in-fact blinded Polyphemus to escape he then told him his true name which brought on the wrath of Poseidon. He also left his idiot soldiers alone while he prayed which was inviting problems because they then slaughtered the best livestock of Helios for sacrifice and food even though Odysseus told them not to harm the bulls.

He was also cocky to Polyphemus after he blinded him, which angered Poseidon even more. Odysseus was also smart by telling Polyphemus that his name was Nohbdy (pronounced nobody). He escaped death from the cyclopes by the cleverness of the name, which then allowed Odysseus to escapes from the island with relatively low casualties. Another instance where Odysseus showed his intellect is when he was traveling through the pass with Scylla and Charybdis. He showed his intellect in that he chose to go near Scylla instead of Charybdis.

By traveling near Scylla he risked only a few lives and lost only six men, whereas if he had chosen to go by Charybdis he would have risked all and lost most of his crews lives. Odysseus also had a guide in Hermes and Athena. Hermes helped Odysseus by helping him convince Calypso to let him go home to Ithaca. Athena had helped Odysseus enter into his own home unrecognized by the suitors so that he could live to kill them. Athena disguised Odysseus as a beggar to allow him to conspire in secret with Telemachus.

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