Wednesday, October 3, 2012

     Heroes have been important throughout history.  The qualities of heroes differ because the hero often has qualities that are highly revered by that civilization.  Through this, we can infer a society's high qualities based on their heroes.  Odysseus is the embodiment of the Ancient Greeks.
     Homes describes Odysseus as almost a demigod.  He is an excellent leader, although his crew attempts a mutiny.  According to Nausicaa, Odysseus has "... looks like the gods..." (Homer 92).  Odysseus is very mercurial; he tells the cyclops that his name is Nobody, so that the cyclops will not know who has hurt him.  Odysseus is resourceful.  Circe calls him "Odysseus of the many devises" (Homer 153).  As are many characters in the Odyssey, he is hospitable, to every guest.  He is distraught when the cyclops does not welcome Odysseus and his crew with the customary gifts and food.  Odysseus talks with a level of eloquency that is unmatched by mortals.  Numerous times, this saves him.  It proves to Nausicaa that he is not a savage, and shows her father, the king, that he is a well educated man, which makes him even more valued than a "normal" guest.  Odysseus is very well-rounded individual.
     Many heroes follow catharsis, meaning that they have one fatal flaw.  Odysseus is no exception.  He suffers from hubris, or excessive pride.  His pride gets him into some sticky situations.  The whole reason that Odysseus cannot get home safely is because he could not help but tell the cyclops his name as Odysseus escapes.  It is also why Odysseus's crew despises him, to an extent.  Hubris is not a good quality, especially not in a hero.

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