What events show Odysseus as an epic hero and what traits of an epic hero do they detail?

Essay by V_A_P_O_RHigh School, 11th gradeA+, December 2002

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An Epic Man Who Became an Epic Hero

Odysseus, of Homer's Odyssey, is an appropriate hero and ruler of Ithaca. He does not act irrationally but contemplates his actions and their implications. Odysseus is an appropriate hero because he embodies the values of bravery, intelligence, astuteness, and competency. Odysseus is an appropriate ruler for Ithaca by virtue of his hereditary right to kingship as well as his diplomatic skills, familiarity with his male subjects, discipline, and his impartiality and compassion. However, he is a character that does make a foolish decision. There is a rare instance when his pride supersedes his intellectual ability.

Odysseus is an appropriate hero for he embodies the values of bravery, intelligence, astuteness, and competency. While he trying to return home from Ilium, numerous suitors attempt to seduce his wife, Penelope. However, when he returns Odysseus cleverly plans and carries out the demise of the evil and wasteful suitors with the help of Athena, goddess of wisdom: "Come on [Athena] weave me a plan to punish them [the suitors]."

Odysseus' wisdom is admired by Athena, the goddess of that aptness. Athena is also impressed by his battle heroics and so she endeavors to provide him with succor: "And you didn't know Pallas Athenaia the daughter of Zeus himself, your faithful stand-by and guardian in all your labours!" With Athena's assistance Odysseus becomes a true hero.

Odysseus is the epitome of honor and virtue for his Ithacan subjects. Odysseus' kind and stalwart leadership is revealed by Eumaios, his faithful swineherd, and Philoitios, his loyal cowherd, who have both remained loyal to him for twenty years. Eumaios praises Odysseus as "A rare fine master." "Indeed I do not mourn so much for them as for him [Odysseus], though I long to see 'em again and my native...