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`Too human to be a hero.' To what extent do you think Odysseus
haves in a heroic manner?
Through the Odyssey, Odysseus displays many of the characteristics that are needed for
someone to be viewed of as a hero in ancient Greece. These include aspects such as having
`super-human' strength and being favoured by god's and/or goddesses. But Odysseus also
displays sings of being too human to be classed as a hero in the ancient Greek sense of the
word, such as crying when things aren't going his way and his selfishness which comes
across in certain parts of the odyssey.
Odysseus' extreme bravery is an example of why Odysseus could be viewed of as heroic by
the ancient Greeks. An example of this would be during book 10 when Odysseus without
even thinking about it, decides he has to go and try and rescue his men from Circe's house.
Odysseus asked Eurylochus to take him back to the house, but he begged Odysseus not to
make him return, and he even tried to persuade Odysseus not to go as it was too
dangerous. Odysseus agrees not to make Eurylochus take him back, but insists on going
back to attempt to save his men. This extreme bravery shows that he was willing to put his
life at risk in order to save his men, which is a very heroic act to do. This extreme bravery is
not a trait most humans posses and therefore this puts him above the average human in
the eyes of the ancient Greeks, therefore not making him to human to be a hero, but quite
Odysseus having a multitude of gods helping him on his homebound journey back to Ithaca
makes him seem heroic as all ancient Greek heroes had at least one god/goddess helping
them along the way. Odysseus has Athene helping him throughout the odyssey, an example
of this would be when Odysseus is taking part in the Phaeacian Games during his stay in
Phaeacia and she disguises herself as a herald of the king and made sure the audience saw
and appreciated how impressive Odysseus performance was. During book ten, Hermes visits
Odysseus when he is on his way to rescue his friends from Circe's house, and he instructs
him on what to do, and he even gives him a magical herb named moly to protect him for
Circe's evil magical powers. Without Hermes help, Odysseus may not have been able to
rescue his crew members that had been turned into pigs and he may also have been turned
into an animal himself. Ino the sea nymph also helped Odysseus on his journey when his raft
was destroyed by a storm sent by Poseidon. She gave him a magical veil which would
protect him whilst he was struggling to get to shore in the sea off Phaeacia.
Odysseus' extreme piety is a way in which he can be perceived to be acting in a heroic
manor. An example of this is when when Odysseus and his crew are sacking the town of
Ismarus , Odysseus out of respect for the gods protected the priest of Apollo. This is an
example of extreme piety as even though he must have been very focused on sacking
Ismarus, in his head he was still thinking of the gods and ways in which he could please them.
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In return he was rewarded by the priest with presents such as wine and a silver bowl. To be
god-fearing was expected of everybody in ancient Greece, but to show such extreme piety
was an admirable quality and was viewed of as a heroic mannerism in ancient Greece. This
shows Odysseus is not to human to be a hero as he does even more than what is expected
of the average human.
Odysseus `superhuman strength is another heroic quality he possesses.…read more
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This makes Odysseus appear to human to be classed as a hero in
the ancient Greek sense of the word.
A hero would be expected to wherever possible attempt to save the lives of suffering
humans. During Odysseus' visit to Circe's house, there are many animals there that we can
infer are humans trapped in the body of animals, which is done by Circe.…read more