Odysseus as a Hero

Examples of why Odysseus is a hero in books, 5,6,7,9,10 and 12

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  • Created by: Lucy W
  • Created on: 23-05-11 08:43

Odysseus as A Hero- Intelligence


In book 6, Odysseus shows his intelligence when he meets Nausicaa. This is because he immediately says "Princess, I am at your knees. Are you some goddess or a mortal woman?" The fact that he came up with an eloquent speech on the spot shows that he is very intelligent as he knew exactly what was going to please Nausicaa and put her on his side so that she would help him.

In book 7, Odysseus is quick to make King Alcinous like him as he immediately compliments his daughter, Nausicaa, and likens himself to Alcinous by saying that "We men are naturally suspicious" which puts Alcinous at ease.

In book 9, he comes up with a cunning plan to deceive the cyclops, Polyphemus. The fact that he thinks to only blind Polyphemus rather than killing him shows his quick thinking. His use of Polyphemus' rams to  escape is another example of Odysseus' Intelligence in book 9.

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Odysseus as A Hero - Bravery and Prowess


He shows bravery when he puts on his armour when he and his men are sailing past Scylla, even though he knows it will do nothing to help.

His bravery is again shown when he and his men blind Polyphemus.

We can see throughout the Odyssey that Odysseus is a brave hero, as if he wasn't, he would have given up or would have died and wouldn't have got back to Ithaca at the end.


When Odysseus blinds the cyclops, he illustrates his prowess. This is because it is an extremely cunning things to do and shows off his heroic qualities of skill and bravery. 

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Odysseus as A Hero - Divine Help

Throughout the Odyssey, Odysseus receives help from many Gods and Goddesses.

Odysseus is helped by Athena, the patron goddesses of heroes:

Her first act is persuading Zeus to send Hermes to Calypso’s island to inform Calypso that it was Zeus’s will that Odysseus continued his journey home. Seeing as no god could thwart or evade Zeus, Calypso had to let Odysseus go despite her own wishes to have him stay on the island forever. When Odysseus is arriving on Scherie, Athene gives him the idea of grabbing onto the rocks.

 In Book 6, she makes sure that Nausicaa meets Odysseus elsewhere on the island by coming to her in a dream and making her want to go and wash her clothes. She also makes him more beautiful after washing to make Nausicaa like and help him.

An example of direct assistance by Athena includes when she led Odysseus to the palace of the Phaecian in the guise of a little girl.

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Odysseus as A Hero - Divine Help - Continued


Ino the sea nymph lends Odysseus a veil when he is caught in turbulent waters to help protect him from the jagged shoreline.


Hermes is Patron of Travellers, Messenger of the gods and one of the 12 Olympian gods, Hermes appears three times in the Odyssey. The first time is to deliver a message to Calypso to let Odysseus return home. The second time, he appears to Odysseus to warn him about Circe and provides the necessary information that Odysseus need to put Circe into submission. 

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Odysseus as a Hero - Patience


Odysseus' patience is illustrated on a number of occasions.

From the first time we meet Odysseus we see that he has been patient. On Calypso's island of Ogygia, he is sitting by the shore "his eyes wet with tears". This shows that he has wanted to leave and return to Ithaca for a long time, but couldn't; showing he is patient.

In book 9, he waits to blind Polyphemus as he realises that if he kills him, he will "seal our own fate, as well as his" because of the fact that the stone blocking the door was so big that "twenty-two four-wheeled waggons" couldn't move it.

The fact that Odysseus doesn't give up on getting back to Ithaca, even after years of travelling, shows that he is very patient.

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Odysseus as A Hero - Pride, Sensualness and Disloy

Throughout the Odyssey, Odysseus pride lets him down

One example of this is in the Cyclops scene. If Odysseus had swallowed his pride and had grabbed the cheese and left, it would have saved the lives of many of his men.

Sensualness and Disloyalty

In the Odyssey, Odysseus is disloyal to his wife Penelope when he cheats on her with Circe and Calypso. This is one trait of Odysseus that makes him seem unheroic as, despite the fact he wants to be back with Telemachus and Penelope, he stays with both of them for a very long time.

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George Crawley


Ranti Adeniyi

Thank You it is nice to know the extra information as something like this can come in the exam!


The green is hard to read on the screen but otherwise they are great :)

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