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Essay on Odysseus, A Hero

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Is there such a thing as a true hero? Or are those that are considered "heroes" just regular people who made the right choice at the right time and became idolized for it? To be a true hero, the person would have to be totally good. It is impossible for a human being to be totally good because weaknesses, character faults, and the tendency to make mistakes are all rooted deeply into human nature. Therefore, no human being can ever truly be a hero, though we may do heroic deeds. A well known example of such a person is Odysseus from Homer's "Odyssey". Odysseus is idolized for his few heroic deeds during the Trojan War and his journey home to Ithaca. He is often thought of as a hero, but, as he is human and therefore subject to human weakness and fault, is not a true hero athough some of his deeds were heroic.
Odysseus also possessed the neccessary qualities and skills needed for him to succeed. This is perhaps the key to understanding why he was classified as a hero in the first place. Throughout his whole adventure Odysseus drew on and used these qualities to ensure his success. Perhaps one of the essential skills that Odysseus possessed was the ability to use his surroundings to his advantage. A particular scenario in which Odysseus demonstrates this skill, present in both the book and the movie, takes place within the cyclops, Polyphemus's, cave. At that point in time, Odysseus who was faced with a rather perilous situation had very few options to choose from. "I [Odysseus] drew on all my wits...until a trick came...the Cyclops's rams...I tied them...together...then slung a man under each middle one..." Honestly, had it been me in the same situation, I probably would have risked trying to run around the cyclops because the idea...


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... Odysseus declared that the "game" was over and told the suitors to watch as he aimed an arrow at Antinous, a particularly rude suitor, and shot him in the throat. Now anyone can see that that is murder. Last I checked, our society does not idolize murderers. Well, at least the sane members of society do. not
Overall, Odysseus, although the doer of many good deeds, could never be considered a true hero because of his humanity. Humanity, with its many good characteristics, also possesses many faults, but perhaps that is the beauty of it all. There is beauty in the uniquity of imperfection, for if everyone and everything were perfect, what a boring world we would live in. So, although Odysseus and the many others like him may never be true heroes, it is because of their humanity that they were worth recognising in the first place.


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"The Odyssey" by Homer


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