Epic Hero Essay Odysseus Ship

Odysseus As The Epic Hero



Odysseus As The Epic Hero

Odysseus's Journey to Becoming
The Epic Hero
I. Introduction - In Homer's The Odyssey the tale of a man's journey back home after long years at war is also the tale of a man's spiritual journey through his own soul.
II. The beginning - Odysseus leaves Troy feeling almost immortal and this pride is what leads to his downfall and second rise.
III. The middle - Odysseus undergoes his symbolic death and rebirth.
IV. The end - Odysseus has regained power over his household and has restored order to his life.
V. Conclusion
In Homer's The Odyssey, the tale of a man's journey home after long years at war, is also the tale of a man's spiritual journey through his own soul. Odysseus' role as an epic hero is modified throughout the epic poem. As Odysseus leaves Troy for home, he is the typical bloodthirsty warrior. During the course of his trek, he undergoes a symbolic death and rebirth. Upon his arrival in Ithaka, the wiser man he has become is evident. The Odyssey is Odysseus' story of his journey not only from Troy to Ithaka, but also from bloodthirsty warrior to epic hero.
Odysseus begins the tale of his trip from Troy to Phaiakia in Book IX. The beginning of his tale displays the bloodthirsty warrior that left Troy.
What of those years
of rough adventure, weathered under Zeus?
The wind that carried west from Ilion
Brought me to Ismaros, on the far shore,
A strongpoint on the coast of Kikones.
I stormed that place and killed the men who fought.
The first lines of Odysseus' story display his warrior side. This passage shows how he and his crew landed and immediately went to battle and plundered. Although Odysseus recalls telling his men to stop afterwards and return to the ship, he never really forcibly tried to make the men return. The lack of effort on Odysseus' part implies that he did not truly care if the men ransacked Ilion. Due to this greed and bloodlust, nearly a third of each ship's crew was lost. This bloodthirsty warrior cared only for battle and blood, instead of his men and his return home.
After stopping on the island of Aiaia, the home of Kirke, Odysseus journeys to Hades. This represents a symbolic death for Odysseus. There he must speak with Teirasias to hear the prophet's visions for Odysseus's journey home. Teirasias predicts that the journey can take two paths; either a peaceful journey home, or if the crew and Odysseus can not restrain their desires, death and destruction will befall the crew. Odysseus and his crew do not heed Teirasias's warning, and the entire crew save Odysseus is lost at sea. After nine years on Kalypso's island Odysseus finally continues his journey home.
The strong god glittering left her as he spoke,
And now her ladyship, having given heed
To Zeus's mandate, went to find Odysseus
In his stone seat to seaward-tear on tear
Brimming his eyes. The sweet days of his life time
Were running out in anguish over his exile,
For long ago the nymph had ceased to please.
Though he fought shy of her and her desire,
He lay with her each night, for she compelled him.
But when day came he sat on the rocky shore
And broke his own heart groaning, with his eyes wet
Scanning the bare horizon of the sea.
Odysseus had begun to lose hope of ever getting home. Kalypso grudgingly gives in to Zeus' order and aids Odysseus in obtaining wood for a ship. After nineteen days at sea, he is battered in a vicious storm and washes up half-unconscious, bloody, and naked in Phaiakia. This episode represents a symbolic rebirth for Odysseus. His time of incubation on Kalypso's isle is over and he emerges naked and bloody - like the day he was born. Once he has landed on Phaiakia, Odysseus realizes that he can not continue on as a bloodthirsty warrior, but rather must heed the wisdom passed on to him by those he met in Hades and change his outlook. It is at this point that Odysseus begins to fully comprehend the effects his actions have on those around him, as well as on his future. Only now is he truly ready for his tumultuous return to Ithaka.
By the time

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OdysseyOdysseusCalypsoOdyssean godsKatabasis

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In The Odyssey, Homer conveys a mixed message about Odysseus’s crew. At times, they seem loyal, whereas other scenes reveal them as disloyal. Homer does this to help center the attention on how Odysseus can fall victim to temptation and stand up to take control of his crew. The critical moments where Odysseus and his crew are in disagreement are significant because they demonstrate how Odysseus is epic, yet still human and flawed. After escaping Polyphemos’s cave, Odysseus’s crew remains loyal. As a result, the focus changes to Odysseus being the epic hero. Odysseus takes control of the situation and allows most of his crew to escape safely. The crew is helpless and directs the attention to how Odysseus rescues his crew by blinding…show more content…

“I roused the men straightway, ordering all crews to man the ships and cast off cables quickly.” (9.625-627). Odysseus is an epic hero in this scene due to his the loyalty of his crew. They obey every word and allow him to be in command. By doing this, they change the focus from Polyphemos’s cave to Odysseus being the person in charge.
On the island of Aeaea, the disloyalty of Odysseus’s crew centers the attention to Odysseus’s flaws. When they arrive on the island, Odysseus observes smoke rising from the woods. He advises that they go explore when suddenly the crew unfaithfully “burst into cries, wailing, streaming live tears.” (10.220). A faithful crew would follow Odysseus to wherever he may go. By the crew not wanting to venture into the woods, they present his main flaws-curiosity and temptation. After the events happen in Circe’s house, they end up staying much longer due to Odysseus. “And there we sat at ease, day in, day out, till a year had run its course…my loyal comrades took me aside and prodded, ‘Captain, this is madness!’” (10.515,519-520). This quote demonstrates that Odysseus is still human and has flaws like the rest of his crew. Homer does this to allow the reader to relate to the epic hero. On the Island of Helios, the disloyalty of the crew shows Odysseus as an epic hero. The whole reason why it takes Odysseus so long to reach home is that Odysseus needs an epic challenge to prove that he is an epic hero. The crew being disloyal on

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