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Is Odysseus a hero?

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Max Marrs

on 26 February 2013

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Transcript of Is Odysseus a hero?

The Odyssey Perspective Odysseus.
A hero or not? Odysseus can be both a hero or a villain, depending on how one looks at him. The theme of this unit is perspective, so I am going to try my best to see Odysseus from different points of view. This way, I will be able to make a fair and convincing argument defending both sides. He's obviously a hero. He certainly is not a hero. pg. 1050 Lines:134-137
We beached there, and I told the crew to stand by and keep watch over the ship: as for myself I took my twelve best fighters and went ahead. This quote demonstrates Odysseus' leadership skills. It is obvious that he is the one who is giving the commands in his group. Leadership is a large part of heroism, which clearly indicates that Odysseus is a hero. pg. 1052 Lines:214-216
"We would entreat you, great Sir, have a care for the gods' courtesy; Zeus will avenge the unoffending guest. This quote shows that Odysseus is very brave, which also a large part of heroism. He is defending himself, his people, and his beliefs against a cyclops who is much larger and stronger than he is. pg. 1062 Lines:457-460
If ever mortal man inquire how you were put to shame and blinded, tell him Odysseus, raider or cities, took your eye: Laertes' son, whose home's on Ithaca!" Although not all true heroes are physically gifted, it seems as if society has an image of heroes being very strong and violent when need be, which is what this quote displays. To some peoples perspective, this would be considered a heroic action. Some may say that heroes don't always make the right decisions to create a positive outcome in a situation. The way I see it, a true hero is honest. Whereas in these quotes, Odysseus is lying for his own personal benefit. pg. 1054 Lines:297-300
"Cyclops, try some wine. Here's liquor to wash down your scraps of men. Taste it, and see the kind of drink we carried under our planks. I meant it for an offering if you would help us home." pg. 1065 Lines:562-563
"I pledged these rites, then slashed the lamb and ewe, letting their black blood stream into the wellpit." pg. 1056 Lines:315-316
"My name is Nohbdy: mother, father, and friends, everyone calls me Nohbdy." pg. 1053 Lines:228-231
"My ship? Poseidon Lord, who sets the earth a-tremble, broke it up on the rocks at your land's end. A wind from seaward served him, drove us there. We are survivors, these good men and I." A hero is someone who goes out of there way to put others in front of themselves. In this quote, Odysseus' crew is telling him to leave the cyclops' alone. Odysseus, selfish as he is, disregards their opinions, and risks all of their lives. That is not a very heroic thing to do. pg. 1060 Lines:449
Godsake, Captain!
Why bait the beast again? Let him alone! Last time I checked, heroes didn't run around murdering innocent sheep for sacrifices. I know that we all eat sheep and other animals, but why would you kill an animal for absolutely no reason? Groovy! Evil. After looking through each perspective, I believe that Odysseus is not a hero. Sure, he has certain moments which could be seen as heroic, but part of being a hero is to be on duty at all times. Heroes care about the well being of others, whereas Odysseus seemed to have this image in his head that everything revolved around him. Through his selfish acts, it is quite clear that Odysseus is no true hero. He may have meant well in the end, but that doesn't make up for his wrong actions. All I know is that I would never trust Odysseus with my life... would you?
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