- distinguished valor.
The word “hero” has several definitions. In Greek mythology, a hero was originally a demigod. A hero can be the principle character in a play, movie, novel, or poem. A hero can even simply mean someone who is discerned by outstanding courage, dignity, or power. Even though there a many different types of heroes, they have all been through a journey with many obstacles that they had to overcome. The journey of a hero is one huge cycle, starting at the home of the hero and ending at the same place, the home. There are two very important stages of journey cycle—the road of trials and crisis/salvation. The road of trials stage is basically the obstacles the potential hero had to overcome. The crisis/salvation stage is the disaster that occurred and how the hero was saved from it. Odysseus faced many obstacles, and there were many crises that he underwent. The journey of Odysseus was mythological. He left his homeland of Ithaca to go fight in the Trojan War, which lasted ten years; however, on his way home, he encountered many obstacles and wandered around for another ten years before returning home. At the conclusion of his journey, Odysseus is a better person, having conquered his own mental restraints, and he returns home to use his new self-understanding of being a better king, husband, father, and son. On the other hand, the journey of Siddhartha Gautama was spiritual, and he also met with several obstacles and crises. He had a family and had never seen the sickly, elderly, or dead before, and when he did, he immediately began to try to discover how to overcome suffering. The journey of Mahatma Gandhi was also spiritual. He was very faithful to God and his own country, even after facing so many troubles. He freed India from the British without the use of violence.
Odysseus faced several obstacles and went through many tests on his way home from the Trojan War. Odysseus’ first obstacle—the Island of the Cicones—was because of his greed. He stopped here to raid it for supplies, and him and his men looted a lot of goods and split it amongst themselves. In spite of this, they were greedy, which compelled them to stay in town and collect every last bit they can; however, the Cicones attacked on horseback and killed 72 of Odysseus’ men. From this obstacle, he learns not to be greedy in victory. One of his most difficult trials was when he encountered the Island of the Cyclopes. He and his men found a Cyclops’ cave; however, they were trapped inside of it by Polyphemus, the Cyclops. (Necessary??) Odysseus could not fight him because only the Cyclops can move the huge boulder that blocked the exit from the cave. Odysseus was compelled to use trickery in order to escape. Him and his men blinded Polyphemus and escaped underneath his herd of sheep. He learns to use his head rather than his body to overcome his predicaments. He also learns to fight his arrogance and not to humiliate someone after beating them down. After he safely exited Polyphemus’ cave and as he left the island, he ridiculed blinded Polyphemus and bragged about his skill; The Cyclops replied by “ripping off the peak of a towering crag, [heaving] it / so hard the boulder [lands] just in front of [Odysseus’] dark prow / and a huge swell [rears] up as the rock [goes] plunging under— / a tidal wave from the open sea” (Book 9, ll. 538-541). His jeers at Polyphemus almost caused his ship to be pulverized, and him and his