Essay about Odyssey: Hero and Odysseus

Submitted By Ryzaif
Words: 1995
Pages: 8

The Embodiment of Imperfection and Triumph, Odysseus of Ithaca

Even the first recorded hero in all history was not perfect. In fact, the most prominent hero in The Odyssey, Odysseus, portrays some far from perfect qualities. The fact that he is imperfect is what makes Odysseus the greatest hero; he portrays the human characteristic of imperfection, but at the same time continues to pursue his goals, gaining identity in the process. Every action has an equal reaction, similarly, the choices a person takes decides their destiny. Some of the choices Odysseus took outraged even the gods, especially Poseidon. Unlike many other heroes, Odysseus’ journey was an experience into which he was thrown; however, it brought into light many of his hidden characteristics. Odysseus was destined for a path full of pain and trials ultimately leading to triumph. The quality that allowed Odysseus to survive the constant thwarting the gods put upon his journey was his immense determination and his strong will. Odysseus chose to blind Polyphemus, one of Poseidon’s children, after getting him drunk, and in doing so was forced to face many hardships during his journey, as part of Poseidon’s wrath. He also arrived at the Phaecian Island a broken man because of the actions his men took on the Island of The Sun God, which caused the gods to become enraged. These imperfections and mistakes formed his road of trials and by overcoming them Odysseus was able to reach his goal. By overcoming the hardships on his journey, Odysseus gained a better understanding of the world and had a story he could tell the world, he could showcase how far he had ventured surviving countless monsters and disasters for the pursuit to reclaim his position, in his home country, by side of his loyal wife. Odysseus always tried his best in whatever situation he was put upon which is also one of the most prevalent qualities a hero must possess. The universal images Odysseus experiences through his actions demonstrate both his weaknesses and triumphs. Experience is the key to Odysseus’ development and his journey through the stages of the monomyth. (343 Words) Odysseus experiences the qualities of a ruler throughout his heroic journey. The most important trait of a ruler is being able to lead their people. Odysseus was smart, cunning, and courageous. He was able to use these qualities to an advantage. In book nine, Odysseus was able outwit Polyphemus, whom Odysseus physically paled in comparison to. The universal image of the ruler is encompassed in Odysseus’ personality. He was born a king and as such, he pursued a path with full responsibility and control. The main objective of a leader is to protect their people. He is able to demonstrate that he is a strong leader by maintaining a strong bond between his crew and himself. He also motivates his crew very often throughout the journey. Before they saw Scylla, his crew was terrified, but Odysseus kept motivating them to keep going on despite the danger of death. Through the relationship he has with his crew, he is able to gain identity. Odysseus was afraid of creating chaos. He was afraid that his crew would give up on their journey and they would never return. Odysseus wanted to maintain control because no one else in his crew was capable of maintaining authority. Odysseus longed to return to his position as a king of Ithaca and similarly represented this position on his ship. He was wise in what he told his crew to do as shown when he directs his crew to help him pass through the Island of Siren. The experience he gained through the ruler archetype helped Odysseus never give up on his goal to return to his homeland. Cosma Shalizi claims that archetypes are not important in myths. This is not true because archetypes are universal connections. Archetypes are able to connect many different cultures and ideas. They are important in all mythology because they are the foundation to all heroes. Through archetypes people are able…