Wild Card Essay

Submitted By filitor
Words: 727
Pages: 3

Merriam Webster defines an epic hero as “a brave and noble character in an epic poem, admired for great achievements or affected by grand events,” they very well could have shown a picture of Odysseus. He a respected warrior from Ithaca and abandons his wife and newborn son fight for the return of Helen. To leave the ones he loves and to embark on a twenty year trek can only be achieved by a hero of epic proportion. In Homer’s epic poem, the Odyssey, Odysseus is fit to be considered an “epic hero” because he exhibits the major established characteristics of the archetype. Odysseus' cleverness and quick thinking contribute to his identity as an epic hero. In the episode “The Cyclops,” he used his surroundings and quick thinking to help his men through difficult circumstance. For instance, using the sheep on the island to allow his men to escape he “tied them together, twining cords of willow from the ogre’s bed; then slung a man under each middle one to ride there safely, shielded left and right.” (9.423-26). This crafty solution is indicative of his cleverness. The hero’s astute mind is able to help save himself and his crew. Another example, in “The Beggar and the Faithful Dog,” when returning to Ithaca Odysseus is “disguised as a beggar” (17.summary) as to not be discovered by the suitors. After twenty years away and finally returning the artifice is still able to clever plans to help him get one step closer to his family. This ruse helped Odysseus reconnect with his wife, son, and dog. Himself willing to risk his life to rekindle with his family also highlights his intrepidness. Odysseus’ cunning abilities prove him to be a fine example of an epic hero. Another trait typical of epic heroes is his bravery and courage. For example, in “The Land of the Dead,” Odysseus travels to the underworld knowing well that “anguish lies ahead” (11.620). Hidden underneath the earth, traveling to this kingdom of death cause the suffering that no god, let alone a man would go through. Thanks to his courage, he bravely endured the haunting soles of the deceased to get his men away safely. Furthermore, Odysseus had to navigate through a dangerous sea passageway in which he must defeat the Scylla, a monster in which “God or man, no one could look on her with joy.” (12.681-82). Like in the land of the dead, this is something that to oppose with would be no less than ludicris. His willingness to combat with such a ferocious monster should alone classify him as a peerless hero. These along with other acts of valor are what make him a quintessential epic hero. An epic hero would not be complete without their flaws and Odysseus is no different. An epic hero’s flaws allow the reader to connect on a human level to the…