In the poem The Odyssey by Homer, the main character Odysseus is on a journey to his home, Ithaca. During these travels he shows strong character traits. Whether it’s thinking of a brilliant plan to keep his identity a secret, battling hundreds of drunken suitors single handedly, or just keeping the thought of reaching home in his sight for twenty long years. With courage, dedication, and intelligence Odysseus is able to complete his journey back to his homeland. A hero can outsmart all of his opponents. Whether that opponent is a physical being or a situation, doesn’t matter.
Odysseus is capable of proving this many times throughout the epic. An example of this is when Odysseus returns to his homeland in hopes of suprising the suitors with a secret attack. In order to do so he is only able to tell the swineherd, shepherd, and his faithful son Telemachus of his return (663). Even when Eurycleia, his old nurse recognizes him she is sworn to secrecy in order to keep his arrival hidden (696). Other instances of his cleverness could be perceived on page 665 when he skillfully blinds the one-eyed beast Polyphemus by intoxicating him and presenting a false identity.
There for he is a leader who is very intelligent. Is it likely for a man to take on hundreds of drunken men practically alone? Most likely not, for this is very dangerous and requires a tremendous amount of bravery. Though Odysseus made it look like cutting hot butter with a knife. In the book “Death at the Palace” he and his puny army are able to annihilate the suitors, “So these now fell upon the suitors in that hall, turning, turning to strike and strike again, while torn men moaned at death, and blood ran smoking over the whole floor…” (705).
This is a task that only a hero would be able to achieve or even attempt for the amount of risk. The final character trait displayed was dedication, which was persued multiple times throughout the poem. Through out the whole journey it is clear to the reader that there is only one place Odysseus wants to be, home. After the Trojan War Odysseus is captured by the seductive Calypso, “He has spent ten years (seven of them as Calypsos’ not entirely unwilling captive) trying to get home,” (652). With perseverance Odysseus is rescued and moves on with his travels.
Once again on page 658 he shows his strong desire to get home when he and his men arrive at the island of the Lotus Eaters. Lotus Eaters are plants that make one lose memories and hopes of arriving home, but Odysseus quickly recognizes this and seizes the moment. In the end his dedication helps him reach his only destination in sight. So as you can see Odysseus can be viewed as a heroic man with many shining character traits. Whether it’s being wise like an owl, courageous as a lion, or even being as determined as a bratty child. Odysseus’s attributes are the perfect recipe for any epic hero.