The Odyssey is often said to as an epic poem about an epic hero. The following material discusses whether Odysseus was truly an epic hero. Odysseus acts like a hero at times, but not always. He was incredibly powerful and valiant throughout the Trojan War, and he protected his warriors, but in Books 9–12, he...
Odysseus, the hero of Homer's epic works The Odyssey and The Iliad, has several flaws. Throughout his voyage home, he demonstrates himself to be a brave, clever, and confident leader. He does, however, have shortcomings. His arrogance, vanity, quick temper, and stubbornness frequently get him into trouble.
Odysseus is a perfect example of a courageous yet flawed human being. He is loyal to those who are loyal to him, but because of his own selfish desires, he can be deceived by others. Despite this, he remains strong willed and determined, showing that it is possible to overcome one's faults and rise above them.
An epic is a lengthy, episodic narrative poetry that tells the story of a historical or mythological hero's travels. Homer's Odyssey is an epic because Odysseus (the hero) fights supernatural enemies, the gods and goddesses play key roles, and Odysseus is reinstated as the rightful ruler. Epic poems are usually based on real events or people, but they combine history with fiction to tell a larger story about human courage and endurance.
The Odyssey is unusual among epic poems because it is written in iambic trimeters rather than the more common dactylic hexameter. Iambic trimeters are three-line stanzas composed of two alternating lines of iambic meter and one unstressed line of terceletic meter (a type of three-syllable meter). The Odyssey uses iambic trimeters almost exclusively, with only four exceptions: two dactylic hexameters used to honor Athena and one iambic pentameter used to lament the fall of Troy.
Another difference between the Odyssey and other epics is that it is told in first person by someone who is not directly involved in the events it describes.
The Adventures of Odysseus The Odyssey is a 24-book epic poem attributed to the ancient Greek poet Homer. The poem tells the narrative of Odysseus, King of Ithaca, who wanders for ten years (despite the poem's action only lasts six weeks) seeking to return home after the Trojan War. He is aided by the gods and encounters many dangers along the way.
Odysseus' journey back to Ithaca is fraught with danger because Poseidon, god of the sea, has been angered by his killing of a suitor during the war and has set about destroying everything in Odysseus' path, from ships at sea to animals on land. Only Athena, goddess of wisdom, enables him to survive against all odds. When he finally reaches home, his wife Penelope has been suffering from constant uncertainty over his fate and refuses to let anyone know whether or not she has been married since the war ended. Only when Odysseus presents himself before her does she agree to marry another man in order to have an end to the confusion surrounding his absence.
Odysseus' adventures began in Ithaca after the war had ended. His old friends, who had been killed during the war, had been buried there so he went to pay his respects. While he was away fighting, Athena had turned him into a swineherd because she wanted him to experience other lives before deciding on how to rescue him from death.