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    Odysseus: From putting out a brushfire to destroying world famine Essay

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    From putting out a brushfire to destroying world famine, everyday people commit these acts to help others. The actions one does distinguishes him or her as a hero compared to the rest of the world. In the eyes of the little ones, heroes possess big strong muscular arms out ready to save the world from devastation. Others may think a hero is someone of incredible intelligence that can solve the mystery of the world. Attributes that a hero must have are: leadership to guide others, wisdom for skills of contending, and determination to reach one’s goal. A hero that comes to mind is one by the name of Odysseus of the epic poem, The Odyssey.

    Odysseus truly upholds the reputation of being a “hero”. Many may think that considering Odysseus as a mythical hero is an over exaggerated phrase, while others may think it is an understatement. He has the attributes that distinguish him from the rest of the world, but still has the human flaws all possess. Odysseus guides his men through the obstacles of their journey, uses wisdom to deceive others, and encourages his men giving them hope of returning home. Odysseus’s behavior proves him to be a hero throughout his journey because he displays actions of all three qualities.

    One of the many important attributes heroes have is leadership. In order for a hero to be successful in what he does, he or she must be able to provide guidance and direction for others. This sense of direction is a necessary quality to have because one must be an example for others to follow. When there is a mishap, and no one knows what to do, a hero is the one who leads the group out of the situation and into safety. In the tale of the “Lotus Eaters,” Odysseus clearly shows his actions of leadership. “Then I sent out two picked men and a runner to learn what race of men that land sustained.

    They fell in, soon enough, with Lotus Eaters, who showed no will to do us harm, only offering the sweet Lotus to our friends- but those who ate this honeyed plant, the Lotus, never cared to report, nor to return: they longed to stay forever, browsing on that native bloom, forgetful of their homeland. [… ] I drove them, all three wailing to the ship tied them down under the rowing benches and called the rest: ‘all hands aboard: come clear to them each and no one taste the Lotus or you lose hope of home.

    Filing into their places by the rowlocks, my oarsmen dipped their long oars in the surf, and we moved out again on our seafaring. Green book, pg. 685, line 100 In this situation, Odysseus displays his quality of leadership by first resisting the temptation of eating the sweet plant. Even though the Lotus was a sweet honeyed plant, Odysseus abstained himself from eating.

    By doing so, he became a leader for others to follow. He stopped anyone else who was tempted to eat the Lotus and took them away from the plant. Odysseus’s guidance allowed his men to get out of this threat and into safety. A normal person would’ve have stayed and ate the Lotus because it made the men very happy; but Odysseus, a person above and beyond that of a normal person, resisted.

    This proves that Odysseus heroic trait of leadership attributed to overcoming his obstacle, but it did not alone. Wisdom trails along the quality of leadership. Wisdom is a trait that shows true heroism. It is a necessary trait that contributes to heroism because one must be wise enough to outwit his or her opponent. He or she must use his or her skills of contending to get through the obstacle. Situations humans meet can be at times very challenging but with wisdom, a hero will be able to surpass the tribulation. The tale in which Odysseus encounters the one eyed Cyclops, Polyphemus, proves Odysseus to be very intelligent. Cyclops, you ask my honorable name? Remember my gift you promised me and I shall tell you.

    My name is Nohbdy: mother, father, and friends everyone calls me Nobhdy. ” […] What ails you, Polyphemus? Why do you cry so sore in the starry night? You will not let us sleep. Sure no man’s driving off your flock? No man has tricked you, ruined you? ‘Nohbdy, Nohbdy has tricked me, Nohbdy’s ruined me! ‘ To this rough shout, they made a sage reply: ‘Ah well, if nobody has played you foul there in your lonely bed, we are no use in pain given by great Zeus.

    Let it be your father, Poseidon Lord, to whom you pray. So saying they trailed away. And I was filled with laughter to see how like a charm the name deceived them. ” Brown book, pg. 498-499, line 275-315 This passage shows Odysseus’s guile and use of wisdom. By using good judgment in choice of action and knowing the effect, Odysseus was able to deceive Polyphemus. Odysseus had special skills of contending to outwit his enemy. This was very heroic of Odysseus because it took intelligence to work up a charm to swindle Polyphemus.

    Odysseus is distinguished as a hero for this particular trait because a normal human would not have known what would happen beforehand and know that his plan would be successful. Leadership and wisdom are necessary traits a hero must have to overcome his trials, but determination is what keeps him going. Determination keeps a hero and his crew to be motivated to accomplish their goal. Whether a hero is the strongest of them all, or the most powerful, without being determined one will not reach his or her goal. In the tale of Scylla and Charybdis, Odysseus is the motivation of his men.

    Friends, have we never been in danger before this? More fearsome, is it no, than when the Cyclops penned us in his cave? What power he had! Did I not keep my nerve and use my wits to find a way out for us? Heads up lads! …That was all, and it brought them round to action. […]we rowed on. The rockers were now behind; Charybdis, too, and Scylla dropped astern. ” Brown book, pg. 527-529, line 105-205 Even when the going was getting rough, Odysseus motivated his men. He spread determination over their heads. His determination not only helped himself to get home, it also encouraged his men to have hope.

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