The Odyssey

Odysseus’ Reputation as a Hero in the Odyssey 12th Grade

In the Odyssey, the hero of the story, Odysseus, is depicted as a courageous, brilliant man. He keeps much faith in the gods, which pays him good dividends. He is also smart and cunning, always able to escape several of the most difficult situations. However, Odysseus is not a complete good hero, and has plenty of stains on his resume. He has affairs with other women, despite being married. He seems to indirectly cause much of his crew’s suffering and death, and he slaughters all of the noble young men of Ithaca and executes several servant women. These many misendeavors may seem to outweigh the merits of Odysseus, but most of his misactions are justifiable.

One of Odysseus’ greatest redeeming characteristics is his loyalty. Despite having slept with many other women, Odysseus never forgets his wife and son, and despite some prolong stays, he always continues his journey back home. Odysseus’ numerous affairs with other women can be justified because in many scenarios, he was pretty much forced to stay. On Calypso’s island, Odysseus was left with “no way to voyage home to his own native land, no trim ships in reach, no crew to ply the oars and send him scudding over the sea’s” (321). He was held prisoner with no choice but to...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 1138 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 8808 literature essays, 2350 sample college application essays, 386 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in