The Odyssey: Is Odysseus Really a Hero?Odysseus can be
portrayed as an antihero in The Odyssey. A hero is smart, considerate, brave, and shows mercy. Odysseus is the total opposite of a hero. He is immature, barbaric, unfaithful, and a coward. Being faithful, or faithful, is one of the primary aspects of being a hero. Reserve V reveals us that Odysseus might not have been so faithful to Penelope: “Now as he spoke the sun set, dusk made use of/ and they retired, this set, to the inner cavern/ to revel and rest gently, side by side” (5. 234-236) This quote describes Odysseus with Kalypso, before he left her cavern to go back to Ithaka. Resting gently, side by side” might indicate more than what Homer is offering us. Odysseus is also really immature and childish. After tricking the Kyklops, Polyphemos, his guys run for the ships. Odysseus is so proud of himself; he dares to scream back at the Kyklops: “Kyklops/ if ever mortal male ask/ how you were put to pity and blinded, inform him/ Odysseus, raider of cities, took your eye:/ Laertes’ son, whose home’s on Ithaka! “(9. 548-552) His rant made the Kyklops mad and he prayed to his dad, Poseidon, to eliminate Odysseus. Poseidon then destroyed Odysseus’ ship, eliminating everyone on board but him.
His immature habits cost him his crew and his time. Odysseus is likewise a coward. Rather of fighting Polyphemos, he escaped to his ship. He ought to have battled the beast and showed his guys how brave he was, but he ran: “The blind thing in his doubled fury broke/ a hilltop in his hands and heaved it after us./ Ahead of our black prow it struck and sank/ whelmed in a spuming geyser, a huge wave/ that cleaned the ship stern primary back to shore./ I got the longest boathook out and stood/ fending us off, with furious nods to all to put their backs into a racing stroke-/ row, row, or die.
So the long oars bent/ kicking the foam sternward, making head/ till we drew away, and twice as far. “(9. 524-534) Odysseus and his males could have killed that one Kyklops. Rather, the afraid leader led his men away. Another antihero characteristic is revealing no mercy. Odysseus reveals this characteristic two times. The first time is with an unfortunate suitor who attempts to leave being killed: “‘Grace,/ mercy on a suppliant, Odysseus!/ Never by word or act of mine, I swear./ was any female bothered here. I informed them the rest/ to put an end to it. They would not listen,/ would not keep their hands from brutishness,/ and now they are all passing away like pets for it. I had no part in what they did: my part/ was visionary– reading the smoke of sacrifice./ Scruples go unrewarded if I pass away. ‘/ The wise fighter frowned over him and stated:/ ‘You were diviner to this crowd? How often/ you must have prayed my sweet day of return/ would never come, or not for many years!– and hoped/ to have my dear partner, and beget children on her./ No plea like yours might conserve you/ from this difficult bed of death. Death it will be! ‘/ He got Agelaos’ broadsword/ from where it lay, flung by the killed male,/ and offered Leodes’ neck a lopping blow/ so that his head decreased to mouth the dust. (22. 350-370) Another example of Odysseus showing no mercy is when he makes the maids, who slept with the suitors, clean up the dead bodies and wash the furnishings. Then they were to be performed: “As he spoke/ here came the ladies in a lot, all wailing,/ soft tears on their cheeks. They fell to work/ to carry the corpses out into the courtyard/ under the gateway, propping one/ against another as Odysseus bought,/ for he himself dominated them. In fear/ these woman bore the cold weight of the dead./ The next thing was to scrub off chairs and tables/ and rinse them down.
Pertinent Subjects Readers Also Select
- Odyssey Loyalty
Telemakhos and the rancher/ scraped the packed earth floor with hoes, but made/ the woman carry out all blood and mire./ When the excellent space was cleaned up as soon as again,/ at swordpoint they forced them out, in between/ the roundhouse and the palisade, pell-mell/ to huddle in that dead end without exit./ Telemakhos, who knew his mind, said curtly:/ ‘I would not offer the tidy death of a monster/ to trulls who made a mockery of my mom/ and of me too– you sluts, who lay with suitors. ‘/ He tied one end of a hawser to a pillar/ and passed the other about the roundhouse top,/ taking the slack up, so that no one’s toes/ might touch the ground.
They would be hung like doves/ or larks in springes set off in a thicket,/ where the birds think to rest– a harsh nesting./ So now in turn each females thrust her head/ into a noose and swung, yanked high in air,/ to die there most piteously./ Their feet danced for a little, but shortly”(22. 497-526) Through these examples, Odysseus is clearly an antihero. He might have some heroic traits, but many are antihero. His immaturity, cowardliness, extramarital relations, and showing no grace proves that he is, in fact, an antihero.