Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Heroic Characteristics

Homer, the blind poet, portrays Odysseus with the ideal characteristics an ancient Greek would have. In epic poems or stories there is a hero, that heroes represents what are the values and characteristic a perfect citizen should have in a specific society. In the Odyssey, Odysseus is full of those values and characteristics. First, his entire journey is a consequence of the Trojan War. It is clear that the Greeks considered war the most important, and if not, one of the most important things a perfect Greek must include in its like. Then, he is really respectful of religion; he respects the gods and tries to address the immortals in the best possible manner. As it is known, the Ancient Greek Society was a very religious one. Finally, Homer adds to Odysseus other characteristics that Greeks would find important to have. Odysseus is very clever; he is a man trying to get back with his family. He is always in the pursuit of victory. Along with others, these characteristics are common in most epic heroes because any society would find beneficial to have citizens that behave in this ways.
            Even though Odysseus has many heroic and mostly good characteristics, He has flaws; it does not mean that a perfect Greek should have flaws. What Homer trying to establish, is the way Odysseus overcomes his flaws to succeed in his journey. For Example, Odysseus tends to be an arrogant and sarcastic person. He overcomes this when he addresses Kings and gods that will help him at every stage of this journey. The humble way, in which he approaches the important people throughout his journey, will make him get additional help from both, mortals and immortals.
            In conclusion, Odysseus characteristics contain cultural information about the ancient Greece. Heroes in every epic will have this type of characteristics.

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