Heroism was not an invention of the Greeks. Yet, through the first hundreds years of their civilization, the Greek literature has already given birth to highly polished and complex long epics that revolved around heroes. These literature works gave many possibilities of definition of heroism. The Greeks illustrated heroism to obey the rules laid down by the gods and goddesses, and those who obey the rules would gain honor and fame. The Greeks regarded intelligence as one of the highest gifts that all heroes must posses. The Greeks required that all heroes must have courage. Odysseus, one of the heroes of the epic "Odyssey" standout. He was constantly expected to be a true hero, always obey the rules laid down by the immortals, posses wisdom and courage.
The Greeks believed that all heroes must always obey the Guest/Host relationship rule-- which all guests must treat the hosts with courtesy, and the host must treat the guests properly-- laid down by the gods and goddesses. Those who did not obey the rule would be punished severely. Odysseus throughout the epic, demonstrated that he obeyed the Guest/Host relationship rule. Odysseus always following the Guest/Host relationship rule, a characteristic that all heroes must have according to the Greeks’ tradition . All heroes must followed the rule because if they did not, they would be punished by the immortals, and would not be recognized as heroes. When Odysseus reach the land of the Cyclops race. Odysseus decided to pick his best men, goods offered as gifts, and headed toward a Cyclops’s cave. When his men saw cheese, pens, and lamb on lying on the racks, they pleading to Odysseus, "Why not take these cheeses, get them stowed, come back, throw all the pens, and make a run for it? We’ll drive the kids and lambs aboard. We say put out again on good salt water!" Odysseus dismissed the suggestion, "I wished to see the cave man, and what he had to offer." Odysseus dismissed the suggestion of his men, and choose to wait to greet the Cyclops with the gifts as in the custom of the Guest/Host relationship rule. Those actions and sayings showed that Odysseus was always following Guest/Host relationship rule, an example for his men to look up to. Odysseus’s actions spoke for his character. He posses the characteristic that meets the criteria of always obeying the rules laid down by the immortal as defined in the Greek’s tradition of all true heroes.
The Greeks believed that intelligence was one of the highest gifts that all heroes must posses Intelligence was so important to the character of all heroes because intelligence would be used in novel situations where cunning would most needed. Odysseus posses intelligence as expected in the Greeks’ tradition of heroes. Odysseus displayed intelligence when he went to the goddess Circe to rescue his men who were turned into swine by the goddess Circe. The goddess spoke to him, "Put up your weapon in the sheath. We two shall mingle and make love upon our bed. So mutual trust may come of play and love." He was asked to go to bed with a beautiful goddess, and yet he responded, "Circe, am I a boy, that you should make me soft and doting now? Here in this house you turned my men to swine; now it is I myself you hold, enticing into your chamber; to your dangerous bed, to take my manhood when you have me stripped. I mount no bed of loved with you upon it. Or swear to me first a great oath, if I do, you will work no more enchantment to my harm.’ She swore at once, outright, as I demanded, and after she had sworn, and bound herself, I entered Circe’s flawless bed of love." Odysseus was asked by the goddess Circe to make love with her in order to build trust between her and Odysseus. However, Odysseus realized that the goddess wanted to go to bed with him, not to build trust, and as a result, Odysseus used his cunning to ask Circe to make a deal in which Circe had to swear to reverse her spell on his men in trade for him to make love with her "as to build trust".