Odysseus: Larger than Life

Gara roberts
Robinson / Period 2
10-22-98

After spending ten years fighting in the Trojan War, Odysseus is finally ready to go home. The gods have other plans for him, however, and Odysseus spends another ten years at sea. He experiences yet even more adventures and hardships. He demonstrates superhuman strength, bravery, and cleverness. In Homerís Odyssey, Odysseus shows through his actions that he is truly an epic hero.

Without his superior strength, Odysseus never would have been able to survive those terrible years at sea. It doesnít get much easier on him when he arrives home, either. In the contest with the great bow (lines 1200-1232), the suitors arenít even able to bend it, let alone shoot the arrow through the axes. Our hero, in contrast, does it with ease. If that wasnít enough, he responds to the wide open mouths of the suitors by slaying them all (1259-1371).

Odysseus has countless acts of unimaginable bravery in the Odyssey. When Odysseus lands on the island of the Cyclops (92-508), his crew is very afraid of the enormous giants. Odysseus, on the other hand, courageously marches into the cave of a Cyclops. When Odysseus leads his ship past the rock of Scylla (632-662), he does so knowing that any six people aboard the ship could be eaten by the beast, possibly even him. Later on in the poem, Odysseus even takes on all of the suitors that have gathered in his house (1259-1371), an impossible task by anyone but an epic hero.

Odysseus is most famous for his cleverness and quick thinking in situations that others would definitely fall short. When the Cyclops has Odysseus and his men trapped in the cave (180-397), it appears it is the end for the noble crew. Odysseus shows his brilliance, however, and devises an unthinkable plan that saves the crew. They tie themselves to the sheep and obtain their freedom when the flock is taken out to graze. After he arrives back in his homeland of Ithaca, Athena of the flashing eyes disguises him as an old beggar. Odysseus cleverly uses the disguise to sneak into his house, not only to scope out the suitors, but also to make sure his wife isnít cheating on him (1046-1198).

In the Odyssey, Odysseus proves himself to be stronger, braver, and more clever than any other character. He survives many adventures which others would consider sure death. In this epic, Odysseus is certainly larger than life.