The Greeks' Perspective of a Hero

Topics: Odyssey, Homer, Ancient Greece Pages: 3 (843 words) Published: March 14, 2013

John Smith
Mrs. Smith
English 1-D, H
20 January 2013
What makes a hero?
A hero, in society’s eyes, possesses supernatural powers and demonstrates his justification of good and evil. But what really makes a hero? The Greeks had a well-specified idea of what attributes a hero needs. In the epic poem, The Odyssey, Homer provides insight in the Ancient Greek civilization’s concept of a hero as one who possesses bravery and intelligence, yet also flaws. Primarily, Homer does an amazing job demonstrating the bravery of heroes that the Greeks praised. The main character, Odysseus, has an established reputation as a well-experienced warrior. He deploys many attacks against his enemies with almost no fear. He also fears no man, or giant for any matter, and says his thoughts without any thoughts of the repercussions that may occur. During his journey back home, he encountered a giant, Polyphemus. This giant murders four of his soldiers and Odysseus does not stand for it. He purposefully drunkens the giant and yells at him “You barbarian!” “What you’ve done outrages all that’s right!” (Homer 9. 391-395). Although he makes sure that the Cyclops is drunk, he still yells ferociously at him, like no man has ever dared. Only a real hero would try to get revenge for his mates with no fear of consequences or of living beings. A real hero would also not worry in the face of danger, because danger only emphasizes what heroes are capable of containing. Another example of Odysseus’s bravery shows when he is finally fighting the suitors for courting his wife. Odysseus attacks one of them, consequently, allowing others to rally insults at Odysseus. He doesn’t mind that his actions can “cost (him) (his) life” (Homer 22.27-31), but he still manages to fight every single one of them, and win. Odysseus stared into the faces of death with a mere grin and still survived. Ancient Greek society depended on heroes to come through the many obstacles in front...
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