oddyssey paper

oddyssey paper - Carlos Caceres Comp Lit R1A Ancients and...

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Carlos Caceres Comp Lit R1A Ancients and Modernists March 3, 2009 What Makes a Hero? Heroism is not indicated by generic guidelines such as complete selflessness, a damsel in distress, or a completely evil antagonist. In order for a character to be a true hero, s/he needs to have faults that create instability and conflict in the story. Throughout Homer’s Odyssey , the heroes suffer and make mistakes, showing their mortal selves. Whether one hero is gouging the eye out of a Cyclops or another is lying to countless suitors, their actions always have consequences that are needed to emphasize their true heroism. By going above and beyond the general guidelines for heroism, Homer creates heroes with faults like carelessness and rash thinking to emphasize their heroic status as a way to give council to readers. The most well known hero in the epic, Odysseus, follows the mold of a hero by being selfless and powerful, but these traits create many challenges and obstacles. When he decides to “hoist [their] stake and grind it into [the cyclops’] eye”, Odysseus is acting out of selflessness to save his followers but, being rash, angers Poseidon and leads his men to certain doom (221. 372). Odysseus’ actions show the typical hero generalization by acting for his crew. He thinks about how to save everyone and immediately acts on his thoughts. Odysseus commits the same mistake when he tells his men if they “come on a herd of cattle or fine flock of sheep, not one will slaughter an ox or ram” believing it to be enough information (280, 325). By simply summarizing what was told to him, Odysseus believes what he says is enough to save his comrades. But by omitting that if they “harm them in any way, [their] ship will be destroyed,
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[the] men as well,” it leads to the deaths of most (275, 150). His actions are for his people, a heroic generalization. But by going
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oddyssey paper - Carlos Caceres Comp Lit R1A Ancients and...

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