Odysseus beloved home of Ithaca. His journey

Odysseus
has been traveling for the past twenty years to return to his beloved home of
Ithaca. His journey is enriched because of his unique characteristics that make
him different. Because Odysseus’s characteristics are constantly changing and
he is unlike any other hero, his actions are unpredictable and sometimes
unexpected, making him a complicated hero. I will bring Odysseus’s journeys to
life and show how he is very complex that sets him apart from any other hero
vividly.

Odysseus
reveals who he truly is to the Cyclops even though he was being vigilant at
first and this shows how he is constantly changing and unpredictable. Odysseus
is carefree only when he knows he has more dominancy when battling the Cyclops.
When Odysseus leaves the territory of the Cyclops, he proudly states: “Cyclops-
if any man on the face of the earth should ask you who blinded you, shamed you
so- say Odysseus, raider of cities, he gouged
out your eye” (Homer, Odyssey,
9.558-61). Odysseus and his men are off track to their way back to Ithaca, so
he asks the Cyclops to please help and gift him. He introduces himself as
“Nobody” and offers the Cyclops wine in order to receive his guest gift. Odysseus
stabs the Cyclops in his eye when he threatens to kill him and his men; the
Cyclops screams “Nobody’s killing me now by force.” Odysseus is a complicated
hero because his action of being cautious does not match up with his unexpected
reaction of revealing his true identity. Odysseus initially does not want the
Cyclops to know who he is because he is in a dangerous situation. He takes the
precautionary actions by giving out a false name to protect himself. Since he
is a mortal, he is in constant danger whenever he battles someone who has more
power than him; in this case, the Cyclops is immortal because he is the son of
Poseidon. Odysseus takes advantage of the Cyclops because he is alone and
hopeless. He knows he has more power because of his cunning ways and goes for
the attack. Once Odysseus realizes he beat the Cyclops, then he proudly reveals
who he is to show his pride. His characteristics are changing because his
action and reaction lack consistency, and therefore unpredictable, which shows
how he is unlike other heroes.

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Odysseus
is unlike other heroes, such as Ajax for example, because he is unpredictable
and this makes him a complicated hero. No one will truly know what the cunning
Odysseus has in mind and this makes him very mysterious. Odysseus’s wily
characteristic, compared to Ajax, makes him complicated rather than static. Odysseus
and Ajax are both great heroes, but Odysseus is more feared upon because he
uses ambush. Ajax uses his spear to attack so when he is battling, his victim
will know what to expect. On the other hand, Odysseus always has a different
plot for each of his attacks. Therefore, he is more feared upon because no one
will know what he is capable of doing and what exactly he will do. Odysseus knows
he has so much value, but ironically, he does not present himself as the strong
Odysseus when he returns home which is unexpected.

Odysseus
returns to Ithaca as a broken beggar which shows he is constantly changing. It
is ironic how he disguises as an old beggar because Odysseus fills with rage
whenever he is underestimated. Odysseus presents himself to Penelope, but she
is in disbelief that it is him. Telemachus gets upset when she does not believe
it is him and Odysseus responds: “Leave your mother here in the hall to test me
as she will. She soon will know me better. Now because I am filthy, wear such
grimy rags, she spurns me-” (Odyssey,
23.128-30). Odysseus does not want Penelope to know that he finally comes home.
When he is ready to reveal himself to her, he remains in disguise as the old,
broken beggar. Odysseus is a complicated hero because his mindset and
characteristics are changing. Initially, he becomes very upset whenever anyone
underestimates him because he knows his worth. To demonstrate, when Odysseus is
at the games in Phaeacia, everyone underestimates him by saying he does not
have the athleticism to participate in the games. He responds to this insult by
participating in the games and proves them wrong. Odysseus never wants to be
seen lower than his own value. Odysseus returning as a broken beggar is
unexpected because he is presenting himself as something that is far below his
worth. Odysseus has grown throughout his journey because he accepts coming back
as something he is not. He knows that he does not need recognition to be a
great hero because of all of the accomplishments he has done. He no longer
needs to show himself to prove that he is worth a lot and this sets him apart
from a typical hero!

Odysseus
is different than other heroes, like Achilles, because his changing
characteristics are unexpected and unpredictable. Odysseus leaves Ithaca as a
strong, courageous hero and returns back as an old broken beggar. He already
knows his worth and does not need to return back as a courageous hero to be
one. Achilles wants the fame and glory during the Trojan War. He feels it is
necessary to show and prove his worth to others to truly be a great hero. He
even sacrifices himself and accepts having an early death just to have the
glory and fame. He lives a short, glorious life rather than living a longer,
ordinary life. For Odysseus, he recognizes himself as a strong hero and does
not need others to make that true by saying it. This shows his growth as a hero
by accepting who he is and wants to disguise as something he is not. Odysseus
remains very unpredictable to how he views himself and presents himself to
everyone.

Odysseus
shifts from brutally murdering the suitors to happily agreeing to make peace which
shows he is a complicated hero because his characteristics are changing. When
Odysseus is ready to fight the suitor’s fathers and murder them, Athena
intervenes and cries: “‘…Odysseus/ hold back now! Call a halt to the great
leveler, War- don’t court the rage of Zeus who rules the world!’ So she commanded.
He obeyed her, glad at heart” (Odyssey,
24.596-98). After Odysseus murders one hundred eight of the suitors, the news
spreads quickly in Ithaca and the suitor’s fathers want revenge on Odysseus. Right
when Odysseus is ready to attack the suitor’s fathers, Athena intervenes and
tells Odysseus to stop. Odysseus is a complicated hero because his reaction
does not mirror his action. Odysseus plans the death of the suitors, for quite
some time, for what they do while he is away; he has a strong and brutal war
mindset. He causes the vicious death for one hundred eight of the suitors and
commands his men to kill the “suitor’s whores” for being disloyal. Odysseus now
has the opportunity to show his strength and seek his revenge. However, Athena
commands him to stop and make peace. Of course Odysseus will have to listen to
her because she is a goddess. Not only did Odysseus obey Athena’s wish, but he
is happy to do so. We expect Odysseus to continue fighting and kill the
suitor’s fathers, but that is not what happens. He finally holds back the rage
and peace is finally restored, which is unlike any other hero.

Odysseus
goes from being violent to peaceful instantly, which is unlike Achilles,
because his mindset changes drastically. Odysseus has a stronger mindset
compared to Achilles because he finally accepts peace and controls his war
behavior. When Achilles comes back into the Trojan War after Hector kills his
best friend, Patroclus, nothing will stop him from seeking his revenge. He craves
the bloody murder of Hector for what he does. He refuses to make peace until
Hector meets his death. This ties back also to how he is eager for glory and
wants to show everyone what he is worth. Odysseus, on the other hand, restrains
himself from the war and ends the destruction. He has the patience and
acceptance that other heroes lack, like Achilles, because he ends the violence.
He is going against the expectations of a hero therefore being complicated.

Odysseus
as a complicated hero, examined in this essay, shows how he is a significant
and unique hero. His action and reaction inconsistent relationship shows how he
goes against the expectations of a hero. His mindset is constantly changing
shows how he is very complex. The role of a hero during the Bronze Age is to
have strength and be a warrior. Odysseus shows his worth through all of his
accomplishments, but throughout his journey, he has shown his change. His
journey is unlike any other, which shows his complexity. Odysseus, the man of
pain, finally has peace at his heart.