Although Odysseus is not described in great detail by Homer, we can infer from the text that he was a physically strong and capable warrior. He is said to have had “broad shoulders” and was “as tall as a young tree” (Odyssey, Book IX). In addition, he was an expert archer and javelin thrower, able to hit targets at long range with great accuracy. These skills would have been essential in the fierce battles of the Trojan War.
Odysseus is also said to have had a quick wit and sharp mind. He was able to think on his feet and come up with clever solutions to difficult problems. This intelligence served him well during his ten-year journey home from Troy, as he had to outwit many enemies along the way.
Overall, Odysseus was a brave and resourceful hero, qualities that helped him overcome many challenges in his life.
In addition, his physical characteristics play a significant role in his designation as an epic hero.
Odysseus’ compassion is first demonstrated when he blinds Polyphemus, the Cyclops. Although he could have killed Polyphemus, Odysseus showed mercy and only blinded him. This act of compassion separates Odysseus from other heroes who would have likely killed Polyphemus.
Odysseus’ patience is evident in his enduring ten years of captivity on the island of Ogygia with the nymph Calypso. Most men would have given up hope and succumbed to despair after being imprisoned for so long. However, Odysseus remained patient and hopeful that he would one day return home to his family.
Odysseus’ love for his family is perhaps his most admirable quality. After enduring years of suffering, Odysseus’ only motivation is to return to his wife, Penelope, and his son, Telemachus. This is in contrast to other heroes who are motivated by fame or glory.
Finally, Odysseus’ physical characteristics play a role in his epic hero status. He is described as being “broad shouldered” and “strong” with a “great voice” (Homer, Odyssey, 9.187-188). These characteristics add to Odysseus’ larger-than-life persona.
Odysseus demonstrates his love for his family over and over in The Odyssey. When Odysseus returns home after twenty years, Homer writes, ” Tears ran down his cheeks as he embraced his son,” signifying that despite having murdered and deceived others on many occasions throughout the story, he still has the capacity to cry tears of joy and love for his kid (931). This shows that despite being capable of murder and deception, Odysseus is still capable of crying tears of happiness and affection for his son.
Furthermore, in Book 21, as Odysseus plans to kill the suitors, Homer writes that “his heart was filled with pity for them” (931). Even though the suitors have wronged him and his family greatly, Odysseus still feels compassion for them. This indicates that he is not a vengeful person, but someone who is capable of forgiveness. Lastly, when Telemachus arrives at Ithaca, Homer tells us that “Odysseus wept to see his son” (932). This final instance of tears emphasizes how much Odysseus loves his family and how happy he is to finally be reunited with them.
These three examples from The Odyssey show that Odysseus is a man with great depth of feeling, who loves his family deeply and is capable of both forgiveness and compassion. This makes him a more sympathetic and relatable character, despite his many flaws.
Odysseus, like any real loving and caring father, openly weeps upon his return to see his kid after a lengthy business trip. Homer adds that “so helplessly they cried, pouring out tears, and might have gone on until sundown” (931) when describing Odysseus and son’s reunion. Once again, Odysseus exhibits true feelings of love and compassion; in fact, he remains uninvolved throughout family time.
In addition, he is a devoted and loving husband who, despite his philandering ways, remains faithful to his wife Penelope. Penelope, who “wept for her lord as long as she could see him” (929), feels the same way about Odysseus. The two share an intense love for one another, which is evident in their reunion scene.
While some people might view Homer’s Odyssey as a story about Greek gods and goddesses interfering in the lives of mortals, it can also be seen as a story about family values and relationships. In particular, it highlights the importance of fathers and husbands being present in their children’s and wives’ lives. Odysseus may not always make the best decisions, but he always has the best intentions. He is a good father and husband who loves his family deeply.
Some of the words and phrases used in this tale have been translated incorrectly in the past. As a result, people who do not know ancient Greek may misinterpret it – or believe that what they are reading is incorrect. Some of the translations previously issued were incorrect. As a result, non-Greeks who are unfamiliar with ancient Greek could be misled, thinking that what they’re seeing is wrong. “I want to be sure you grasp how much I value your work,” he tells her (893).
Even when a plan is made to hide it, Odysseus’s love is so powerful that it shines through no matter what. Odysseus shows the one sentiment remaining uncommon on his journey: love, yet in the instances where it is visible, it is forceful and genuine, proving him a man of huge devotion.
Although Calypso tries to keep Odysseus with her on Ogygia, she eventually realizes that his love for Penelope is stronger than anything she could offer him. When she finally allows him to leave, she does so out of respect for his love, saying, “I honor your steadfastness and your love for your own country” (Homer, Odyssey 19.270). This shows that even though Odysseus has been away from home for many years, his love for Penelope has never wavered. His love for her is so strong that it has transcended time and distance, proving that Odysseus is a man of great love.
Throughout the epic, Odysseus’ resilience is a sign of his humanity. Homer describes Odysseus’ struggle to return home as follows: “While he fought only to save his own life, attempting merely to bring his shipmates back. But he could not accomplish it by force or bravery” (890). Clearly, Odysseus is still a human being and has no power over his crew members; he can only watch them disappear.
While human weakness often compels individuals to commit errors, in some cases, as with Odysseus, this quality also allows them to endure. Even after enduring such great hardships and witnessing the death of his friends, “Odysseus never failed in his purpose” (890).
Homer writes that “he was the only one who did not forget his homecoming” (890), signifying that even amidst tragedy and despair, Odysseus remained focused on his goals. This single-mindedness eventually led to his eventual success. In sum, while human frailty may cause an individual to make mistakes or suffer, it can also be a source of strength and resilience.
While many heroes exhibit great strength and courage, they are also human and subject to frailty. In Homer’s Odyssey, the hero Odysseus embodies this quality of human weakness. Throughout the epic, Odysseus is repeatedly forced to confront the limits of his mortal body and mind. In one instance, after enduring great hardship and witnessing the death of his friends, Homer writes that “Odysseus never failed in his purpose” (890).