Traits of an Epic Hero On Odysseus' twenty year journey, he uses many of his traits to get back to Ithaca. Odysseus and his men fight the Cyclops, the Sirens and have to resist the temptation of the honeyed plants. A great epic hero, like Odysseus, needs to have numerous traits. Odysseus' traits are strength, intelligence and self-confidence.
Odysseus is strong in many different ways. He is strong in his mind, heart and physical strength. His physical strength is an important trait for his trip home. One case would be when he holds himself to the bottom of a sheep to escape. His men were tied to the bottom of the sheep and he was the last one left so he had to hold onto the bottom with all his strength. Second, he was able to steer a boat through a raging thunderstorm.
He also had to hold his men down so they wouldn't eat the honeyed plant because then they would forget about home. Not only is Odysseus strong he is also very intelligent. He knows when to do the right thing at the right moment. He carved beeswax from an enormous cube to give to his men to put in their ears so they didn't have to listen to the Siren's songs.
Since Odysseus didn't have any leftover beeswax for his ears, he had to resist the temptation of hearing the songs. Secondly, he tricked the Cyclops and got away in time before he was killed. Third, Odysseus sends just two of his men, instead of the whole group, to find out about the songs. If he sent them all, they may have got killed.
Even though Odysseus is strong and intelligent, he also has enough self-confidence to get him through his journey. If he didn't believe in himself now, how would his men do the same. His men look up to Odysseus and learn from him. Since Odysseus believed in himself he was able to hold his men down so they wouldn't eat the honeyed plant. He also told them that they are going to be home soon so they had more endurance t finish the rest of the trip. Since Odysseus believed in himself, his men showed more self-confidence in their selves and were able to finish the rest of the journey back to Ithaca.
A great epic hero, like Odysseus, uses these traits to the best of their ability. For Odysseus to get home, he had to be strong, very intelligent and self-confident. These traits helped Odysseus and his men get back to Ithaca and helped them on their journey to survive.