The Odyssey Essay Odysseus was a virtuous but flawed heroic leader. He was a man of bravery and wisdom. The bravery that Odysseus possessed wasnt always a good virtue to have. Odysseus virtues were tested in many adventures that showed his weaknesses and strengths. One of his flaws is that Odysseus has a tendency to be a little bit boastful at times which got him and his crew into more dilemma.
Overall, Odysseus has more strengths than he has weaknesses. In the Cyclopes episode, Odysseus first sign of bravery is when he and some of his crew leave their safe ship and walk into a large, empty cave. Odysseus has no knowing of what or who may be living in this huge cave. When the Cyclops enters the cave and closes the door with a huge rock, Odysseus starts to offer wine to the giant.
Odysseus hospitality to bring the wine turns into a wise decision because it saves him and most of his crew from obliteration. Odysseus comes up with a very sensible plan that would get him and his crew out of the cave without them moving the massive boulder. First, Odysseus already told the giant that his name is Noh " bdy. Second, Odysseus would have to gather up his courage and stab the Cyclops eye when the Cyclops is drunk and asleep. This wise move causes the Cyclops to awaken and move the boulder so that he can yell to his brothers telling that Noh " bdy had blinded him. The crewmembers and Odysseus slip out easily because they hid under the sheep that the Cyclops has kept inside his cave.
Once out and sailing away from the island, Odysseus yells at the Cyclops saying, O Cyclops! Would you feast on my companions Puny, am I, in a cave mans hands How do you like the beating we gave you, you damned cannibal Eater of guests under your roof! Zeus and the god have paid you! (695) This remar that Odysseus makes only infuriates the Cyclops.
The Cyclops starts throwing boulders into the ocean, nearly hitting Odysseus ship. Odysseus stops when his crewmembers tell him to stop aggravating the Cyclops and bragging about his victory. Odysseus encounter with Circe really illustrates the strengths of Odysseus. This episode was one of the toughest on the mind and body.
Many barriers had to be broken in order for Odysseus to succeed in keeping himself and his crew safe. When Odysseus hears about what happened to some of his crew, he ventures into the island by himself to save all of them. Being a one-man army, Odysseus climbs a large cliff so that he can rescue his crew. Climbing a large cliff just to save a couple men shows a lot of character.
As Odysseus is climbing the cliff, the messenger of the gods appears and instructs Odysseus to eat a poisonous plant in order for him to block out the sorceress magic. As Odysseus reaches the top of the cliff, he needs to be brave enough to sleep with Circe in order to save his men. He needs to be brave because he is betraying his wife, but saving his men. Odysseus has to put aside the fact that he is married and to just save his crew. Eventually, his crewmembers are saved and Odysseus and them return to the sea in hope of finding Ithaca.
Odysseus has to make a lot of decisions in the Scylla and Charybdis episode that could affect his whole crew. As the ship is head for doom, Odysseus keeps all this secret so that he does not frighten the crew. I told them nothing, as they could do nothing. (708) This is a smart decision because if Odysseus told his crew about the dangers ahead, some crewmembers may mutiny, quit, or not fight to the fullest.
Odysseus starts to show some overconfidence when he says, Did I not keep my never, and use my wits to find a way out for us (708) This may also be a smart prep talk so that the warriors / crew would have confidence. Odysseus overconfidence is probably what keeps him alive for so long. After a little talk with the crew, the ship starts to enter the opening that leads to Scylla and Charybdis. Odysseus shows a great deal of bravery when he tries to fight the slayer, Scylla. Eventually, Odysseus ship and all his crew are killed. Odysseus (in my opinion) is a very human heroic figure.
He may have his faults, but what human does not Odysseus is able to keep his cool when needed to (except sometimes) and is an awesome warrior. His main strengths are his ability to make wise decisions and his amazing bravery. Being wise and brave can almost let you do anything, but Odysseus has his faults as any other human would. The overconfidence that Odysseus acquires can sometimes get him into more trouble than needed, but it also can help him or others have more strength and courage. No one ever said being cocky was a bad virtue, but its just that it can cause more damage and death than needed. Odysseus is one of the most human characters told in Greek stories that I have read in a long time.
Babu sci, Roger, et al. Prentice Hall Literature. Gold Edition. Englewood Cliff: Prentice Hall. 1989.