Type of paper: Essay

Topic: The Odyssey, Achilles, Odysseus, Family, Home, Greece, Athens, Greek

Pages: 2

Words: 550

Published: 2021/03/28

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Odysseus according to various author’s has been considered as a complicated man, self-assured, self-made and embodiment to the mores and standards of his culture who was respected by the gods and admired by the mortals (Edwards, 224). In this regard, I consider him as a great warrior and thinker who is deeper to his character and persona. On the other hand, Achilles seems not much more than a greater hero than Odysseus as he was driven by emotions that often consisted of anger and rage as well as other aggressive emotions that made him the great warrior he was. Odysseus has character traits that led him to be humanistic and was capable of vulnerability and modesty that made him capable of rising to the occasion and accomplish stunning tasks. He cab be considered to have brains and brawn and was adept at utilizing them in a number of instances among insurmountable odds (Nagy, 281).
As well in the manner of fate and the prophecy, makes Odysseus the greater hero. The destiny of Achilles was either to die as a legend or live a long, uneventful life. Therefore, the fact that Achilles died as a legend was almost given and he was fulfilling his own destiny. For Odysseus, he had the control of his own fate and that of others as well. When he went away from home, he recognized the fact that he would spend many years away from home but he would eventually return. Thus, he went and served well and kept the Greek armies together and was even instrumental in helping them (Edwards, 217). Afterwards, he had to face the long journey back home and finally made it getting back to his loved ones and his own land. For him, he had to endure the requisite amount of suffering, pain and tragedy that a hero needs to experience and overcame to be a true hero. This is in contrast to Achilles whose reaction to disaster was to throw a temper tantrum, kill or become violent and when things got difficult, he needed Odysseus or other leaders of the Greeks to get him back in order (Nagy, 280).
However, it depends on the individual definition of heroism. If you consider a “superhero” that had some special power to vanquish all the opponents, then Achilles is the man. He was very powerful, capable and was nearly invincible. As well, Achilles can be considered as a “praiseworthy hero” compact in battle as he went out and sent his enemies breaths flying from their dying mouths, and therefore he deserves everlasting fame. On the contrast, if you consider “self-sacrifice and courage heroism” Odysseus is the man. This is because he takes risks that expose him to uncertain outcome and danger where he uses trickery, guile and deceit in winning. He knows the best situations when to fold, hold as well when to walk away (Nagy, 282). Odysseus thus symbolizes a “Joseph Campbell” heroism who had a thousand faces as he went on a journey, suffered many trials and returned home transformed. When he returned home, he found the greatest challenge still awaiting him. In the ancient world, Achilles can be considered as the greater hero, as he was the strongest, the fastest and the best but in the modern society Odysseus is considered as the greater hero. The reason being that the modern society no longer tolerate individuals with a personality like Achilles.

Edwards, Anthony T. “Achilles in the Underworld. Iliad, Odyssey and Aethiopis.” Greek, Roman and Byzantine Studies XXVI (1985): 215–227. Print.
Nagy, Gregory. The Ancient Greek Hero in 24 Hours. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2013. Internet resource.

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