had to get the glory of besting the monster, he ended up wandering the sea for seventeen years and losing all of his companions to an untimely death. When faced with the choice to sacrifice his men's lives or his own, he willingly chooses the latter and uses his creativity and intelligence to get his men to safety. "Keep your joy in your heart, old dame; stop, do not raise up the cry.
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He plans again later, setting up the suitors to be destroyed and really taking his sweet time about. The sailors might head straight off to update their wills, but we have to admire him: Odysseus isn't sneaking around leaving anonymous trolling comments on some website from his basement setup. Odysseus should be regarded as a hero because he is brave, clever, and cautious. Odysseus may be strong, smart, kind, and piousbut he can't possibly be perfect, right? As a woman weeps, lying over the body of her dear husband, who fell fighting for her city and people as he tried to beat off the pitiless day from city and children; she sees him dying and gasping for breath, and winding her body. What gets Odysseus into trouble is when his justifiable pride shades into hubris, or arrogance. And even when he's bragging about his skill as an archer to Alkinoös, he remembers to point out that he "will not set himself against men of the generations before" (8.222-3. Did someone else already claim "strong" or "manly" or "sinewy" as epithets? Though gore and violence often aid in his success, a kind, noble, and gentle side occasionally peeks through his rambunctious spirit. He sacrifices a ram to Zeus (9.550-555 he prays to the river god at the Phaiakians (5.445-454 he explains his misfortunes by saying "so it has pleased Zeus to arrange it" (9.262).
Let's be real, though. It doesn't have quite the same ring as "I'll be back" but it sure makes us quake in our stylish yet practical shoes. It's not just that he's strong; he works harder than anyone else. Figuring out where the draw the line between justifiable pride and hubris might be tricky, but we do get the sense that Odysseus learns.
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