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Masio Sangster

English 9
December 11, 2014
Odyssey Essay
Every person has a preference of their own heroes in some way. People in
ancient cultures always told stories of people who were heroes to them. These tales
of heroes show that peoples preferences matters which in this case every culture
has its own ideal of a hero. In ancient Greek mythology there was a tale about a
man who was a hero to them. In The Odyssey, Odysseus is an worthy man who
goes on a mission to get back to the place he was born in (Ithaca) but goes through
many trials along the way of his journey and proves himself worthy as a god. The
ancient Greeks admired specific traits in a hero such as Intelligence and leadership,
which in this case Odysseus showed to them to be considered an hero.
Odysseus first trait at being a hero is his intelligence which is one of the
many traits the Ancient Greeks admired. For example an act of Odysseus showing
intelligence is when Zeus says, How could I forget godlike Odysseus pre-eminent
among all mortal men for his intelligence and offerings to the immortal gods
(Ody.1. 60-63). This shows that Odysseus is intelligent because this is coming from
a Greek God, not just any God but the God of Gods to whom the Ancient Greeks
looked up. From Zeus saying this, the Ancient Greeks actually take heed of Zeuss
words and believe that Odysseus is in fact intelligent. So from Zeus saying this,

then of course the Ancient Greeks would listen to Zeuss words and agree that
intelligence is one trait as to being a hero.
Odysseus second trait is leadership, which is another trait the Ancient Greeks
admired. An act of Odysseus showing leadership is when Odysseus says to his crew
members Comrades, let all of you now swear this solemn oath- if by chance we
find a herd of cattle or a large flock of sheep, not one of you will be so overcome
with foolishness that youll kill a cow or a sheep. No. Instead, youll be content to
eat the food supplies ( Ody 12.240-246). Odysseus showed leadership by making
his men swear an oath as to not eat the cattle, and by this he is showing that he
trusts his crew members with the task that he gives them. In this case Odysseus is
not stubborn because he heeded Circes advice as to not eat the cattle, so he made
sure that his crew would know the information too. The ancient Greeks admired
leadership because not only can they lead, but they can heed other peoples advice
and listen to their warnings.
So being a hero to the Ancient Greeks was to be a leader and show
intelligence, which Odysseus showed in many trials. Odysseus proved himself
worthy as a hero and now his name is told throughout stories. First Zeus (who was
a Greek God) said amazing things about his intelligence and how he gave many
offerings to the Gods. Second is when Odysseus heeded the warnings of people who
may pose a threat to him and his crew members and has to let them know not to do
anything he tells them to do and shows them his trust in them.