Is Odysseus a hero in the Odyssey? From what I’ve read, the answer seems to be a pretty clear yes. The definition of an Ancient Greek hero seemed to revolve around pure talent and ability to fight. Even though we see that Odysseus is very flawed (he often has violent thoughts about murdering the people who stand in front of him for criticizing him, he is arrogant such as when he reveals his true name to Polyphemus resulting in the death of his crew, he’s disloyal to his wife, etc.), he seems to be considered a hero. Are there any other approaches to answering this question that take his flaws into account? Or is using the Ancient Greek definition of a hero the best way to go?

  • What other definition of hero did you have in mind? And how is Odysseus disloyal to his wife?
    – user14111
    Dec 17, 2019 at 6:11
  • 2
    @user14111 Was Odysseus considered unfaithful to his wife in the Odyssey? (the question answers what you're asking in that comment, but the answer is also really well worth reading).
    – Rand al'Thor
    Dec 17, 2019 at 9:56
  • @user14111: If Odysseus wasn't disloyal (i.e., unfaithful) to Penelope, it wasn't for lack of trying. In his seven years with Calypso on Infidelity Island (my joke name for it) and the fact that he sired sons by Circe on her isle, he certainly made rather an impressive bid for the adultery laurels.
    – Robusto
    Dec 17, 2019 at 14:49


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.