In "The Odyssey", how is Odysseus both different from and similar to ordinary men?

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troutmiller eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Odysseus is similar to ordinary men because he is mortal and will one day die.  He has emotions such as love and anger and wrath that he displays throughout the epic story.  He also has no special powers like the gods/goddesses do.

He is different though because of his close relationship with Athena.  She lavishes him with strength and beauty several times in the epic.  She does this to show Telemachus that he's truly his father, (from a beggar to himself) and she does it at the end when Penelope is finally alone with him. He also is unlike most ordinary men because he such a fine warrior.  He is stronger than most and very courageous.  He is also very intelligent, which is the final factor in the reason that Athena likes him so much.  He came up with the idea for the Trojan Horse.  He tricked Polyphemus, and he was able to get back into his own palace secretly to take back his kingdom.  Odysseus is unlike most men, but he is still human.

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The Odyssey

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