The Odyssey by Homer

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In Homer's Odyssey, what is the importance of Heracles (also known as Hercules) in the story? This is for an English project about the Greek gods and I need to know what he has to do with in the Odyssey

In Homer's Odyssey, what is the importance of Heracles (also known as Hercules) in the story? This is for an English project about the Greek gods and I need to know what he has to do with in the Odyssey

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Scott David eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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This is an interesting question. As others have already pointed out, Heracles doesn't actually have much of a presence in the Odyssey itself. This should not be surprising, considering that Heracles belongs to an earlier generation of heroes. But perhaps one could argue that, even so, he's actually a lot more important to the Odyssey than one might assume, if we look at the Odyssey within the larger context of Greek heroic literature rather than viewed in isolation.

Consider the thematic underpinnings which tend to be central to the stories of Heracles. If we look at the world in which Heracles emerges, we see one that's actually deeply threatening to human flourishing. Just consider the...

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He doesn't have an important role in Odyssey.

After Odysseus goes to underworld, he sees a lot of familiar dead people and talks to them. Like Agamemnon, Achilles etc. from 'Iliad' and he sees Heracles as well in one scene. He is feasting i think and when he sees Odysseus, he shows respect to him in book 11.

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