Is Odysseus a hero? How would you argue that Odysseus is NOT a hero?

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Many people consider Odysseus to be a hero, but ultimately it's a matter of personal perspective. Odysseus isn't very heroic when you consider how careless he is with the lives of his men and some of the decisions he makes.

Odysseus isn't a careful person. His men die repeatedly on his journey home because he isn't more careful. For example, he attempts to sail past Charybdis and Scylla and doesn't give anyone else information about what could happen. Because he's aware of the dangers, he survives. Some of his unwitting men, however, are killed.

All of Odysseus's men are dead or missing by the time he returns to Ithaca. Some of their deaths aren't due to him, but many are. He values his own life above the lives of others. He sends them into danger while shielding himself.

It's also difficult to see Odysseus as a hero because he doesn't accomplish much on his own. The gods guide him home and grant him mercy from Poseidon to end his captivity. They help him fight his battles. If he'd been...

(The entire section contains 5 answers and 764 words.)

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on December 10, 2019
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