In Book V, when Calypso has released Odysseus, having been ordered by Zeus to do so, Odysseus drifts on his raft in Poseidon's dangerous seas. Remember that Poseidon is angry with Odysseus, and so he makes the hero's journey very difficult. Flung onto a rock by a great wave, Odysseus tries to hold on. The narrator says,
Struggling, [Odysseus] grasped the rock with both his hands and clung there, groaning, till the great wave passed. That one he thus escaped, but the back-flowing water struck him again, still struggling, and swept him out to sea. And just as, when a polyp is torn from out its bed, about its suckers clustering pebbles cling, so on the rocks pieces of skin were stripped from his strong hands.
In the final sentence of the quotation above, Odysseus is compared, via epic simile, to a polyp that firmly grips the ocean floor but is ripped violently away by the force of the water, its little suckers pulling away small pebbles as it is separated from its home. Odysseus holds on just as firmly—so firmly, in fact, that when he is ripped away from the rock, he actually leaves bits of his skin behind.
In Book VI, when Odysseus has landed in Phaeacia, another epic simile compares him to a lion as he makes his way toward Nausicaa and her serving-women:
He set off like a lion that is bred among the hills and trusts its strength; onward it goes, beaten with rain and wind; its two eyes glare; and now in search of oxen or of sheep it moves, or tracking the wild deer; its belly bids it make trial of the flocks, even by entering the guarded folds; so was Odysseus about to meet those fair-haired maids, all naked though he was, for need constrained him.
Odysseus is described as incredibly strong and confident; though he’s been so abused on his journey, he sounds like a predator. He’s described in this very animalistic way which is both frightening and attractive.