What words are used to describe Odysseus as an epic hero in the introduction of Homer's The Odyssey?

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favoritethings eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Odysseus is described as "storm-tossed" because Poseidon throws him around in the ocean so violently, trying to kill him for blinding his son, Polyphemus, the Cyclops.  Zeus also sent a storm that delayed Odysseus and his crew on Thrinacia, the island where the sacred cattle of the sun god, Helios, are tended. The terrible storms Odysseus endured help to classify his journey as an epic one.

Odysseus is also described as "heartsick" because he tries so hard to get home for so many years (he was away for ten years for the Trojan War and then almost another ten while he tried to get home after the War), and so many obstacles appear to prevent him from returning to Ithaca safely.  The sheer length of his journey, in addition to the number of obstacles he faces, make it epic.  He even loses his entire crew over the course of several years because of their own stupid or disloyal or reckless actions. 

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The Odyssey

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