Uploaded by Nancy Tuck

Odyssey Essay

Savannah Butler
Mrs. Tuck
9th-grade Literature/ Period 5
25 October 2019
Epic heroes have been around forever, from characters all the way back to ancient Greece
to characters from current books. These heroes are typically described as a “larger-than-life
person” whom embodies the highest ideals of his culture. However, as our culture changes,
including modern books, these heroes’ characteristics begin to change. Two well-known epic
heroes are Odysseus, from The Odyssey and Percy Jackson from the Percy Jackson series. The
Odyssey takes place after the Trojan war, it lays out a depiction of Odysseus’s journey back
home as he fights against mystical creatures and faces the wrath of many gods. In the end, he
makes it back home and reunites with his son and wife. Percy also goes through a few of the
same things throughout the series, as he also battles gods and monsters. Though, these two
characters may have a few similarities, they also have big differences.
I think these 2 heroes are very different. One difference I think they have is the fact that
Odysseus is somewhat intelligent and has sharp thinking and Percy is not the quickest thinker.
One example of Odysseus’s quick thinking is in this quote where he drunkens Polyphemus, a
cyclops, to trick him into sleeping. Odysseus is also a convincing and speaker whereas, Percy is
not as well-spoken. One example of this is when Odyssesus first meets Nausicca on the island of
Scheria, his smooth, comforting approach immediately captures her trust. Another difference
between them is that while Percy is very trustworthy and loyal to his friends and family,
Odysseus proves that he puts himself first throughout the book. One example of this is in ( book
12, lines 231-234), “I spoke, they obeyed. But I didn’t mention Scylla. There was nothing we
could do about that, and I didn’t want my crew to freeze up, stop rowing and huddle together in a
hold”. By not mentioning Scylla to his men, 6 of them died. An example of Percy’s
trustworthiness is when Ares asks Percy to retrieve his shield that he left in an abandoned
waterpark and Percy trusted that this will help him get to Olympus, not knowing if Ares was
telling the truth.
Even though these two characters seem very different, there are still some similarities
between them. One thing they both have in common is that they both are slightlyarrogant, though
Odysseus has a lot more pride. One example of Odysseus’ arrogance in the Odysseywas his
insistence on hearing the sirens’ song, even though it was deadly,( book 12, lines 167-171) “Bind
me hand and foot upright in the mast-step and tie the ends of the rope to the mast.If i command
you and plead with you to release me, just tie me up tighter.” Another similarity they both have
is their bravery. An example of Odysseus’ bravery is in (book 9, 420-422), “Now at last, I thrust
our stake into a bed of embers to get it red-hto and rallied all my comrades ‘Courage, no panic,
no one back out now!” This quote of Odysseus inspiring his men in the Cyclops’ cave shows
how Odysseus’ bravery never abandons him, even in a situation where it seems he cannot win.
An example of Percy’s bravery is when Chimers blew fire and lead Percy into the river. This
made Percy scared and afraid to go back and fight it, until a spirit called to him and said, “Percy
take the sword. Your father believes in you”. He then grabbed Riptide and fought Echidna.
(insert concluding sentence)
The Odyssey reveals six dominant traits of Odysseus that either exemplifies his heroism
or causes problems for him. Through his long, adventurous, and ultimately successful quest back
home, Odysseus’ traits of determination, righteousness, and cleverness epitomizehis heroism.
First, his determination: He always did whatever it took to get back home and no matter how
difficult the circumstances. He showed amazing strength and never gave up. While this was
demonstrated in several ways, one of the strongest instances was on Circe’s island. Instead of
staying put on Circe’s island where it was comfortable and there was plenty to eat, Odysseus
resolved to tackle the treacherous monsters,Charybdis and Scylla in his effort to get back home.
This is important, because it shows that of the two paths that were available to him, the easy and
the difficult, Odysseus chose the latter because he was determined to get back to his family.
Another important heroic attribute of Odysseus was his sense of righteousness. He always strived
to do the right thing regardless of the consequences. This was best displayed when he accosted
Penelope’s villainous suitors: “Your last hour has come. You die in blood.” He went on to slay
them despite the strong possibility that they would plot for revenge. This shows that he did not
fear the consequences of being righteous and spared no mercy for those who weren’t. The final
attribute that added to Odysseus’ heroisms was his cleverness. His strategic thinking often
allowed him and his men to escape obstacles and survive. For example,in (book 9, lines 357360), “So I gave him more of the ruby-red wine. Three times the fool drained the fool dry, and
when the wine had begun to work on his mind, I spoke these sweet words to him.” Odysseus
cleverly created a plan to escape from the Cyclops: he got the Cyclops drunk and then branded
his only eye with a hot metal spike. This shows that Odysseus could almost always find a way
out of difficult situations using his wits.
Ultimately, Odysseus and Percy have many differences, most of them having to do with
their personalities. Percy showed to be a more loyal character while Odysseus showed to just
care more about himself. However, even though Odysseus did have his faults, through it all, he
did everything to get back to his family. He may not have been the perfect human being but
nobody really is, even fantasy heroes. All in all, I think the important thing is that he achieved
his goal in the end.