The Odyssey Essay

Odysseus was a virtuous but flawed heroic leader. He was a man of bravery and
wisdom. The bravery that Odysseus possessed wasn’t always a good virtue to
have. Odysseus’ virtues were tested in many adventures that showed his
weaknesses and strengths. One of his flaws is that Odysseus has a tendency to be
a little bit boastful at times which got him and his crew into more dilemma.
Overall, Odysseus has more strengths than he has weaknesses.

In the Cyclopes episode, Odysseus’ first sign of bravery is when he and
some of his crew leave their safe ship and walk into a large, empty cave.
Odysseus has no knowing of what or who may be living in this huge cave. When the
Cyclops enters the cave and closes the door with a huge rock, Odysseus starts to
offer wine to the giant. Odysseus’ hospitality to bring the wine turns into a
wise decision because it saves him and most of his crew from obliteration.
Odysseus comes up with a very sensible plan that would get him and his crew out
of the cave without them moving the massive boulder. First, Odysseus already
told the giant that his name is “Noh\'bdy”. Second, Odysseus would have to
gather up his courage and stab the Cyclops’ eye when the Cyclops is drunk and
asleep. This wise move causes the Cyclops to awaken and move the boulder so that
he can yell to his brothers telling that “Noh\'bdy” had blinded him. The
crewmembers and Odysseus slip out easily because they hid under the sheep that
the Cyclops has kept inside his cave. Once out and sailing away from the island,
Odysseus yells at the Cyclops saying, “ O Cyclops! Would you feast on my
companions? Puny, am I, in a cave man’s hands? How do you like the beating we
gave you, you damned cannibal? Eater of guests under your roof! Zeus and the god
have paid you!”(695) This remark that Odysseus makes only infuriates the
Cyclops. The Cyclops starts throwing boulders into the ocean, nearly hitting
Odysseus ship. Odysseus stops when his crewmembers tell him to stop aggravating
the Cyclops and bragging about his victory.

Odysseus’ encounter with Circe really illustrates the strengths of
Odysseus. This episode was one of the toughest on the mind and body. Many
barriers had to be broken in order for Odysseus to succeed in keeping himself
and his crew safe. When Odysseus hears about what happened to some of his crew,
he ventures into the island by himself to save all of them. Being a one-man
army, Odysseus climbs a large cliff so that he can rescue his crew. Climbing a
large cliff just to save a couple men shows a lot of character. As Odysseus is
climbing the cliff, the messenger of the gods appears and instructs Odysseus to
eat a poisonous plant in order for him to block out the sorceress magic. As
Odysseus reaches the top of the cliff, he needs to be brave enough to sleep with
Circe in order to save his men. He needs to be brave because he is betraying his
wife, but saving his men. Odysseus has to put aside the fact that he is married
and to just save his crew. Eventually, his crewmembers are saved and Odysseus
and them return to the sea in hope of finding Ithaca.

Odysseus has to make a lot of decisions in the Scylla and Charybdis episode
that could affect his whole crew. As the ship is head for doom, Odysseus keeps
all this secret so that he does not frighten the crew. “I told them nothing,
as they could do nothing.”(708) This is a smart decision because if Odysseus
told his crew about the dangers ahead, some crewmembers may mutiny, quit, or not
fight to the fullest. Odysseus starts to show some overconfidence when he says,
“Did I not keep my never, and use my wits to find a way out for us?”(708)
This may also be a smart prep talk so that the warriors/crew would have
confidence. Odysseus overconfidence is probably what keeps him alive for so
long. After a little talk with the crew, the ship starts to enter the opening
that leads to Scylla and Charybdis. Odysseus shows a great deal of bravery when
he tries to fight the slayer, Scylla. Eventually, Odysseus’ ship and all his
crew are killed.

Odysseus (in my opinion) is a very human heroic figure. He may have his
faults, but what human does not? Odysseus is able to keep his cool when needed
to (except sometimes) and is