What is a hero? This question could be asked to a hundred different people and produce a hundred different answers. The answer to this question depends primarily on two things: When and where the question was being asked. This is especially true in literature.
The progression of a hero is parallel to the progression of time. This means that as an era progresses, the traditional heroic traits are reformed into something different. Only the greatest heroes have withstood time and can still be looked upon as a heroes thousands of years later.
Two heroes that possessed seemingly opposite heroic traits are Odysseus from The Odyssey of Homer and Jesus from The New Testament. Although opposite in most ways, both have left their own unique mark in history. .
The Odyssey of Homer, perhaps one of the greatest epic poems of all time, portrays Odysseus" journey home. Odysseus, a former war hero, is regarded as the epitome of a Homeric leader. His courage and physical strength set him apart from others in his time. However, it's not his physical attributes that acquire the most praise but rather his cleverness. Odysseus" sharp intellect helps him to escape many dangerous situations.
In book 9, Odysseus and his men find themselves imprisoned in a cave in the land of the Cyclops. The cave belongs to Polyphemus, a Cyclops who has captured them stealing his food. .
"Cyclops, you ask me for my noted name;.
I"ll tell it to you if in recompense.
You keep your promise and I get that present.
My name is No-one; No-one - so I"m called.
By both my mother and my father, and all.
This I said. And he replied:.
"No-one, your friends come first; I"ll eat you last.
This is the gift I give to you my guest.".
"That said, the Cyclops reeled; his hulk collapsed;.
He fell asleep upon his back, with his thick neck.
Aslant; sleep, lord of all, now held him fast .
My men stood round me; into us a god.