An epic hero can be described as a legendary figure endowed with great strength or ability that is admired for his achievements and noble qualities. To better explain the true meaning of an epic hero, one might compare this definition to the legendary hero in Homer's The Odyssey, Odysseus. Through The Odyssey, we are taken on a journey of the main character, Odysseus, bearing witness to the many vices and virtues that play a pivotal role on his voyage to his homeland of Ithaka. On his journey, he encounters the many supernatural beings of Greek literature, forcing him to make decisions that greatly impact his life. Through these encounters, Odysseus reveals his sharp intellect, faith to the gods and thirst for glory.
Odysseus's carefully planned actions allow him to successfully overcome any obstacle that he is confronted with during his journey. In Book IV of the Odyssey, Menelaos and his wife Helen, both tell a story of one of Odysseus' accomplishments during the Akhaian war against the Trojans. Helen tells of how Odysseus ingeniously had "given himself an outrageous beating and thrown on some rags" to disguise himself as a beggar and slip into the impenetrable city of Troy. Once inside, he was unrecognized by the Trojans by merging with the townspeople. Odysseus found Helen and told her of the Akhaian plans to conquer Troy. Once Odysseus had learned of the Trojan's war strategy, he left the city and killed many Trojans on his way out with his sword. Odysseus used his wits to think of a plan, and his immeasurable strength and courage to defeat the Trojans.
This quality of Odyesseus also saved him and his men when they were trapped on the island of the Kyklopes by Polyphemus, son of Poseidon. When Odysseus said " if I killed him we perished there as well, for we could never move his ponderous doorway slab aside.", he was smart enough to realize that killing Polyphemus when he had a clear shot would've only put him and his men in greater danger.