Calvin Coolidge once said, "No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave." In Homer's epic, The Odyssey, Odysseus is a character that gives nothing, and takes everything, and yet he is still viewed as an honorable man in many people's eyes. However, Odysseus becomes a hero by telling tales of his past voyages and the miserable endings that they possess. For instance, as Odysseus is telling the Phaeacians about his treacherous voyage to the Laestrygonian land, he makes himself appear to be heroic in his actions, because he attempted to get his men out safely. However, all of Odysseus" actions are really performed in order to benefit Odysseus" own well-being, not the well being of his crew. The tale Odysseus tells the Phaeacians is primarily told in order to make them perceive him as an honorable hero and also so they will aid him in his journey home.
As Odysseus begins his tale, he explains to the Phaeacians, "Six whole days we rowed, six nights, nonstop" (Homer, 233: 88). By starting his heroic tale with this statement, Odysseus is trying to prove to the Phaeacians that he has determination and bravery. Odysseus then continues his tale by saying, "I alone anchored my black ship outside" (Homer 233: 104), and "I tied her fast to the cliffside" (Homer 233: 106), in order to gain honorable mention from the Phaeacians. It now appears that Odysseus not only possesses determination and bravery, but strength as well. At this point, the Phaeacians are on Odysseus" side; after all, he is an honorable man. .
Then Odysseus continues his story and it is evident that the sole purpose of his "bravery" is to benefit him. Odysseus is not a hero who wants to save or help others; he is only in it for himself. A hero is any person, generally a man, admired for courage, nobility, and bold exploits. Odysseus definitely does not meet the expectations of a true hero when he claims, "I sent some crew ahead to learn who lived there" (Homer 233: 110), when talking about the land of the Laestrygonian.