Usually when the word hero is mentioned people tend to think of heroes such as Superman, Batman, and Spiderman. People often forget one of the most important and earliest of our time. The famous Greek poet, Homer, writes of him in one of his most famous works, The Odyssey. His name is Odysseus, King of Ithaca. Odysseus proves his heroism well throughout this story overcoming many obstacles and reaching his goal. All heroes possess three common characteristics. Neither are fools or invincible, each has a goal, and each is beset with many dangers, loneliness, and temptation. One can see after reading this great epic that Odysseus well deserves the title of a hero.
The first main characteristic of a hero is that he or she is neither fool nor invincible. Odysseus cunning wit can be seen even before the Odyssey. He was the clever mastermind behind the great wooden horse of Troy. Odysseus again shows off his craftiness when he is found trapped in the cave of the Cyclops. He is able to defeat the Cyclops by using many sly tactics, such as getting the monster drunk and escaping under the bellies of sheep. On the island of Calypso, Odysseus uses his sensible mind on the goddess to assure of his safety once he is set free. Calypso replies, "what a rogue you are to say such a thing! It shows the crafty way your mind works" (75). Even the gods and noble kings recognize his ingenious mind. Odysseus also proves that he is invincible just as any other mortal man. Poseidon, the unpredictable god of the seas, has it in for Odysseus for killing his son, Polyphemus. Poseidon tortures poor Odysseus throwing him about the dark sea not allowing him to return home for several years. Odysseus is also struck with the burden of losing his entire crew and being stranded on an island for seven years. His misfortune alone proves him to be invincible.
The next main characteristic ever hero acquires is that each has a personal goal they strive to obtain.