What Are Odysseus' Heroic Qualities?

Odysseus, the hero of Greek legends, displayed many heroic qualities, including strength, cleverness, eloquence and a steadfast devotion to his wife and family despite being separated from them for two decades. As a character, Odysseus is the protagonist of Homer's "The Odyssey" and plays a significant role in "The Iliad" by the same author.

In "The Odyssey," Odysseus must travel to the underworld and there he meets the ghost of Hercules, an undisputed hero in Greek mythology. Hercules tells Odysseus that he is a hero, just like him.

Despite his many good qualities, however, critics through the ages have often disputed whether Odysseus is worthy of the title, citing the fact that his clever wiles sometimes involved lying and that he was motivated by self interest rather than more noble purposes.