How Does Odysseus Show Courage?

Arnold Bocklin/Other

Odysseus is a character of Homer’s two epics, ” The Odyssey” and “The Iliad,” who displays courage through his numerous acts of bravery and leadership, going to battle against adversaries, like the Cyclops, Polyphemus and Scylaa, and the Trojan army. Odysseus is also commonly portrayed as a character of noticeable cunning.

Odysseus helps Ajax and Diomedes fend off an onslaught of Trojan attacks, killing numerous Trojans in the process. Later, Odysseus spurs his fellow Greeks to stop the character Hector from taking the Greek ships. Together, Diomedes and Odyseeus halt Hector’s advance. When Diomedes is struck by an arrow from Paris, Odysseus defends him until he can escape. Left all alone and facing more oncoming Trojan forces, Odysseus staves them off, nearly dying until Menelaus and Ajax come to his aid.

Odysseus displays numerous acts of valor in “The Iliad” and “The Odyssey.” Leading his men against numerous monsters, Odysseus never feigns from taking a leadership role. Even when he finally returns home, he has the courage to face his wife’s numerous suitors, who had accumulated over the years he was absent.

Odysseus is also portrayed as a very cunning man. He saves the Greeks from a plague from Apollo, he convinces Achilles to rejoin the battle and he bests Ajax at the funeral games for Patroclus. He even captures a Trojan spy and assassinates newly-encamped Thracians. In this way, Odysseus isn’t just a courageous hero, but a crafty and sneaky one as well. He is always thinking of ways to better his situation and pin the odds in his and his allies’ favor.