Heroessolve problems, deliver justice and give people a sense of hope when darknesslooms. Merriam-Webster defines a hero asa mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with greatstrength or ability (Merriam-Webster). Exploring the nature and work of Odysseus andWinston Churchill, both have the essential qualities that confirm they areheroes.
By comparing the values ofintelligence, courage, and perseverance in Odysseus, the king of Ithaka inancient Greek mythology, and Winston Churchill, the leader of Great Britainduring the Second World War, the similar characteristics displayed reveal theirheroic nature and bravery. Courageous, noble qualities,leadership, bravery, physical and mental strength, intelligence, and risking one’s life are justa few characteristics that describe a hero. Odysseus’ heroic traits are demonstrated throughout many differentsituations in The Odyssey.
While on theIsland of the Cyclopes, Odysseus and his crew were nearly killed by the giantone eyed Cyclops, Polyphemus. Intelligent Odysseus says, “My name is Nohbdy: mother, father, andfriends, everyone calls me Nohbdy” (The Odyssey 9.274-275).
Odysseus’ cleverness to give a false nameallowed him to hide his identity as king of Ithaca and trick the neighboringCyclops. Odysseus anticipatedPolyphemus’s cry for help and avoided getting chased by the other Cyclops. After blinding Polyphemus, he and his crewescaped by tying themselves under the bellies of the sheep. Odysseus used his intelligence in a diresituation to deceive Polyphemus to become the victor. Churchill’s intelligence is exhibited duringone of his speeches preceding the Battle of Britain. As Great Britain faced the threats of aruthless enemy, Churchill proclaimed, “Hitler knows that he will have to breakus in this island or lose the war. If wecan stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may moveforward into broad, sunlit uplands. Butif we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including allthat we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age…”(Their Finest Hour).
Churchill needed the fighting strength of theentire nation, and with that speech, the nation rose to his call. Churchill’s intelligence helped him motivatethe nation to stand up against Hitler and his regime. Odysseus and Churchill’s heroic trait of intelligence ensured that they werevictorious. Odysseus and Churchill stood theirground, displaying courage and motivation to be victorious at all costs whenfaced with challenges. In the battle toreclaim his home, Odysseus’ son, Telemachus asked his father’s permission to goretrieve equipment. Odysseus says tohim, “Run then, while I hold them off with arrows as long as the arrows last. When all are gone if I’m alone they candislodge me” (The Odyssey 22.
106-109).Odysseus’ display of courage in this challenging situation gave him more timeto acquire equipment for his crew, allowing them a greater chance forvictory. His willingness to risk hislife for the sake of others, exemplifies his courageous character to bevictorious when faced with any challenge. Churchill did not have an immediate promise of equipment, but hecontinued to fight regardless. “As forthe allegation that he was an impossibilist, an impossibilist was exactly whatwas called for. Churchill’s profound butirrational faith in victory was infectious and exhilarating, and turned out tobe right” (Addison 166). Churchillbecame stronger as he fearlessly lead the British in the struggle to free thefallen allies and held out until weapons, armor, and eventually soldiers camefrom America. Churchill stood strongduring this challenging time and rallied the nation to stay strong.
His courageous character assisted him tobecome more powerful and secure a victory. Odysseus and Churchill showed their willingness to take a risk in orderto secure a victory when faced with any challenge. Odysseus and Churchill had manyaccomplishments during their lives. Odysseus is known as a great war hero and leader who encountered andconquered unimaginable obstacles in his quest to return to Ithaca. One of Odysseus’ greatest accomplishments isseen through his devotion to his wife and family. This is seen when he is reunited with Penelope,”..
.his dear wife, clear and faithful, in his arms, longed for as the sunwarmedearth is longed for by a swimmer spent in rough water where the ship wentdown…” (The Odyssey 23.83-85). This devotion to his wife and family prove tobe one of his greatest accomplishments as it helped him persevere through hismany trials and tribulations. Odysseus’devotion kept him motivated throughout every battle he encountered.
As he longed to be reunited with his wife andfamily he was able to conquer and be victorious with every battle he faced.Winston Churchill also had many great accomplishments during his life. He was a remarkable politician, a greatsoldier, speech writer, and artist. Oneof Churchill’s greatest accomplishments was his first speech to parliament asthe new prime minister of Great Britain. He said, “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat…”(The International Churchill Society.). This speech displayed Churchill’s devotion and loyalty to the people ofGreat Britain and in return, the people of Great Britain loved him for this andtrusted him with their lives in his hands.
Churchill’s devotion to Great Britain was demonstrated as hesuccessfully stood up against Hitler, and showed the world the importance ofdemocracy and liberty by being the victor against fascism anddictatorship. The accomplishmentsOdysseus and Churchill achieved earned them great status and recognition. Their bravery, leadership and devotion gavethose near them a sense of hope and trust. By comparing the values ofintelligence, courage, and perseverance in Odysseus, the king of Ithaka inancient Greek mythology, and Winston Churchill, the leader of Great Britainduring the Second World War, the similar characteristics displayed reveal theirheroic nature and bravery. Odysseus andChurchill are proven heroes, because they won their respect in war, ending along, drawn out conflict in which both of their nations lost many people. Odysseus and Churchill are viewed by manypeople as heroes because of their cleverness to overcome every obstacle theyencountered, using their courage, intelligence, and leadership.
Works CitedAddison, Paul. Churchill: The Unexpected Hero. Oxford:Oxford UP, 2005.
PrintBeers, G. Kylene, et al. “The Odyssey.
” Collections,Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015, pp. 369-416.”Blood, Toil, Tears and Sweat.
” The International Churchill Society, 2017, www.winstonchurchill.org/.Churchill, Winston. “TheirFinest Hour.” Their Finest Hour. The Churchill Centre, n.d.
Web. 01 Dec.2013.”Hero Definition.” Merriam-Webster,Merriam-Webster, Inc, 2017, www.