Protagonists come in many varieties. Some are relatable and easy to identify with. Others are constantly struggling and easy to sympathize with. An archetypal protagonist is the "Epic Hero", a character with impressive qualities who completes awe-inspiring deeds. This lesson helps students identify and understand the epic hero in literature.
Characteristics of an Epic Hero - Follow along with comics!
BATTLE OF TROY
DEFEATS THE CYCLOPS
NAME IS KNOWN TO THE PHAEACIANS
NOT A BRAGGART
ENEMY IS POSEIDON
BATTLES SUPERNATURAL FOES
Odysseus is born the King of Ithaca. As King, he is well-known in his kingdom, has a beautiful queen, and has a son.
Before his primary journey, he fought in the battle of Troy. During this war, he showed courage and cunning as he fought and defeated the Trojans.
While Odysseus struggles to get home, he made wide-ranging travels to different islands. He encountered many different races of people, gods, and monsters.
During his time trapped in Polyphemus' cave, he devised a plan that showed his true cunning and strength. With this plan, Odysseus was able to help his men escape from certain death.
Towards the end of his journey, he landed on the island of the Phaeacians who knew of King Odysseus and his struggle to go home. This aided him because they agreed to give him safe passage to Ithaca.
Several times in his journey, Odysseus proved to be humble: most notably when he went to the Land of the Dead to receive the prophecy to get home.
The major cause of Odysseus' struggle to return to Ithaca came from the god Poseidon. Throughout his journey, Poseidon thwarted Odysseus in revenge for stabbing out the eye of his son, the Cyclops Polyphemus.