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A Characteristic of a Hero

The ‘American Heritage High-school’ dictionary defines a hero as a man, often of divine ancestry, who is endowed with great courage and strength. Is that what a hero truly is? Does he need only strength and courage? Does a hero not need a mind? Any man can be strong and brave, but dose that mean he is a hero? Nay, a hero must have more. He must be quick-witted and always think with his head and never his fear. A man must be clever (mentally bright, superficially skillful or witty) to be considered a hero. A hero has many characteristics but one of the most important is to be able to think his way out of trouble. Not that a hero shouldn’t be physically strong, that’s always good, but sometimes you can’t fight your way out things without getting yourself killed.

Odysseus, king of Ithaca, is a very clever man. He shows that quality time and again in ‘The Odyssey’. For example, the Trojan War. The Greeks fought with the Trojans for ten years without success. They had to get over the wall around Troy. No one had any ideas. But then Odysseus and his clever mind thought of a way to trick the Trojans. He ordered the Greeks to build a huge wooden horse in which they could hide. Odysseus figured that when the Trojans wake up to the horse and no Greeks in sight that they’d take the horse as a peace offering and take it inside the city. The Trojans did as Odysseus had guessed and after ten long years the war with Troy was finally over.

Another example of Odysseus’ cleverness is when he met a giant, one-eyed monster named Polyphemus. Odysseus and his men went into this giants’ cave and stayed to meet him. What they saw when Polyphemus came home was a huge surprise. Polyphemus liked humans, yes he did. He liked them as dinner, lunch, and breakfast. Odysseus was losing his men rapidly while they were trapped in the cave. He had to do something. Suddenly an idea popped in his head. He and his men sharpened a stick, and shoved it into Polyphemus’ eye while he was sleeping. Plus, when Polyphemus called for help, nobody listened because Odysseus had told him that his name was ‘Nohbdy’. If that doesn’t take a clever mind then I don’t know what dose.

I have never really used cleverness in my life as Odysseus has. Sure, some school papers I’ve written might have had something clever in it, but that’s not the same kind that’s needed in a hero. I hope that if I ever a situation occurs that I'll need to think like a hero I’ll be able to but for now I’ll stick to being clever for school.

As I said before, a hero has many characteristics. I think the most important is to be able to think his way out of any situation. A hero must keep his head up and believe that no matter what there is a way out of any situation. He also needs to be kind hearted and fight for good. For a hero can never be evil.

Word Count: 534


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