Heroes
solve problems, deliver justice and give people a sense of hope when darkness
looms.  Merriam-Webster defines a hero as
a mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great
strength or ability (Merriam-Webster).  Exploring the nature and work of Odysseus and
Winston Churchill, both have the essential qualities that confirm they are
heroes.  By comparing the values of
intelligence, courage, and perseverance in Odysseus, the king of Ithaka in
ancient Greek mythology, and Winston Churchill, the leader of Great Britain
during the Second World War, the similar characteristics displayed reveal their
heroic nature and bravery. 

            Courageous, noble qualities,
leadership, bravery, physical and mental strength,  intelligence, and risking one’s life are just
a few characteristics that describe a hero. 
Odysseus’ heroic traits are demonstrated throughout many different
situations in The Odyssey.  While on the
Island of the Cyclopes, Odysseus and his crew were nearly killed by the giant
one eyed Cyclops, Polyphemus. 
Intelligent Odysseus says, “My name is Nohbdy: mother, father, and
friends, everyone calls me Nohbdy” (The Odyssey 9.274-275).  Odysseus’ cleverness to give a false name
allowed him to hide his identity as king of Ithaca and trick the neighboring
Cyclops.  Odysseus anticipated
Polyphemus’s cry for help and avoided getting chased by the other Cyclops.  After blinding Polyphemus, he and his crew
escaped by tying themselves under the bellies of the sheep.  Odysseus used his intelligence in a dire
situation to deceive Polyphemus to become the victor.  Churchill’s intelligence is exhibited during
one of his speeches preceding the Battle of Britain.  As Great Britain faced the threats of a
ruthless enemy, Churchill proclaimed, “Hitler knows that he will have to break
us in this island or lose the war.  If we
can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move
forward into broad, sunlit uplands.  But
if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all
that 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 the
entire nation, and with that speech, the nation rose to his call.  Churchill’s intelligence helped him motivate
the nation to stand up against Hitler and his regime.  Odysseus and Churchill’s heroic trait of  intelligence ensured that they were
victorious.

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            Odysseus and Churchill stood their
ground, displaying courage and motivation to be victorious at all costs when
faced with challenges.  In the battle to
reclaim his home, Odysseus’ son, Telemachus asked his father’s permission to go
retrieve equipment.  Odysseus says to
him, “Run then, while I hold them off with arrows as long as the arrows last.  When all are gone if I’m alone they can
dislodge me” (The Odyssey 22.106-109).
Odysseus’ display of courage in this challenging situation gave him more time
to acquire equipment for his crew, allowing them a greater chance for
victory.  His willingness to risk his
life for the sake of others, exemplifies his courageous character to be
victorious when faced with any challenge. 
Churchill did not have an immediate promise of equipment, but he
continued to fight regardless.  “As for
the allegation that he was an impossibilist, an impossibilist was exactly what
was called for.  Churchill’s profound but
irrational faith in victory was infectious and exhilarating, and turned out to
be right” (Addison 166).  Churchill
became stronger as he fearlessly lead the British in the struggle to free the
fallen allies and held out until weapons, armor, and eventually soldiers came
from America.  Churchill stood strong
during this challenging time and rallied the nation to stay strong.  His courageous character assisted him to
become more powerful and secure a victory.  
Odysseus and Churchill showed their willingness to take a risk in order
to secure a victory when faced with any challenge.

            Odysseus and Churchill had many
accomplishments during their lives. 
Odysseus is known as a great war hero and leader who encountered and
conquered unimaginable obstacles in his quest to return to Ithaca.  One of Odysseus’ greatest accomplishments is
seen 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 sunwarmed
earth is longed for by a swimmer spent in rough water where the ship went
down…” (The Odyssey 23.83-85).  This devotion to his wife and family prove to
be one of his greatest accomplishments as it helped him persevere through his
many trials and tribulations.  Odysseus’
devotion kept him motivated throughout every battle he encountered.  As he longed to be reunited with his wife and
family 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 great
soldier, speech writer, and artist.  One
of Churchill’s greatest accomplishments was his first speech to parliament as
the 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 of
Great Britain and in return, the people of Great Britain loved him for this and
trusted him with their lives in his hands. 
Churchill’s devotion to Great Britain was demonstrated as he
successfully stood up against Hitler, and showed the world the importance of
democracy and liberty by being the victor against fascism and
dictatorship.  The accomplishments
Odysseus and Churchill achieved earned them great status and recognition.  Their bravery, leadership and devotion gave
those near them a sense of hope and trust.

            By comparing the values of
intelligence, courage, and perseverance in Odysseus, the king of Ithaka in
ancient Greek mythology, and Winston Churchill, the leader of Great Britain
during the Second World War, the similar characteristics displayed reveal their
heroic nature and bravery.  Odysseus and
Churchill are proven heroes, because they won their respect in war, ending a
long, drawn out conflict in which both of their nations lost many people.  Odysseus and Churchill are viewed by many
people as heroes because of their cleverness to overcome every obstacle they
encountered, using their courage, intelligence, and leadership.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Works Cited

Addison, Paul. Churchill: The Unexpected Hero. Oxford:
Oxford UP, 2005. Print

Beers, 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. “Their
Finest Hour.” Their Finest Hour. The Churchill Centre, n.d. Web. 01

Dec.
2013.

“Hero Definition.” Merriam-Webster,
Merriam-Webster, Inc, 2017, www.merriam-webster.com/.