Another thing that makes Odysseus a hero is the fact that he captures the favor of the gods and even ends up working with them to achieve peace. Odysseus is a hero because he is a strong man endures many difficult circumstances.
One of the most predominant characteristics of a Greek hero is knowledge. Odysseus understands what it means to win and that is what he is intent on doing. While he gets preoccupied along the way, he does not become completely distracted. He is also cunning and overcomes many dangers during his adventure. He is even more heroic because he does not simply face everyday dangers - he faces extraordinary dangers and emerges victorious after an incredibly long time. Homer wanted Odysseus to be remembered as a hero or he would not have put him in such a precarious situation and have him succeed. Homer's hero is wise and cunning and he is successful. He returns back to Ithaca and restores peace. His place among the gods is also an inclination of how he is to be remembered as a hero. Throughout the story, he has the favor of the gods and, up until the end, he works with the gods to bring back harmony. It should also be noted that things at the end of the epic are resolved with the gods. No hard feelings are harbored and there are no vendettas. With this type of ending, Homer is acknowledging that Odysseus is a hero. Odysseus is also a hero because he is an honorable man. He is completely aware of his position in the world. An example of this can be seen when he announces to the Phaeacians his and "Men hold me/formidable for guile in peace and war:/this fame has gone abroad to the sky's rim" (Homer IX.19-21). Odysseus is a smart man that has incredible adventures. Homer places him in these extraordinary circumstances to demonstrate just how much of a hero he actually is.
As noted, Odysseus is a hero because of his fantastical adventures. His most notorious adventure is his venture to the underworld, which turns out to be a major event in his life. Odysseus confronts many issues of his past and is able to reconcile them and become a better person as a result of everything. The pain and suffering he witnesses in hell has a profound effect on him. He encounters Persephone, Demeter, Tyro, and Antiope while he is in hell. He sees the spirit of Agamemnon. He also meets his mother, who tells him that a common judgment all mortals after death is fire that burns flesh and bone. Furthermore, Odysseus encounters Hercules in hell. Homer indicates Odysseus' greatness when Hercules compares their likenesses.
All of those that he meets in hell tell him their stories and they change him. Because he is wise, he is able to learn from them so he will not make the same mistakes as they did.
Odysseus is also a hero because he has the favor of the gods. Homer wanted this man to be remembered as a man that even the gods smiled upon. The gods control Odysseus' journey and they all have power over mankind and they still have peace with him at the end of the epic. Even when he is faced with the wrath of Poseidon, he comes out clean. It is interesting to note that while the gods sometimes conspire against each other, Odysseus comes out a winner in the end. His extraordinary experience with the gods is not accidental - it is Homer's way of illustrating how Odysseus is something more than a mortal.