Odysseus, constantly defined by his intelligence, is an extraordinary epic hero in that he
prefers to use cunning rather than force. In addition, he has fully human parents (Laertes and Anticleia), in contrast to most Greek heroes, including Achilles.
Odysseus does not have the heroic stature of Achilles, either; he dons disguises, and
Athene helps him look taller and handsomer when the situation requires it. This accentuates Odysseus’s chameleon-like character.
Achilles argues for bravery, while Odysseus advocates prudence; the heroic warriors
obsessed with personal glory die in battle, while Odysseus lives until old age.
(Quotes from A Different Kind of Hero: The Quest of Odysseus)