Odysseus and His Pride

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In Odyssey: Odysseus, the Epic Hero

Odysseus is an epic hero of all time celebrated by the Greeks. Authors of ancient history book acknowledge his character concerning strength, intelligence, bravery, and nobility. His confidence attributes to his excessive pride as depicted in the book of Odyssey.

The Downfall of Excessive Pride

Pride associates with many heroes who later make bad decisions and dispute the gods leading to their downfall at large. Despite his unwavering traits, his hubris causes him a hell of misfortunes in his quest to reach home safely. His arrogance, seen at the end of the Trojan War, saying categorically that the gods did not help him in anyway whatsoever to triumph in the battle. He says that the idea of using the Trojan horse did not come from the gods and that he used his intelligence and wit to build and use the Trojan horse in the war. The above narrative depicts the excessive pride he had even upon winning the battle. Chest thumping was one of the formidable characters that later led Poseidon to send a monster into the sea to destroy him (Louden 78).

Poseidon's Wrath and Odysseus's Mistakes

Poseidon, tasked with Cyclops's father to stop Odysseus from reaching home in Ithaca, becomes the number one priority of his goals because of what Odysseus had done to Cyclops. Odysseus makes a mistake of tricking Cyclops making him blind and causing harm to him. He escapes with his men and his pride stems out again while they were sailing across the shores. He shouts with a lot of pride that he is Odysseus, son of Laertes and a native man of Ithaca. Poseidon sends a monster towards their ship, and still, Odysseus wants to see the beast with his own eyes before they escape. The beast hit them hard and delayed the homecoming of Odysseus. Therefore, the above narrative displays the idea that his mistakes led to a troubled journey back to Ithaca (Weiner 128).

The Consequences of Selfishness

Additionally, Odysseus and his men plead with Aeolus who gives them a leather bag to travel with back home. It was a gift that would ensure them a safe journey back to Ithaca. His men perceived that the bag contained silver and gold and that they deserved equal shares to the token given by Aeolus. In Odyssey, it depicts that it was a mistake for the men to tear the bag apart with the aim of getting silver and gold for their benefit. Their misfortune was associated with Odysseus at large concerning their pride and selfish interest that made them make bad decisions. The wind in the bag blew out sending them far away from home. Concerning this context, he was the leader of the army, and he ought to let them know what was in the bag but their traits affected everyone hence delaying their quest to reach back safely (Weiner 128).

A Lesson in Humility

Another crucial mistake employed by Odysseus in this context is that he does not acknowledge the gods. He believes that throughout his journey back to Ithaca he has been by himself. His confidence and pride make him feel that he passes through all the obstacles in his life by himself. He proudly believes that he does not need the gods to help him out in any situation. On the contrary, upon being blown away by the wind, Odysseus sails to a witch-goddess, Circe, who turns his men into swine. He is warned about Circe by Hermes, but the witch goddess falls in love with him, releasing his men. Hermes's warnings fell on deaf ears as Odysseus' pride stems out again and decides to stay with Circe for a whole year drinking, feasting, and partying. He even forgets that he should be going back home in Ithaca, but his bad decisions delay his travels back home. The above narrative, therefore, shows that he made a mistake of staying with Circe thus delaying him to reach home.

Works Cited

Louden, Bruce. "Is There Early Recognition between Penelope and Odysseus?; Book 19 in the Larger Context of the "Odyssey.."College Literature, vol. 38, no. 2, Spring2011, pp. 76-100. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=tfh&AN=59922428&site=ehost-live.

Weiner, Jesse. "Mapping Hubris: Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle and Odysseus' Apologoi."International Journal of the Classical Tradition, vol. 22, no. 1, Apr. 2015, pp. 116-137. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1007/s12138-014-0358-7.

December 12, 2023


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