Arrogance In The Odyssey

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An epic hero is defined as “a brave and noble character in an epic poem, admired for great achievements or affected by grand events”. One well known epic hero is Odysseus from Homer’s epic poem, the Odyssey. Although he is well known and often used as an example of an epic hero, Odysseus is far from a perfect epic hero. He often fails to protect his crew from harm and returns home without them. Odysseus’ behavior and lack of control over himself and the crew result in the crew being put into difficult situations that could have been avoided had Odysseus controlled them better. In The Odyssey, Homer uses characters who must face various difficult challenges to expose Odysseus’ poor leadership skills, arrogance and inquisitiveness.
Odysseus …show more content…

His arrogance leads to him and his crew having to face more difficult challenges and an elongated journey home. Odysseus and his crew had successfully evaded Polyphemus. Instead of quietly leaving the island, Odysseus’ arrogant nature caused him to stop to insult the Cyclops. “‘ O Cyclops! Would you feast on my companions? Puny, am I, in a cave man’s hands? How do you like the beating that we gave you, you damned cannibal? ’” (Homer 431-434). Odysseus’ arrogance is shown in his behavior towards the Cyclops. He insults the Cyclops purely to seem more powerful than he is instead of focusing on protecting his men. His arrogance leads to him having an inflated self worth. This inflated self worth causes him to feel that he can insult the Cyclops without consequences, this proves to be untrue as Poseidon punishes Odysseus later throughout the story. Yet, this is not the only time Odysseus’ arrogance impacts an interaction with the Cyclops. Earlier in the piece Odysseus greets the Cyclops with arrogance and a sense of entitlement. “‘ Here we stand, beholden for your help, or any gifts you give- as custom is to honor strangers.’” (Homer 211-213). Although xenia, the concept of ancient greek hospitality, was practiced Odysseus is pushing the limits of hospitality. His arrogance is shown as he interacts with the Cyclops for the first time. Odysseus believes that his arrogance will lead to the Cyclops welcoming him and his crew onto his island, but is quickly proven

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