Theme Of Arrogance In The Odyssey

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In The Odyssey, it is Odysseus that is telling the story, and he shows his own high opinion of himself by exaggerating his successes and making his failures seem inconsequential. In The Penelopiad, on the other hand, Odysseus’s faults are brought forward through the observations of his wife. Penelope mostly comments on his wit, which boarders on malicious manipulation. Both accounts show different sides of Odysseus but Penelope’s observations remind the audience that he is not an infallible hero, but a man. Following the visit to the Cyclops den in The Odyssey, Odysseus shows arrogance by declaring his escape from there to be a success despite having lost six men while trapped. He further proves his vanity by mocking the Cyclops while escaping,…show more content…
Odysseus and his men land on the island of the witch Circe. The witch captures Odysseus’s scouting party and he receives help from Hermes to rescue them. In his version of events Odysseus claims all the credit for himself. Odysseus does not omit Hermes’s part in the story, but he does place more emphasis on the clever part that he plays in the plot then he does on the help he received to make it work. Odysseus is also clever. Penelope reiterates this multiple times in the Penelopiad, though not as a compliment. She asked after Odysseus while observing her suitors and one of the maids says: “Don’t gamble with Odysseus, the friend of Hermes…you’ll never win.” This is like saying that Odysseus is a cheat and a thief. He later proved this assumption by cheating to win Penelope’s hand. Penelope went into further depth describing Odysseus’s wit and manipulation when detailing her wedding night. She states that: “He could draw almost any listener into a collaboration, a little conspiracy of his own making.” Odysseus did so with her by insisting that she not be afraid and instructing her to fake a few screams to satisfy the listeners at the door. Following that, they could get to know each other better. He was playing the scared fifteen-year-old who had heard horror stories of the marriage bed and
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