Theme Of Self Control In The Odyssey

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Self Control is Essential

Self control is a very important trait for a person to have. Having the ability to restrain your emotions and impulses will keep oneself away from unnecessary conflict and strengthen one’s mind. For example, in Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey, Odysseus displays his aptness to keep his composure and do what is needed to be done even in difficult situations. His men, on the other hand, failed to constrain themselves and allowed their emotions cloud their judgement. This would cause Odysseus and his crew to deal with further complications that halt his voyage home and could have been avoided. Self-restraint is no easy task, even the great Odysseus had his weak moments. Take “The Cyclops” Odysseus’ curiosity and
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Instead, Polyphemus the cyclops eats several of Odysseus’ men. Instead of leaving the island unscathed and with food, Odysseus’ curiosity caused tragic losses that could have been averted.
Another instance of lack of self-control, is shown in “Sea Perils and Defeat” when they pass by the island of Thrinacia. Odysseus attempts to persuade his men to simply pass the island and to leave the cat, but it was to no avail. Driven by hunger, the men ignore his warnings to not feast on the cattle. The mutiny angers Helios who threatens to cease shining if he receives no payment. In the text it states, “The disobedience angers the sun god, who threatens to stop shining if payment is not made for his lost cattle” (p.g 937). To mollify Helios’ anger, Zeus sinks Odysseus’ ship. All the men die except for Odysseus. The men’s lack of discretion causes them all their lives.
Self-control today is still a very crucial characteristic to have. Without it, there would be chaos. Life would be more difficult than it already is. When a person lacks control over their emotions, they could be irrational and make bad decisions. Those bad decisions could lead to terrible consequences. The story of The Odyssey shows a very good example of the dangers of lacking composure with epic heroes such as
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