Odysseus is a well-known warrior. Many historians disagree with this assessment, there are many examples of arrogance in the odyssey. They argue that he was among the worst leaders of literature and human history. Odysseus displayed traits that were not appropriate for a leader or King throughout the Odyssey. Because he is selfish, disloyal, and examples of arrogance in the odyssey, Odysseus makes a poor leader. Many great leaders, including Odysseus, have been defeated by arrogance. At Cyclops Island, you can see examples of Odysseus’s arrogance. “Here, we stand, beholden to your help and any gifts you may give – as is customary to honor strangers. We ask you, Sir, to show respect for the gods’ courtesy. Zeus will take revenge on the offending guest.” (Homer 900). This signifies Odysseus’s arrogance, as he threatens an even stronger foe using the god’s power and not his own. “Cyclops! If mortal men ever inquire about how you were shamed and blinded, inform him Odysseus raider of cities took your eye: Laertes’ son, whose home is on Ithaca!” (908). Another example of Odysseus’s deadly ego is this. He taunts Polyphemus despite the advice of his crewmate.
It is no surprise that Odysseus is such a terrible leader. Calypso’s Island is a great example of Odysseus’s disloyalty. “…He slept with her every night because she compelled. (892) This quote shows that Odysseus is not loyal to his wife in grief and sleeps with a goddess daily. Leaders cannot expect loyalty from a leader known for being unloyal. “Now Circe is the ‘loveliest among all immortals’ and persuades Odysseus that he should stay with her.” (903). Another quote shows Odysseus cheating upon his wife while his wife is distraught over her husband’s disappearance. Great leaders lead by example. This philosophy means that Odysseus should not expect his men to be loyal if Odysseus is unable to stay faithful to his wife. Odysseus, in addition to being extremely selfish, is also incredibly selfish.
Arrogance to Modesty: A Hardest Journey. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “A great man is always willing and able to be little.” Homer’s “The Odyssey”, an epic poem that is the oldest known, refers to Odysseus as the King of Ithaca. He thinks he will return soon and leaves home. However, he fails to realize that god’s wrath would stop him from returning home. Odysseus’s journey demonstrates many concepts, but his hubris and humility toward the Gods are the most notable. His hubris toward the Gods fuels their rage making Odysseus’ journey more difficult. These are soe examples of arrogance in the odyssey
Hubris In Odyssey: examples of arrogance in the odyssey
Odysseus displays a lot of hubris at the beginning of his journey. However, he learns to be humbler as he has many humbling experiences. He shows hubris towards his comrades and the Cyclops at the beginning of Odysseus’s journey. However, he doesn’t realize the consequences of his actions. The Gods throw Odysseus, his comrades, and Athena’s temple out of bounds after the Trojan War, depicting examples of arrogance in the odyssey. Odysseus, his companions, and the Island of Cyclops are hungry and will do anything to get food.
Odysseus, his six best men, sneak into the cyclops’ cave. They enjoy the special cheeses of the Cyclops and his wine. Polyphemus, the cyclops, returns to find that strangers have entered his cave. He gets angry and becomes very upset. Odysseus tricks Polyphemus into getting very drunk and blinds him. Odysseus answers the Cyclops’ question about his name but replies that his name is Nobody, his responses are examples of arrogance in the odyssey. This is so that the Cyclops can scream out, and his neighbors ask him who is hurting him.
Odysseus, his men, and the sheep hat must be grazed and then sneak out. Odysseus and his men elude Odysseus. Odysseus starts bragging about Polyphemus, the son of Poseidon. They begged/ but they couldn’t bring my fighting spirit around. I called back with another outburst of anger. ‘Cyclops’/ ‘if anyone on the face the earth should question you/ who blinded and shamed you so-say Odysseus/ raider of the city” (227 lines 557-5562).Odysseus displays hubris to his comrades, not treating them respectfully or considering their warnings about not boasting and angering the Cyclops, portraying examples of arrogance in the odyssey.
Despite being urged by his comrades not to, he continues to follow through with his plans to brag about his accomplishments and who he is. He also shows hubris towards the Cyclops by breaking into the cave and taking his food depicting examples of arrogance in the odyssey. He doesn’t know that Poseidon’s son is a cyclops, proving that Odysseus was a stranger at the start of his journey. As the epic poem progresses, Odysseus learns his mistakes and chooses humility over hubris for everyone.
Odysseus begins to understand the importance of humility over time and shows more respect for the Gods, especially when they reach Helios (the Sun God). The sacred cattle of the Sun are found on this Island. Odysseus finally makes it to the Island after suffering many hardships from the Gods and mortals. Odysseus, his companions, and other people have been diverted from their original course and are now at a loss of resources, the most important being food. Odysseus is aware that eating the Cattle of the Sun, despite its tempting appearance, would prove fatal. He warns his hungry men and promises them not to eat these magnificent creatures.
Odysseus, and his men, are in desperate need of food and shelter. He “struck inland/up the Island, to pray to Gods. If only one could show me, Odysseus, the way home. /Crossing into Olympus’ heartland, free of the crew/ I rinsed my hands in a safe spot, a windbreak/ but as soon as I had prayed to all Olympus gods,/down on me they poured a sweet and sound sleep… (281 lines 358-364). Odysseus realized that only the Gods could help him after all his experiences.
Odysseus realizes that he must pray to the Gods. They give him a sweet, sound sleep. Odysseus realizes that he must be clear of his crew, so he travels to the center island to show the Gods that even though he’s exhausted and hungry, he is prepared to do anything necessary to ask for forgiveness from them. He also wants to find a way home. There are examples of arrogance in the odyssey and Odysseus must let go of his pride and ego and accept that only the Gods can help find him a way home.
He finally prays to every god and does the right thing. Ironically, Odysseus still falls asleep at night, so the Gods make Odysseus eat the Cattle of Sun, and anger Helios, the Sun God. His actions prove to be futile, but they teach him humility. Odysseus’s humility toward Gods was the beginning of his journey to showing humility to everyone around him. At the end of his journey, Odysseus realizes that he must let go of his ego and that humility is important for those who help him.
This is especially evident in Nausicaa. Longing to return home, Odysseus turns Calypso away in a very diplomatic manner (once more, showing humility) when she offers him immortality for being her husband. Odysseus flees her Island, suffers a terrible storm from Poseidon, and then goes to bed in an olive tree. He wakes up to see Princess Nausicaa with her maids on the beach. Nausicaa offers to wash Odysseus and take him back to her palace.
Odysseus tells the story of how he reached Phaeacia, where he met Nausicaa, King Alcinous. The King is furious at his daughter for refusing to give Odysseus xenia and giving him a ride up to the palace. Nausicaa defends Odysseus by saying, “I begged her” and “not once did her senses of tact abandon her…/ She encouraged me to go with her maids. I chose not to because I was afraid of embarrassment. / We men who walk the earth are suspicious of us. (334-335 lines 188-189 and 349-352)
Odysseus humbles Nausicaa, and he acknowledges her kindness. He also offends himself by saying, “Suspicious are we, we men who walk on the earth.” “. Odysseus was not a simple man at the beginning of his journey. He considered himself almost immortal. However, he humbled himself to the benefit of another person’s well-being. Odysseus’s humbleness towards Nausicaa is a perfect example of how Odysseus develops as he travels.
Throughout Odysseus’ long and difficult journey, he learns the importance of humility towards Gods and humans. Odysseus is a bit cocky at the beginning of his journey with many examples of arrogance in the odyssey. However, he learns to be humbler as he has many humble experiences. Odysseus is a lot like Gilgamesh at the beginning of his journey. He doesn’t care much about what he does or how he treats the people around him. Odysseus, like Gilgamesh, is rude, entitled, and unhygienic. However, Odysseus and Gilgamesh both learn to be humble over time.
These characters appear immortal and can endure unimaginable hardships. But they both discover that their actions caused their struggles and come out of them as better and more humble individuals. Odysseus’s display of hubris is as human as a human’s. No one can see what others do for them, and they often mistreat them which reflects examples of arrogance in the odyssey But, over time, regardless of how big or small the hurdles may be, they learn from them and show more humility to those around them.