Essay Analysis Of ' The Odyssey '

1390 Words Oct 9th, 2015 6 Pages
Pride and Loyalty: An Analysis of Strengths and Weaknesses in The Odyssey
Many great characters throughout history exhibit the same tragic flaw-- hubris. From Oedipus to Faustus, many heroes fall victim to their excessive pride, which manifests itself in a number of different ways, including a lack of trust and a desire for power. Pride is especially prominent in Homer’s Odysseus, as it prevents him from returning home for twenty years in The Odyssey. Odysseus’s pride, while not a tragic flaw, is perhaps his most easily identifiable trait, but he does exhibit a number of other qualities that are crucial to his story. His strongest qualities are his intelligence, which helps him out of many potentially fatal situations, and his loyalty, which pushes him homeward. All of these qualities work in conjunction with one another to both complicate and assist his return to Ithaka.
Odysseus’s pride puts his crew in a number of dangerous situations, and prevents him from fully trusting them. In his encounter with Polyphemus the Cyclops, his pride almost kills his entire crew after their initial escape from the island. Upon successfully tricking the Cyclops, “the heart within [Odysseus] laughed over how [his] name and [his] perfect planning had fooled [Polyphemus]” (414). Odysseus’s immense joy at his own plan’s success demonstrates his pride and his satisfaction, which lead him to become overconfident and underestimate the danger he is in. This is shown again in his subsequent…

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