Examples Of Pride In The Odyssey

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"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.” This quote by Ernest Hemingway demonstrates the essentiality of humility. The epic poem, The Odyssey, written by Homer, also makes evident the importance of this same concept. Odysseus leaves the Battle of Troy, and his great pride is evident through his actions. He barely survives after withstanding the wrath of Poseidon at the many islands he visits. The main character of The Odyssey, Odysseus, changes greatly throughout the story, from ignorance to knowledge, which renders how everyone must rise above their greatest flaws in order to truly become great. In the early years of Odysseus ' journey home, he is caught up in himself …show more content…
When Odysseus is about to enter into Circe’s halls, Hermes offers Odysseus special herbs. Hermes gives Odysseus necessary help and advice, while humbling him. Hermes says that Circe will “strip away [his] courage” (10.334). Odysseus realizes that he cannot conquer everything by himself and happily accepts help from the gods. Later, when Odysseus journeys into the underworld, a Theban prophet gives advice and warning to Odysseus, saying he should “keep [his] mind set on home / and [he] may still reach Ithaca” (11.125-126). Odysseus learns that his journey will be difficult, but instead of being consumed with hubris, Odysseus is told that he has to keep his head straight and focus on getting home and he obeys. In the latter stages of Odysseus’ journey home, he comes across another punishment and test. Odysseus’ men slaughter Helios’ cattle, and Zeus says he will “hit their racing ship / with a white hot bolt” (12.417-418). From this incident Odysseus learns that he and his crew’s actions have repercussions, further displaying the point that he needs to change in order to get home. Odysseus gains knowledge through his tests and trials which will help him to reach his goal. In the middle of Odysseus’ journey, he exhibits signs that he is gaining knowledge while all of Odysseus’ tests and trials expose his greatest …show more content…
After Odysseus reaches Ithaca, he disguises himself as a beggar, but miraculously changes into a great, wonderful looking man with Athena’s help. When Telemachus marvels at how his transformation happened, Odysseus responds, saying, “[his transformation] is light work for the Gods … / … to exalt a mortal man or bring him low” (26.241-242). It is clear that Odysseus finally realizes that his success and failure depends on the Gods and that he is only one man because he does not try to glorify himself. After Odysseus reaches his land in disguise, the suitors shower Odysseus with taunts and physical abuse, but the taunts “[cannot] knock [Odysseus] off path” (17.256). Unlike the encounter with the cyclops, Odysseus shows great restraint and follows Athena’s plan. Any man would want to defend himself, but Odysseus proves that he has become a more mature and educated man. He now knows that he has to be careful with his actions, which is a huge contrast from the beginning of the poem. When Odysseus finally enters his palace, he is “hunched on a stick, his body wrapped in shameful rags” (17.371). Odysseus humbly gives up his appearance because this is part of the plan Athena formulated. He can now act as though he is in a lower position in society in order to be safe in his own home. Odysseus also has to restrain himself when Antinous throws a stool at him. After the stool strikes Odysseus he just “[stands] up against it-steady

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