The Morals Of The Stories Essay

1464 Words Dec 7th, 2015 null Page
For as long as humans have had the cognitive ability to consider human nature, it has been recognized to include many characteristics which most cultures generally regard as flaws. Attributes such as pride, selfishness, enviousness, entitlement, and aloofness are just some of the human traits to which people have given bad connotations over time. Humans who display these characteristics are usually looked down upon and encouraged to attempt to suppress or overcome them. This is a common scenario in literature as well. Characters clearly exhibiting “bad” traits are often punished in some form, whether it be by other humans, gods, creatures, or simply fate itself. The morals of the stories seem apparent: these traits are not acceptable and anyone who expresses them deserves to be disciplined. In ancient texts especially, hubris, which can generally be defined as “excessive pride or self-confidence that can end in deadly retribution” (Trumbull 341), is one of the most prominent character flaws that is warned against. As the given definition implies, it is a common conception that hubris in literature is nearly always paired with complete ruination of the hubristic character, culminating in the character’s dishonorable death. However, a closer analysis of multiple ancient texts reveals an unexpected message other than just a warning against hubris. In the ancient works of the Epic of Gilgamesh, the Odyssey, the Bible, and Oedipus the King, it is clear that hubris may cause…

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