Theme Of Violence In The Odyssey

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In today’s world, wisdom and intelligence are often valued in leaders over qualities of violence. In many ways, violence is instead rejected by modern culture and considered barbaric. However, in ancient times, violence was considered respectable, and even honored. Although scenes with action and fighting may be the most captivating of a book, no scene of violence stands purely for entertainment. In fact, these violent scenes often help convey universal messages through the actions of victors. These scenes also demonstrate traits in a hero that may be more self destructive, such as arrogance. In The Odyssey, Homer narrates various intriguing moments of conflict including those between Odysseus and Polyphemus, and the conflict between Odysseus …show more content…
Odysseus reveals his superior cunning and wit, but also his tragic flaw: his arrogance. Odysseus also proves his ability to learn humility when Poseidon acts as a foil towards him.

The cunning and wisdom, of Odysseus is highlighted during the conflict against Polyphemus. Odysseus shows his superior wisdom through his restraint, although he longs to engage the Cyclops in battle, “ I then formed the plan within my daring heart of closing on him . . . and stabbing him in the breast . . . yet second thoughts restrained me . . . for we could never with our hands have pushed from the tall door the enormous stone which he had set against it” (110). Odysseus immediately shows his courageous heart
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Odysseus and his men had surely escaped Polyphemus, but his boastful spirit led him to make the mistake that cost him a speedy homecoming. As ‘wise Odysseus’ sailed away, he yells to the cyclops saying, ‘“cyclops, if mortal man asks you the story of the ugly blinding of your eye, say that Odysseus made you blind, the spoiler of cities, Laertes’ son, whose home is Ithaca’” (115). Because Odysseus felt compelled boast of his victory, he ultimately began his downfall, as Poseidon kept him from his home, showing that his arrogance led to the lengthy delay of his return. As Odysseus sailed away, the wounded cyclops prayed to his immortal father Poseidon, “‘vouchsafe no coming home to this Odysseus, spoiler of cities, Laertes’ son, whose home is Ithaca’” (115). Polyphemus directly calls upon to his father to bring revenge to Odysseus, using the same exact description Odysseus gave to him. This shows that Odysseus’ arrogance ultimately kept him from home for a much longer period of time since Poseidon constantly acts as a foil toward Odysseus throughout The Odyssey. Had Odysseus not needed to boast of his power and superiority over Polyphemus, the cyclops would never have prayed to Poseidon for revenge against Odysseus. By putting his ego first, Odysseus’ goal of returning home is stake, when he mocks Polyphemus, whom he

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