The Flaws of Odysseus

Topics: Odysseus, Odyssey, Trojan War Pages: 3 (903 words) Published: November 11, 2008
In the book “The Odyssey” by Homer, the main character Odysseus could be defined as being a strong, noble, and courageous man who is confident as well as a heroic phenomenal athlete. His quick intellect helped him overcome many intricate and strenuous situations while his conning and articulate speech could win over any audience without a dilemma. With all these great characteristics he possessed, one might question did this majestic man have any blemishes throughout the story at all. Could it be possible that if this man was indeed so perfect, then why was his voyage back to Ithaca after the Trojan War so prolonged over the years? Surely a man with qualities such as these should have no difficulty returning himself and his shipmates back to their dwellings. Unfortunately, Odysseus as well as his crew members had some flaws that are common to all humans. These certain characteristics not only made their quest for home much longer than intended, but also made it tiresome and convoluted.

One of Odysseus' major flaws was his pride as well as his overconfidence in himself. One might argue that pride is a good thing to have; however, in the case of Odysseus he had a tad bit too much. This gets him into major trouble with Poseidon, the ruler of the sea and the God of earthquakes. After outwitting the Cyclops and blinding him, Odysseus, feeling boastful about his narrowly escaped victory, unintelligently boasts about his daring act. This enrages the Cyclops and he flings boulders into the sea, almost sinking the ship. When Odysseus and his men are a great distance away that the rocks could not strike the ship, he gets carried away in his pride and unwisely bellows out “Cyclops-if any man on the face of the earth should ask you who blinded you, shamed you so-say Odysseus… Laertes’ son who makes his home in Ithaca!” (Book 9 558-562). Unfortunately for him, the Cyclops is really the son of Poseidon. The Cyclops then asks his father to punish the...
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