The Odyssey, Analysis of Hubris, Ate, Nemesis

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The Cycle That Continues Today

Many people get off a plane and think that was a terrible trip because the security lines were long, the flight was delayed, and the food was terrible. Odysseus’ journey is guaranteed to be a hundred times harder. He spends ten years trying to get home after the Trojan War and has a series of mishaps along the way. Homer, who was a famous bard in Ancient Greece, tells Odysseus’ story in the epic poem, the Odyssey. Throughout the poem, many characters go through the cycle of Hubris, Ate, and Nemesis, causing hardships that never needed to happen, and their mistakes teach readers lessons. The cycle begins when a character is arrogant, acts upon it, and then gets punished based on their actions. Iros, a beggar, decides that he doesn’t want to share the space with Odysseus, who he thinks is a weak old beggar, but he pays in the end. The suitor, Antinoos, leads the pack of men taking over Odysseus’ castle; he dies for his disloyal actions toward the king. Finally, Odysseus’ plan to return to Ithaka is slowed by over eight years after he angers Poseidon’s son by being arrogant. Iros isn’t closely related to the suitors or Odysseus but he still goes through the cycle.

Iros’ experience with the cycle results in a loss of food and shelter after he commits his Ate. Iros meets an old and weak beggar whom he thinks he is better than because he is much younger and looks stronger. Then, during his Ate, he challenges the beggar to a fight for the castle‘s Great Hall. In his Nemesis, the beggar, who is actually Odysseus, breaks his jaw in the first punch and then hurts his leg with just a quick kick. Readers can learn through Iros not to judge others by their looks or age. Before the fight, Iros encourages the suitors to pay attention and cheer him on. Iros tells Odysseus, “Clear-out grandfather or be hauled by the ankle bone. See them all giving me the wink? That means, ‘Go on and drag him out!’ I hate to do it. Up with you!...
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