Consequences of Excessive Pride

Topics: Sophocles, Death, Oedipus Pages: 3 (937 words) Published: March 20, 2005
Consequences of Excessive Pride

Pride is not a bad attribute to have, it is actually very important. One definition for pride is: A sense of one's own proper dignity or value; self-respect. Self respect is a very good quality to have, however, there's such thing as too much of a good thing. This is especially the case if you are a hero in a Greek play that has too much pride. Pride is the most central flaw in Greek tragedy, even in heroes. In the plays "Antigone" and "The Odyssey", Antigone's and Odysseus' pride causes them unnecessary problems that could have been easily avoided if they had just kept their pride in check.

In "The Odyssey", Odysseus is the hero with excessive pride. Excessive pride was such a common theme in tales about heroes it got its own name, hubris. These heroes are very concerned with making sure others will hear of their fantastic deeds and this is exactly what gets Odysseus into trouble. He disregards the safety of his crew because his pride blinds him from thinking of the consequences. This causes many hardships during his voyage home which could have been easily avoided, but he let his pride get him and his crew into trouble when he shouts at the Cyclopes… "Cyclopes, if ever mortal man inquire how you were put to shame and blinded, tell him Odysseus, raider of cities, took your eye: Laertes' son, whose home's on Ithaca!"(l.673, book 9). It seems as if Odysseus must brag after doing anything notable. If Odysseus would have kept his mouth shut he may have escaped Poseidon and all of men wouldn't have been killed. This action set off a chain of events that could have been avoided. He would have made it home much earlier cutting of years of travel time, he would have saved the lives of his men sailing with him, and making it home earlier would have stopped the suitors taking too much advantage of his wife's and son's hospitality and home.

Another definition for pride is: Pleasure or satisfaction taken in an achievement,...
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