A Hint of Odysseus’ Pride
There was a discussion on Thursday February 13, 2014 about the outburst Odysseus had in book eight. There was proposed an excellent question, asking the class whether or not they believed Odysseus had the right to be arrogant, more specifically, was his arrogance justified and also a smart thing for him to do. The arrogance this was talking about was when the Phaeacian man named Broadsea challenged Odysseus, and his response seemed to be one of anger and conceit and possibly a small mistake. However, Odysseus’ outburst seems to be more of a revelation of pride and confidence in Odysseus’ character as well as an act of intelligence.
In response to the question, some thought that Odysseus had the right to talk back to Broadsea because Broadsea was telling him he was weak and couldn’t compete in the games well. They believed that Odysseus knew he could do the games better than the others and therefore should defend himself. However, others thought that Odysseus felt threatened from Broadsea and the others around and responded quickly without thought, which showed a falter in his wisdom. Both the views are very valid and can both potentially be correct, although Odysseus’ reaction seems to involve more of the first idea than the second, and possibly even deeper than that.
Odysseus is quite clearly provoked by the man named Broadsea; he mocks Odysseus straight to his face telling him that he is “no athlete” (8.189). Odysseus is called “some skipper of profiteers,/ roving the high seas in his scudding craft,/ reckoning up his freight with a keen eye out-/ four home-cargo, grabbing all the gold he can” (8.185-88). Broadsea’s accusations are ridiculing Odysseus and calling him a scavenger and a man of little worth. Broadsea’s claims in and of themselves are means for Odysseus to react and defend himself strongly.
Not only does Broadsea ridicule Odysseus, but respectively Odysseus shows a great sense of pride and confidence in himself....
Cited: Homer. The Odyssey. Trans. Robert Fagles. New York: Penguin Books, 1996. Print.
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