Challenges in The Odyssey

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Challenges in The Odyssey There are many challenges throughout the Odyssey the most significant being his arrogance that Odysseus must overcome in order to reach home. In book 9, beginning with line 113 Odysseus and his men begin a journey in the land of the Kyklops. This set of challenges for Odysseus shows the reader the battle between arrogance and wisdom within Odysseus. The choices that Odysseus makes during this portion of his journey home will help him to realize his arrogance and the downfalls of yielding to it, which he must overcome to regain his kingdom and property from the suitors. When Odysseus first decides to explore the nearby island he makes a wise decision to take only his own ship and company. The reason he does this is to [book 9; lines 187-189] "find out what the mainland natives are- for they may be wild savages, and lawless, on hospitable and God fearing men". This proves to be a wise decision because the natives are Kyklops. Kyklops have no laws, no councils, and no interest in hospitality or civility of any kind. A reader could reasonably believe that Odysseus decision to only bring his own ship and company prolongs the lives of the men he left behind. Beginning with line 201 in book 9 Odysseus begins to describe the type of men that resides in the cave he is now in. He describes the absentee resident of the caves by what he sees in the cave. He describes the resident as being in the cave alone, remote, knowing nothing but savagery. He goes further to call him a huge brute. Once again Odysseus shows his wisdom in leaving all but twelve of his men at the ship to go ahead. In line 229 through 231 he states "for in my bones I knew some towering brute would be upon us soon- all outward power, a wi... ... middle of paper ... ...not out of arrogance as with his name but merely as a way of the way things were done in that period of time. This lack of wisdom and display of arrogance brings upon him the wrath of Poseidon on behalf of his son, Polyphemus. Odysseus learns throughout this portion of his journey that it is wiser to be humble than it is to be arrogant towards others. In every instance where Odysseus, his men, or Polyphemus become arrogant it cost the offender a price. Odysseus arrogance cost him all of his men and ships, he carriers this lesson with him and learns from it. When Odysseus shows his humility he fares better than when he lets his arrogance win the day. The lesson of arrogance enables him to defeat the disrespectful and arrogant suitors so that he can regain control of his kingdom and property. The moral of the Odyssey being that mans own arrogance is his worst enemy
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